Qu茅 nos dicen las etiquetas

What do the tags tell us

Cosmetics advertising is not regulated. Therefore, many times what is shown to us about a cosmetic is not entirely true. However, the list of ingredients, also known as INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients), is mandatory by law to include on the packaging.

You will always find this list on the cosmetic packaging under the word "INGREDIENTS". Understanding it can be quite difficult, unless you are a chemist or pharmacist, as the ingredient names are in a common international nomenclature, usually in English or Latin. Knowing this, we will provide you with some simple rules so you can quickly understand what you have in your hands.

Ingredients are always listed in decreasing order according to their proportion or quantity in the product. This means that the first ingredient listed is the one with the highest quantity, the second one has a little less, and so on. So, when you see a product boasting about containing a certain oil as an active ingredient, take a look at where it appears on the label... it can be sadly amusing.

Natural compounds are somewhat understandable when reading them. For example, oils are listed with the word "oil", butters as "butter", extracts as "extract", and juices as "fruit juice". This doesn't mean that all chemical-sounding components are bad for our health. However, we will provide you with some of the main ingredients to avoid and how to identify them:

路 Aluminum: used in antiperspirant deodorants and is very harmful due to its link to breast cancer. It appears with the word aluminium.

路 Petroleum derivatives such as vaseline or silicones: suffix -thicone

路 Parabens: widely used as preservatives. They are more likely than other ingredients to cause allergic reactions and can also be an endocrine disruptor. They appear with the suffix 鈥損araben or E+number

路 Colorants: use the prefix CI+number.

路 Polyethylene glycols: PEG+number.

路 Phthalates: mainly used in nail polishes and perfumes. You will find them with the suffix 鈥損hthalate

路 Disodium EDTA: used as a stabilizer in cosmetics. We will discuss this component in a future post.

As you can see, it is quite complicated to understand which cosmetic is good or bad for our health. Therefore, we recommend choosing products with fewer components and avoiding components with numbers and letters.

Nevertheless, for those of you who want to delve a little deeper into the list of ingredients, I recommend visiting a reliable website that indicates the danger of the ingredient. It's called 鈥淟a verit茅 sur les cosmetiques鈥 and is available in English and French. It is very easy to understand, as it uses color-coded traffic light legends (green, yellow, and red) and smiling faces to indicate the toxicity of the ingredient.

Are you ready to start reading cosmetic labels?

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