Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to Read a Label Part 2

Why do formulators use all those long, chemical sounding names?

Health Canada, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Union require all labelling for soap and cosmetics to be in INCI names.

What the heck is INCI you ask. INCI is International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. INCI names are uniform scientific names. This terminology ensures that ingredients are listed consistently using the same name from product to product.

Ideally, you should be able to pick up a jar of cream in any country and read the ingredients on the label. Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil will be tea tree oil in any language.

Because of the lack of public knowledge of the INCI system many formulators will use the common term placed in brackets in their ingredient listings. We also do this. Our spearmint lip balm contains: hazelnut oil, avocado oil, shea butter, beeswax, Vitamin E and spearmint essential oil.  Below is how these ingredients look on our label.

Don’t be fooled into believing that “If you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be good for you”. I have a difficult time saying Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, but I know that jojoba oil is safe and is wonderful for skin and hair.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Read a Label AKA What do all those words mean and why is it in my stuff?

There is a lot of misinformation about the ingredients of personal care products. Many people are horrified when they look at an ingredient list and they can’t even read the words. They see long lists of a bunch of chemicals and people think “OMG! I’m not putting that on my skin!”

What if you were asked to put Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit, sodium chloride, magnesium sulphate, Lavandula Angustifolia, citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, and tocopherol in your bath water? Would you do it? Would you be a little concerned about putting all those chemicals into your bath?

Go ahead, put it in the bath water. You will have just dropped a lavender bath bomb into your bath. Now add yourself and relax in the fragrant and detoxifying water that also has sea salt, Epsom salt, baking soda, a cleaning agent derived from citric fruit, shea butter, lavender essential oil and Vitamin E in it. Your skin will love it. Heck, light a few candles and place them around the tub too. Now, enjoy your bath!

Join me next time and we will talk some more about ingredients and why they have those long, unpronouncable names.