What’s in your skin care products?

November 18, 2012 / 1:49 pm

Many people are concerned about what they put in as well as on their bodies. I often hear clients say “I want to skin care products with ingredients I recognize.”

Reading skin care product labels is like deciphering a secret code. Ingredients are required to be listed according to the official dictionary for cosmetic ingredients known as the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), which was established bythe Personal Care Products Council in the 1970s.

For some ingredients it is easy to figure out what the common name is and in other cases it is downright impossible. This website provides a handy breakdown of the current INCI categories so you can look up ingredients you may not recognize.

There are over 17,000 names in the current dictionary. Here are some examples, along with their INCI names, as well as clues to figuring out what the ingredient is:

Licorice root extract = Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract

Grapefruit oil = Citrus Grandis  Peel Oil: think of “Grand Citrus” or “Large Citrus.

Rose hip seed oil = Rosa Canina Fruit Oil: rose hip seed oil  is extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the Dog Rose shrub. Dog Rose-Canine-Canina.

Oat bran = Avena Sativa Kernel Extract: where the brand name “Aveeno®” comes from!

Bearberry = Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract

Once you start to recognize some of the common ingredients,  shopping for skin care products will become easier.

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