October 15, 2013

How to Analyze Beauty Product Ingredient Lists

The Author

Jesica Williams

Since 2012, I’ve been creating digital wellness guides and researching natural beauty products, HIIT workouts, functional exercises, body positivity, self love, and tips helping you explore wellness and feel good.

Analyze Beauty Product Ingredient Lists

Welcome to this post: How to Analyze Beauty Product Ingredient Lists.

How to Analyze Beauty Product Ingredient Lists

This post is completely and entirely based upon my own experience in shopping for organic beauty products. It’s not an exact science, and I’m not an expert–just a seasoned organic product user.

However, I do have a “method” to deciding which products are acceptable or not and I’d like to share it with all of you. Thank you Bonnie for suggesting the idea of doing this post!

If you are shopping online, this task is a lot easier, as you have access to the brand’s website and information. When in the store, you are left with referring to their packaging to decifer the quality. I suggest doing this when inquiring about a brand via their website:

1. Go to the “About” or “Our Philosophy” portion of the site and read about the company.

-You can learn a lot in a hurry by doing this. You can also find out right away how transparent a company is in divulging the source of their ingredients and the standards they hold their products and ingredients to.

2. Go to a specific product on their website and see if they display an ingredient list.

-If a company doesn’t now display an ingredient list with a product on their site, that is often not a good sign! From my experience, if companies use high quality, organic ingredients, they want their customers to know that and they will make it a point to make that evident. The same goes for packaging in stores. You WANT the products that have ingredient lists displayed. You want to look for lots of organic ingredients (often have an asterisk by them, like this “evening primrose oil*”) and be cautioned if you see a long ingredient list with ingredients that you do not recognize.

Here is a great example:

EXCEPTIONAL!

osmia

Beware, this is an ingredient list you won’t see often! 🙂 This is the ingredient list of the Black Clay Facial Soap by Osmia Organics. If that brand sounds new to you, go aquaint yourself. This brand is the best brand I have ever discovered, hands down.

As you can see on this ingredient list, all of the proper plant names are specified in parenthesis and there are asterisks gallore (organic par-tayy!). Osmia Organics ingredient lists are the gold standard.

Opposite from the great, you have the lousy, as you see in this anonymous beauty product ingredient list:

Abysmal!

badlist

Mind you, these are ingredients that are intended for your FACE. Hopefully it is obvious to you that this ingredient list is shocking. There are nearly 40 ingredients and very few of them are recognizable. In comparing this list to the Osmia list above, you should ingrain in your mind: This List: BAD, Osmia list: GREAT.

3. Scrutinize the ingredient list and be mindful of how recognizable they are.

-If you can’t pronounce it, perhaps you shouldn’t be comfortable applying it to your skin.

4. Here are some key ingredients to always avoid:

-Propylene Glycol, Parabens, Parfum, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Triclosan, Phthalates, Benzoyl Peroxide, and ingredients ending in “-methicone” or “-siloxane” or containing “eth.”

5. Look for the brands that display things on their packaging like “paraben-free” or “SLS free” or “93% organic.”

-This will let you know that the brand is ingredient conscious and is making an effort to make this clear to you, the consumer. Checking out the ingredient list is still important even on products that have those phrases on display.

I hope this helps any of you have a little bit more clarity on what is important when it comes to picking beauty and skin care products. If you have any additional questions that I did not cover, please feel free to ask in a comment!

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Comments

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this! This is really helpful for us consumers.

    Reply
    • My absolute pleasure–I am glad that it is of use! 🙂

      Reply
    • I di’ndt know where to find this info then kaboom it was here.

      Reply
  2. One of the things I do is check the ingredients and if I can’t pronounce it or spell it, I won’t buy it. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Thank you for “the lists”. By the way, do the organic products list shelf life?

    Reply
    • Thank YOU for reading it! Some organic products list shelf life and some do not. That is a brand by brand thing. Sometimes you can refrigerate beauty products to extend the shelf life of it.

      Reply
  4. Transparency – a lofty goal, but how refreshing and inspiring!

    Reply
    • Transparency in a beauty brand = AWESOMENESS and how it should be! 🙂 Thanks Dad!

      Reply

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