When we buy a food product, we automatically check the expiry date and other information on the product. But do we do the same with our cosmetics? Yet, reading the label would help us make safe and correct use of the cosmetic. Let's see in detail how to read the label of cosmetics giving you all the necessary instructions.
How to read the label of cosmetics, the guide
Even cosmetics are required to report the list of ingredients present; are listed in decreasing order of weight and this rule applies to substances that reach concentrations greater than or equal to 1%. The ingredients that, on the other hand, have a percentage of less than 1%, can also be indicated at random.
Any information about the product should be reported directly on the cosmetic container or on the outer box. When the size of the product does not allow it, the information can be shown on a tag attached to the product or in an instruction sheet included in the package. Among the information to be reported on the product we have the duration of the cosmetic before opening and the period of time in which, after opening a package, their use remains safe.
By law, the following information must be reported on the label:
- The content at the time of packaging, with the quantity of product present, expressed in weight (grams) or volume (milliliters).
- The manufacturing lot number, useful in case you need to trace a specific production.
- The country of origin for products manufactured in countries that are not members of the European Union.
- The function of the product.
- The methods of use and warnings.
- The name or company name and registered office of the manufacturer or of the person responsible for placing the cosmetic product on the market. In the event of disputes, checks, checks, it is thus possible to trace the person responsible.
- The names of the ingredients are reported using an international code, called INCI, unique for all EU countries and also used in other countries, for example USA, Russia, Brazil, Canada etc.
This nomenclature includes some terms in Latin that generally refer to the botanical names and ingredients present in the pharmacopoeia, while most of the terms are in English. Perfuming blends should not be indicated one by one, just the term "perfume" or "parfum" in English. The same goes for flavoring which should be indicated with the term "aroma".
Reading the label of the cosmetics we buy allows us to choose according to our needs, especially if we have delicate skin and if we are allergic or not very tolerant of some substance.
If you are in favor of self-production, the article "Do-it-yourself cosmetics" may be of interest: find recipes to prepare cosmetics at home, from the simplest ingredients to the most advanced preparations.
Harmful ingredients in cosmetics
After seeing the list of harmful ingredients to avoid, we recommend reading an in-depth book. Is titled "How cosmetics are made. Practical guide to reading the INCI” and aims to provide the necessary basis for reading an INCI label, so as to recognize the product we are about to purchase and its functionality. The first time you browse it can almost scare and appear too technical and specific text due to the long list of ingredients and formulas reported but once you start reading you will be immediately impressed by the clarity with which the author makes chemistry concepts accessible. acronyms and terms that otherwise would remain mysterious.