Cómo leer los ingredientes de un cosmético y no caer en el engaño.

How to read the ingredients of a cosmetic and not be deceived.

First of all, it is worth mentioning that it is important to read the composition of a cosmetic well because we can detect the potentially toxic chemical ingredients . If we want to take care of our skin in a healthy way and avoid unwanted skin alterations, we have to discard cosmetic products that contain : aluminum and derivatives, parabens or, failing that, phenoxyethanol, amines (DEA, MEA and TEA), sulfates ( laureth, lauryl ), silicones ( dimethicone, -thicone, PEG- ), Vaselines ( parafinnum, petrolatum, ceresin ) and Petroleum derivatives ( mineral oil ).

It is inevitable to use preservatives to preserve the properties of the product and protect it from undesirable microorganisms or fungi, but there are harmless possibilities in real organic cosmetics of plant origin. Such is the case for example of sodium phytate, sodium benzoate, sodium dehydroacetic, xanthan gum, dehydroacetic acid or potassium sorbate . All of these have organic certification and are suitable for cosmetic use.

You don't even have to memorize everything; exist Web browsers or mobile applications that make it easier for you to check the INCI labels , such as: EWG's skin deep (in English) or the app Ingredient (in Spanish).

Knowing the INCI we will not only be guided by the brand image and the publicity of a product, which can resort to the false trend of 0% and "everything is natural", And if we really read the INCI, we verify that it is uncertain or that despite not containing parabens, for example, they continue to use alternatives that are equally harmful to health.

Finally, we'll know if the sales claim for your 'star ingredient' is sincere or not . If a facial serum is sold as rich in Aloe vera but on the label we see that Aloe vera appears at the end of the INCI list, we will discover that the percentage of content is very low and that ingredient that identifies the product is not real.

Now you have the power to choose with the maximum guarantees for the healthy care of your skin.

What order do the ingredients come in?

Under the regulations, all ingredients are listed in descending order , from the most concentrated to those with percentages less than one percent. From there, they can appear in the order that the brand wishes. But consumers find it difficult not only to know the concentration of each ingredient but also to know where the one percent cutoff is.

How to understand the names of the ingredients.

Substances in the formula are listed by their chemical or biological name. For example, "the biological name of a rose is Damascus rose , but there are other types of rose, such as root or leaf, that are defined by a different nomenclature," says Qureshi. The INCI list highlights which part of the ingredient is used. Knowing exactly what each ingredient is is difficult, though, A quick search on Google or the EU CosIng database should clear everything up.

Common ingredients that we should know.

Although the formulas and their ingredients vary, there are some very common words that you should be familiar with. In many INCI lists, water is one of the first ingredients, as well as glycols, which are "solubilizing ingredients that sometimes make consumers wonder because they sound like harsh chemicals." Don't jump to conclusions when you see confusing chemical names, as many of these ingredients are skin-friendly, include crucial preservatives (as they maintain the stability of the formula), and help other ingredients dissolve in the solution, thereby increasing efficacy. of the product.

On the labels of cosmetic products the ingredients must be mentioned in English or Latin. Why is this? The chemical substances used are mentioned in English and the direct derivatives of plants are mentioned in Latin using the Linnaean system, with binomial names of genus and species. For example , the laurel belongs to the order Laurales , family Lauraceae , genus Laurus, and species nobilis. The binomial nomenclature applied to the laurel is Laurus nobilis.

The fact that the chemical components appear in English does not mean that all the ingredients that are mentioned in this language are synthetic, since there are also natural chemical compounds . In any case, in English parabens appear (they can be identified because they end in "benos" or "azos"), PEGs or polyethylene glycols, PPGs , silicones , paraffins (paraffin), which are ingredients that arouse controversy or are even associated with toxicity .

For a cosmetic to be considered vegan , it must be made up of 100% natural raw materials of plant origin and be free of irritating, toxic or dangerous substances.

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