It is not easy reading and understanding the list of ingredients (INCI) on cosmetic products. In fact it is this information which should be used to determine if a product is good or not. Many claims which are found on the packaging such as 'hypo-allergenic' or 'dermatologically tested' don't really tell us very much. The INCI list is therefore an impartial way in which to choose a product.
The 'cosmetic ingredient collector'.
An INCI list should always be shown on the packaging. But if you don’t have the product you can have a very difficult task in trying to find out what is in the product. Luckily some brands put their INCI list on their websites. If you buy good products this makes sense as they should have nothing to hide. But unfortunately this isn't the case for all products. That's why I was so happy when, during one of my marathon google searches, I came across an American website where a 'cosmetic ingredient collector' was busy gathering INCI's together; from more than 600 brands. Brilliant! Click here for the link. I can lose myself completely in this, and I hope that it can also help you to find your most suitable products.
In order to understand a label you need to delve a little deeper. Make sure especially that there are no irritating ingredients in the product. You can find a list of these in my blog 'Ingredients to avoid'. I have said this before; irritating chemicals in skincare products can speed up the ageing process of skin.
It is more difficult determining if (enough) active ingredients are contained in a product. To help you I've written about some substances in my blog (under the subject 'ingredients'), others will follow. Hopefully this will bring you a step closer to finding your perfect product!
(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician and Head of The Skin Therapy Department)