The ingredient labels on your skincare products are probably daunting to read, and it's challenging to determine if the product's contents match the claims on the front of the bottle. When building your skincare regimen, it's important to know exactly what ingredients you're putting on your skin. Now, we don't expect you to recognize and understand every single name of every single chemical, but there are a few good rules of thumb we like to follow when choosing our skincare products.
Many people get held up by the number of ingredients in skincare products. Though you may think fewer ingredients mean a better product or vice versa, the quality of the ingredients being used is what's most important. Rather than looking at the number of ingredients in your skincare, look at their order. The FDA requires brands to list their ingredients from the highest to lowest concentration. The first few ingredients of a product are what it's mostly made up of, so checking those ingredients can help you hone in on whether it's suitable for your skin or not. However, many actives are formulated in small percentages of .5-5%, so don't discredit those powerful ingredients at the bottom of your ingredient list. It's all about how each ingredient is formulated together. The best way to determine if a product is going to work with your skin or not, is to do a patch test!
Recently, chemicals have gotten a bad rap in the beauty community. Most people look for labels that say sulfate and paraben free but don't know what these two chemical agents do. Sulfates are surface-active agents; their purpose is to emulsify oils and fats on your skin to properly rid it of dirt and toxins. Parabens are preservatives; their job is to lengthen the shelf life of cosmetics and keep bacteria and germs out. We don't use parabens at Stripped Beauty, but thats because we prefer Phenoxyethanol. Chemicals aren't all bad and are probably already a part of your daily skincare routine. Just because you see a product that has a popularly "bad" ingredient doesn't make it bad. It has to do with the ingredient percentage, the product's purpose, and the other ingredients it interacts with.
Vegan and cruelty-free products should be adequately labeled either on their packaging or on their website. However, with so many unofficial symbols circulating in the industry, it can be hard to determine whether a product is trustworthy or not. When it comes to brands you aren't familiar with, it's worth it to do your research and ensure that the product you buy is formulated the way a brand claims it is. As a vegan and cruelty-free brand that makes all our products in our own lab, it's essential to be as transparent and open as possible about how products are made and what's in them. Stripped Beauty is proudly apart of the Peta Beauty Without Bunnies program, and you can look up brands here https://crueltyfree.peta.org/to see if they are cruelty-free and vegan.
To help you on your journey to becoming more comfortable reading skincare labels, we're going to break down the ingredients in one of our most popular products; the Flower Hour Toner.
Lactic Acid is an exfoliator. It's an AHA, or alpha-hydroxy acid, whose main job is to soften the skin and improve skin texture. It's produced naturally within our bodies, making it gentle on the skin and a good option for those with sensitive skin.
This ingredient is also known as Willow Bark Extract. This is an antioxidant-rich plant extract with skin-soothing and clinically proven anti-aging effects.
Glycerin is another ingredient found naturally in our skin, and this skincare staple helps lock in moisture and soothe your skin. You usually won't see more than 5% of this ingredient in your skincare products.
This is also known as ProVitamin B5. Its purpose is to bring hydration and moisture back into the skin and reduce redness or irritation. It is important to note that although this is an alcohol, it is gentle and will replenish the moisture in your skin instead of stripping it of hydration.
This ingredient is used to adjust and maintain pH levels in the skin. It has high alkaline levels and is used in numerous exfoliants.
Chamomile Extract, Rose Water, and Aloe
These are nourishing plant extracts that help to hydrate the skin and soothe any redness and irritation.
A surfactant and emulsifier that works to improve the texture and feel of skincare products.
A preservative used in cosmetic products to increase shelf-life and prevent bacteria and mold from contaminating a product.
Becoming comfortable with reading and understanding ingredient labels takes practice. Everyone's skin is different, and honing in on your skin type will make finding the right products much more effortless.