Why do you need a science degree to read the ingredients list on your skincare products?
While it might seem like skincare companies are trying to make their products sound fancy and hide sneaky unwanted ingredients in your products, this isn't the case for all skincare companies.
It's a legal requirement that all ingredients are named according to the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients). The INCI is the international standard for writing product names as nomenclature and not the common name.
What does nomenclature mean? Nomenclature is a system of names and terms for things within a particular field of study.
When it comes to natural plant-based skincare, it's the difference between using the botanical Latin name for a plant compared to the common name. For example, Lavandula is the Latin name for Lavender.
Plant-based ingredients will be written in the Latin botanical. Only the botanical name needs to be used on an ingredients list, not the common name.
Most skincare companies have started listing the common ingredient name in brackets after the botanical name. If you see an ingredients list showing common names in brackets and others only using the nomenclature name, it could be a sign to be weary of what that ingredient is.
This doesn't mean that if someone lists Vitamin E in brackets after the nomenclature that it's plant-based, and Plant-based ingredients have a Latin name. If you can find a rhythm to understand Latin words, you'll be onto a winner.
What else should you know about reading labels?
Ingredients must be listed in descending order, from the highest quantity to the lowest quantity.
All skincare products must have a complete ingredients list on the product or inside the packaging. If your products come with a pamphlet inside, this will likely have your whole ingredients list, and the one listed on the product or packing is a condensed version.
Ingredients that makeup 1% or less can be listed in any order.
Just because a product lists water as the first ingredient doesn't make this a less effective product. All ingredients require different dosages to create the desired results on the skin, and some potent, expensive actives only need 0.5% to be effective on the skin.
Next time you pick up a skincare product, check out the ingredients list to see if you can see the difference between the botanical Latin name and the common name. You'll find both names listed on all LUNAR Skincare products and a full ingredients list on our website. We believe you should have the knowledge and power to decide what goes on your skin.