How to read a list of cosmetic ingredients?

When it comes to choosing a care product, it's important to take a look at the list of ingredients. In Canada, every cosmetic must have one on its packaging. In addition, manufacturers and suppliers must comply with certain typography and writing requirements in order to facilitate understanding for the consumer.

The first thing to know is that the ingredients in a product are listed in order of importance, according to their weight concentration. Those at the top of the list are present in larger quantities, while the lower they are, the less they are present. Logically, the most important ingredients of a product should be as high as possible, while those with the potential to be irritating (preservatives, fragrance, etc.) should be as low as possible. Ingredients with a concentration below 1% may, however, be listed in the disorder after, of course, those above 1%.

The INCI nomenclature

It is also important to mention that the names of the ingredients are listed, inter alia, according to the INCI nomenclature (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients). The latter was created in 1973, to be then adopted by several countries, including Europe, Japan, the United States and partially Canada. This is very convenient because it is easier to navigate when buying a foreign product.

Another interesting point to note is that there is no obligation to indicate which substances constitute a fragrance (fragrance). The latter can be indicated simply by the word perfume or perfume / fragrance. This is a serious problem for consumers who want to be sure what the product they are actually is made of, so you have to be extra cautious when buying those containing a fragrance. There are multiple online resources that can guide you as to which ingredients to proscribe and which ones to consider. Online ingredient dictionaries are wonderful for making an informed choice. All that is needed is to enter the INCI name of the ingredient and a detailed list explains its usefulness and the risks associated with it. Even if at the beginning the work is difficult, you will arrive with time to remember the ingredients that are to be banned and those that best suit your needs!

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