How to decipher the composition of its cosmetics?

Deciphering the composition of your beauty products without being a chemist is possible! The proof with these few insights that will allow you to fully understand the labels on the back of your favorite cosmetics.

  How to decipher the composition of its cosmetics?

Created in 1973 in the United States and mandatory in Europe since 1999, the list INCI or international nomenclature of cosmetic ingredients corresponds to the precise composition of a product. So you have an eye on all the ingredients in your favorite cosmetics. But you still have to learn to decipher them.

1. Separate the ingredients indicated in Latin and English

The INCI list must be clear and visible on the packaging. Everything is written in Latin and English. It is therefore difficult to find it. To begin with, be aware that the Latin terms correspond to natural substances while the ingredients indicated in English correspond to synthetic substances . It is therefore important to differentiate between the two to get a first glimpse of what the product contains.

2. Look at the first ingredients on the list

The 3 or 4 first ingredients are the most important to remember. These are the components that have the highest concentration in the product. The more you advance in the list, the more the ingredients are in lower concentration. On the other hand, the manufacturer can put the ingredients concentrated at less than 5% in the finished product. So pay attention to the various misleading mentions: 'with aloe vera' 'with jojoba oil '. .. check that this component is at the top of the list and not at the very bottom.

3. Be choosy with non-rinse products

Be particularly vigilant with products that you do not rinse off, cream type, deodorant which will thus be able to penetrate the skin. Avoid, for example, alcohol which can be very drying, Phenoxyethanol, aluminium, Tricolsan... So track down the controversial components which can be irritants , allergisants or dangerous for health. To help you, you can use certain sites or mobile applications which may be more or less reliable. Among the most serious, the Observatory of Cosmetics or The Truth about Cosmetics. If in doubt about any of the ingredients, you can easily check what exactly it is for

4. Beware of 'organic' and 'natural' products

Not all organic products are created equal. Trust the labels which can give a good indication of the reliability of the product and find out about the different reference labels. Some products also claim to be natural when they are not, or not completely. Remember, natural does not mean risk free.