Ingredient Labels Provide Relative ConcentrationsWhen you are online looking for wrinkle reducing skin care products, be certain that the site you are visiting shows a full list of the ingredients. If not, this is a caution flag and may indicate that the merchant doesn’t want to reveal the relative concentrations of their ingredients and have you discover that the product is low quality – despite their lofty marketing claims.
On the label, ingredients will be listed in the order of highest to lowest concentration. For example, if Argireline® is the fourth item in the ingredient list for a a peptide based wrinkle cream, it is the fourth most highly concentrated product ingredient. Consequently, you should be suspicious of the value of a product if one of the active ingredients is not in the top several ingredients. Those ingredients that comprise less than one percent can be positioned at the end of the list in any order.
It is also important to determine the number of unique ingredients in the list. If you find a product with a lengthy list of ingredients (more than 20-25), it is very likely they contain extenders, fillers and bulking agents. Also, simple arithmetic will reveal that products with a high number of ingredients in the list will have more highly diluted active ingredients.
The list of ingredients on the label for any skin care product must conform to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) standard, which utilizes scientific names, Latin words and English for individual ingredients. This requirement is from Federal law (the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) and the FDA, which mandates that any skin care or cosmetic product provide a list of ingredients in a particular format on the label of each product.
For example, INCI standards provide that Sunflower Oil be listed as Helianthus Annuus and Vitamin C as Ascorbic Acid. For ease of understanding, the common English name is often used in parentheses, such as in the case where Green Tea is: Camellia Sinensis (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract.
A great number of skin care products use a preservative known as parabens to provide a longer shelf life. Because parabens are very inexpensive, they are often used in certain shampoos, conditioners, facial moisturizer creams, and pharmaceutical lotions. Parabens may have prefixes such as propyl, methyl, ethyl, and butyl, depending on the kind of alcohol used in their formulations. The better quality and paraben free products use other types of preservatives such as sorbic acid, grapeseed, or tocopherol (vitamin E) to prevent fungal and bacterial growth.
Because parabens may pose certain health risks, anyone who is concerned about safeguarding his or her health should steer clear of parabens and purchase products that have effective, healthy alternatives.
It is ironic that numerous skin care products for the face contain fragrance, which may make the product more appealing at the point of sale, but which do nothing for efficacy. In fact, many fragrances can cause skin irritation.
In conclusion, it is very important to read the skin care product ingredient labels. Preference should be given to medical grade skin care products – this means that you should look for products without a lengthy list of ingredients, ones without any fillers, and most importantly, ingredients that are paraben-free.