#readyourbeauty: A Simple Guide for How to Read Cosmetics Labels
As you’ll have learned from our previous blog all about The Soil Association’s recent campaign for brands for come clean about beauty (read it here), just because a product claims to be natural unfortunately doesn’t make it so.
There are many brands out there that sell themselves on being the non-toxic option for your beauty needs, but the only way to be sure that what you’re getting really is safe and chemical free is to read the ingredients list, but sometimes, this is easier said than done.
We’re promoting our hashtag #readyourbeauty to encourage all of you out there to start checking the label of all of your cosmetics, to find out exactly what you’re putting onto your hair and skin. Reading ingredients can be a bit of a minefield if you don’t know your stuff and a little daunting too if you’re unfamiliar with the names of what you’re seeing, so we’ve put together a little guide to make things easier…
The Listed Order Matters
Ingredient lists aren’t just thrown together in any old order – by reading them from top to bottom you can see which ingredients are present in higher amounts than others.
Water (aqua) or Aloe is almost always the first ingredient on the list for organic cosmetics, providing the base and highest percentage for many natural products. If you notice a suspicious looking ingredient near the top, ditch it, fast!
Concentration Can Trump Volume
That being said about volume, having smaller amounts of an ingredient doesn’t necessarily make it less potent and that applies to the goodies and the baddies.
In our products, you’ll find some of our hair heroes such as Goji Berry in our Scented Hair Oil and Myrrh Oil in our Golden Citrus Hair Cleanser further down the list, but they still have a huge impact due to only needing a small amount in high concentration for these lovelies to work their magic. Unfortunately, this also applies to small volumes of chemicals being used in high concentration – these are still damaging to your health and wellbeing. When you #readyourbeauty don’t be fooled into thinking chemical ingredients are OK just because they’re in small amounts!
Do Your Research
The names of ingredients can be misleading, so it’s a good idea to try and get your head wrapped around some of the key ones to know.
There are a bunch of ingredients that are completely natural and safe to use that sound quite scary for example: Coco Glucoside (made from dried coconut pulp and fruit sugar), Glyceryl Stearate Citrate (a combo of vegetable oils and citric acid) and the latin names used for many natural plants, butters and oils such as butyrospermum parkii (aka Shea Butter). On the flip side, companies that use toxic ingredients are wising up to the fact that their customers are starting to join the ranks of the #readyourbeauty army, but rather than removing the chemicals, they’re just giving them cuddly names under the guise of ‘Greenwashing’. Check out 10 of the most commonly used chemicals used in cosmetics to avoid here.
Want to delve deeper into rooting the toxins out of your beauty routine? You can find out more about cosmetic chemicals and whether or not they’re damaging your health on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.