Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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How to read the label of a skincare product?

How to read the label of a skincare product?

It is becoming increasingly necessary to understand and read a cosmetic label accurately, and decipher the list of ingredients to correctly choose a skincare product suitable for your skin type. In addition to informing you about the specifics, usage precautions or the use-by date, the label can also help you differentiate a quality skincare product from another.

Mandatory mentions.

Cosmetic manufacturers are subject to regulatory requirements regarding labelling. The information that must appear on the label should be written in easily visible and readable characters, and in an indelible manner. Specifically, it must include:

  • The name and address of a contact within the European Union: it allows the consumer to report any adverse effect related to the product;

  • The country of manufacture, if the product is made outside of the European Union;

  • The function of the product ;

  • The precautions for use ;

  • The nominal content (volume or mass);

  • The minimum durability date (the date before which it is preferable to use the product and indicated before the mention "Use before..." or after an hourglass) or period of use after opening (indicated with the symbol of an open jar with a number of months);

  • The list of ingredients.

The list of ingredients.

All cosmetic products are required to display their composition on their packaging. The labelling of beauty care products is strictly regulated by the INCI list (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) or International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients in English. This regulation governs both the care products distributed in Europe and the United States, as well as in other countries (such as Japan or Canada). In accordance with the INCI regulation, brands are obliged to display a complete list of the ingredients used, established in descending order based on their quantity. Thus, the first ingredient named makes up the majority of the care product while the last ingredients are present only in minute quantities. Furthermore, ingredients are always named in Latin for natural products (like water) or those derived from plants or in English for chemical substances.

Ingredients to watch out for.

As a precaution, it is advisable to avoid skincare products containing potentially toxic, non-ecological or carcinogenic substances. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Parabens which are chemical preservatives. However, many scientists assert that they would be highly allergenic and responsible for cancer. They can be recognised by looking for words ending in "-zoate" such as parahydroxybenzoate, or words containing "paraben" like butylparaben, propylparaben, sodium butylparaben, sodium propylparaben, potassium butylparaben and potassium propylparaben.

  • Regarding silicones that pose no health risks, they are, however, significant pollutants to the environment and also tend to clog pores. They can be identified by words ending in "-cone", "-one", or "-xane".

  • Regarding PEG or PPG, used as thickeners, emulsifiers or humectants, these are substances derived from petrochemicals and therefore pollutants.

  • Paraffins and mineral oils , derived from petrochemicals, are suspected of clogging the skin's pores and being comedogenic.

  • Various foaming agents, plasticisers or fixatives such as phthalates or sulphates which are accused of being endocrine disruptors.

  • Regarding formaldehyde, a derivative of formalin, which could cause irritations and potentially lead to cancer.

  • Some preservatives such as the phenoxyethanol, the chlorphenesin and the methylisothiazolinone, some of which are discouraged due to their irritating properties and others are suspected of promoting the onset of cancer.

Therefore, reading labels carefully allows you to identify the constituent ingredients, as well as the method of application of the skincare product, but also to spot any potentially risky ingredients. To reinforce your choice, you can refer to environmental certifications and various labels that should also be listed on the packaging.



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