On my recent trip to the store to pick up more lotion and face cream (these are new ones I'm trying) idea to write a post about product labels. Often what is advertised on the front label leaves a lot to be desired on the back label. Here are two products in which the ingredient lists match the front labels.
Here we have a Jergens lotion that advertises she butter and a vitamin E cream, that claims to include vitamin E. With the wave of popularity for natural ingredients in products, it seems as though every company is advertising a natural butter and and or oil in their products. Many do it because of marketing, few do it so it can really benefit the customer. With my background in the personal care product industry, I have seen both sides. I can't name names, but let's just say everyone needs to know how to properly read ingredient lists. So here I am to help!
One thing I like to address is the "If you can pronounce it, then it's bad for you" myth. People that say this are wrong in misleading you to think long words equal unhealthy ingredients. Chances are they are probably trying to convince you to buy their products. Companies are mandated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to list the International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients, INCI name, for short on labels. This is an extensive and constantly updated list of names for all ingredients used in personal care products and cosmetics. INCI names are listed in decreasing order and are often long and hard to pronounce, even for natural products.
Since they are listed in decreasing order, take a look at the ingredient list above. Shea butter is listed second after water. Meaning it has the second largest percentage. So it can be safely assumed that it is added at a high enough amount to offer those moisturizing benefits that the front label claimed. The first five or so ingrediens offer the most benefits with exceptions. More on that in a bit.
In my face cream, tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E) is also the second ingredient listed. I can now be confident I am getting the benefits of the oil when I moisturized my face.
Here are some shopping tips to take with you when you go shopping:
1. Are the advertised ingredrients high on the ingrdient list? Chances are it was added for label claim and to grab the consumer's attention. If it is listed near the fragrance and color, chances are it was only added for label claim.
*Note: Some ingredients are active at lower levels therefore may not be high in the ingredient list.
2. Don't pay much attention to excessive adjectives. For example, the Jergens lotion claims to be a "Deep Conditioning Moisturizer." Well it's a lotion, and you're buying it to moisturize your skin, right? Conditioner and moisturizer basically mean the same thing.
I know this was lengthy, but I hope this helped!