5 Tips For Decoding Product Labels And Ingredients

Synthetic ingredients and harmful chemicals have no place in the products we put on our bodies. Finding the right products and perfecting our skincare regime is hard enough without trying to decode ingredients lists and labels. For expert guidance, we turned to VERT Beauty’s very own Amanda Hume and One Love Organics, an all-natural skincare brand. These trusted skincare specialists know the importance of high-quality, natural ingredients.  They have shared with us some valuable tips to keep in mind while perusing the shelves at our favorite beauty boutiques.

Cracking the Code

  • #1 High price does not mean high-quality ingredients. An expensive product with pretty packaging does not guarantee that it is free of those harmful ingredients we are trying to avoid. Always turn to the ingredients label for the true value of a product.
  • #2 Pay attention to the order of ingredients. Ingredients are listed from highest percentage to lowest. If water or aloe vera are the first ingredients on the label, it is likely they make up 75-95% of the product. Vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, essential oils and many other natural ingredients are very effective in small doses. This does not mean the product will not work but it is important to keep in mind when looking at labels.
  • #3 Natural vs. Organic vs. Clean - These buzz words are often places all over product labels, so what is the difference?
    • Natural means the product contains natural ingredients but it does not mean all ingredients are natural.
    • Organic means the product contains 75% organic ingredients. To be USDA certified, the organic content must be 95%
    • Clean means the product is entirely composed of pure, non-toxic ingredients.
  • #4 Look out for toxic and harmful chemicals. There are a lot of scary ingredients out there, but here are 5 very important ones to keep an eye out for. (Be sure to also check out One Love Organics Ingredients to Avoid)
    • PETROLEUM/PARAFFIN/MINERAL OIL: A petrochemical pollutant derived from crude oil, found in an overwhelming number of products. Causes slowing of the skin's normal cell development, resulting in premature aging and many other health/skin disorders.
    • FORMALDEHYDE: A carcinogen commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics.
    • PARABENS: Chemicals and hormone disruptors used as preservatives in many cosmetics.
    • PHTHALATES: Known as endocrine disruptors and appear listed as "fragrance" in many personal care products.
    • SODIUM LAURYL/LAURETH SULFATE (SLS): An irritating cleansing agent shown to cause allergic or sensitizing reactions.
  • #5 Write the date you open a product on the label so you know when it is time to replace it. The "Tuna Jar" symbol is known as the PAO (Period After Opening) represents the lifespan of your product in MONTHS (ex. 6M, 12M, 18M, 24M)

Stay Smart, Stay Green, and Stay Beautiful Out There!

Amanda, Vert Beauty