There’s no denying our passion for honest labeling and our never-ending, mom-like advice to read the label of each and every product you use. Because there is no government regulation on the ingredients the skincare industry uses or labeling standards (like a food company could ever get away with not listing all their ingredients), we absolutely, 100% mean what we say: always read the label of each and every product you use.
Easier said than done, right? In the absence of labeling standards, navigating a product label can get tricky and even we get tongue-tied in INCI language (more on that in a bit). Then, on top of that, often times you have to go beyond the label and do your own research. While frustrating at times, in the end, knowing the truth about your skincare products, is rewarding, not only for your peace of mind, but for your overall health.
Now, without further ado….Labeling 101
How can I know what ingredients are used when I can’t even pronounce them?
When ingredients are listed on packaging, it’s required that they be written in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) language. It is important to know this, because scary, chemical-sounding words, often times are common, natural ingredients. Take for example Simmondsia Chinensis, Butyrospermum Parkii, and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride. Simply they are Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, and Fractionated Coconut Oil, all three very safe and wonderful ingredients.
You can find a list of common ingredients and their INCI names here.
Note: You may have noticed that the ingredients listed on our website don’t match up with the ingredients on our packaging. Since INCI language is confusing (and way too hard to pronounce), we like to use the common name, which we all understand, on our website and leave the technical term for our packaging.
Before you buy, do your research.
If you’re not familiar with an ingredient, a simple Google search can usually help you find the answer. However, be cautious with your searches as not everyone who has a website or a blog is an expert. We recommend visiting a several different sites during your search, making sure to venture beyond the company who is trying to sell you a product, so you can determine what is the most accurate.
Also, the Environmental Working Group is a fantastic resource for the latest chemical news and product information. They have tested (and are always in the process of testing more) thousands of personal care products and report on their reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, and their cancer causing attributes in the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.
Be wary of product marketing claims like “natural.”
With no labeling regulations, companies are allowed to use words like “natural” in misleading ways. The claim could simply refer to a handful of natural ingredients that are used within a toxic soup of other chemical ingredients.
When in doubt, ask questions. We try to be as transparent as possible with our ingredients and product information and are always happy to explain why we use one ingredient over another, the benefits of certain ingredients, etc. The more you question the industry the more pressure there will be to change to healthier ingredients and processes!
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