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How to decode ingredients lists? + £100 Skincare Giveaway!

15th March 2019 in Skincare - No Comments - 4 min read

How to decode ingredients lists? + £100 Skincare Giveaway!

15th March 2019 in Skincare - No Comments - 4 min read >/div>
How to decode ingredients lists? + £100 Skincare Giveaway!

Welcome Skintellectuals!

I’ve been getting asked a lot lately how to read ingredients lists on products and what can you use to get better at identifying things to look out for so i thought i would get together with Judit from INCI Decoder, one of my most favourite website to use when looking at ingredient lists.


I am Judit, a computer scientist turned cosmetic formulator and currently a cosmetic science student. I have been obsessed with looking at ingredient lists for about 10 years and will try to give you some useful tips on how to decode ingredient lists.

The beauty industry is so marketing heavy that pretty much everything on a product packaging from the name through the free-from claims to the description is part of the marketing message. Even, or especially, terms such as natural, hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic are not regulated and do not mean much.
The regulated and hence probably the most honest part of a product packaging is the ingredient list.

What can you see on the ingredient list?

  • You can check if a product contains ingredients that you want to avoid for whatever reason (allergy, sensitivity or just personal preference)
  • You can see if a product contains active ingredients that you are looking for
  • You can check the position of the those active ingredients. Until the 1% mark, the ingredients are listed from highest to lowest concentration, so in general, the sooner in the list the better (though there are exceptions, and some ingredients work in tiny amounts)
  • It helps to differentiate between marketing and reality. For example, if you read the official Hylamide HA Blur description you will think hyaluronic acid makes the blurring magic, but if you look at the ingredients, it turns out, it is the silicones and blurring powders. If you just glance at The Inkey List Zinc Oxide cream you will think, it is a mineral sunscreen, but looking at the ingredients, it also uses a chemical sunscreen.
  • With some practice, you can get a pretty good idea about a product based on the ingredient list alone, but of course, it does not reveal everything. Examining ingredient lists and also reading reviews, will help you to make awesome product decisions.

So how to look at an ingredient list?

If you do not happen to be a cosmetic chemist, looking at the INCI names (the standardised names on the ingredient lists) can be daunting.

Even simple, well known ingredients such as olive oil have hard to recognise INCI names (Olea Europaea Fruit Oil), not to mention the lots of chemical, impossible to pronounce ingredients such as Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine or Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane. By the way, these impossible to pronounce ingredients are often awesome for the skin (the first example is Tinosorb S, one of the best sunscreen agents, and the second is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory from Turmeric), and there is absolutely no connection between how hard it is to pronounce and how good it is for your skin.

I believe looking and understanding ingredients one by one is the best way to decode an ingredient list, and I created INCIDecoder to help you with that.

Here is what you will see on INCIDecoder:

  • A science based, but (hopefully) easy to understand explanation of what each ingredient does in the product. These are mostly short, but some superstars (e.g. tretinoin or niacinamide) have a longer description (+ references if you want to dig deep).  
  • An overview of what the key ingredients and good things are in the product
  • What are the possible icky ingredients such as drying alcohols or fragrance allergens (including essential oils)
  • A breakdown of the ingredients by function, so you can quickly check things like what are the preservatives, the sunscreen agents, the emulsifiers etc.
  • You can also check the comedogenic and irritancy rating, but know that they are not as important as some sites claim them to be

As an example, here is what INCIDecoder has about one of my favorite retinol products, the Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol serum. If a product is not on the site yet, you can super easily upload it, or you can just take a photo of an ingredient list and the site will analyse it for you. We also have a pretty cool technology to automatically correct typos and parse ingredients even if they are not correctly separated.

I hope you will give ICNIDecoder a try, and find it useful. It is, of course, a work in progress, and I am super happy to have your feedback. 🙂


Now, on to the giveaway:

What skincare product(s) would you like to try the most from Cult Beauty up to the value of £100 GBP? Open worldwide(it has to be skincare, but it can be more than one thing so long as its within this budget. :)).

To enter You must be following both INCIDecoder and TheSkincareSaviour on Instagram then visit INCIDecoder.com search for your favourite product and leave the link to it in the entry box to enter.
If you would like extra entries fill in all of the optional entries

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We will order the lucky winner the product(s) he/she would like to try! 🙂 Good luck!

Andrew James

Scottish science nerd obsessed with all things beauty! Creator of The Skincare Saviour, a skincare blog covering everything from reviews, tutorials to busting myths, finding dupes and breaking down trends.

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Welcome to fellow skintellectuals to The Skincare Saviour, a skincare blog covering everything from reviews, tutorials to busting myths, finding dupes and breaking down trends. All posts marked * have been sent to The Skincare Savior for consideration for review. All opinions on these products are my own. Read More

Andrew

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  • Pesky breakouts getting you down?? Head on over to the blog to check out my review of the ZitSticka Killa Kit! 
@zitsticka gave me a coupon code if you guys want to try these, check out the post for the code

Don't forget leave a comment letting me know what you think (Link is in the bio)
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#bbloggers #beautyblogger #scottishbloggers #skincarejunkie #beautyblog #glasgowblogger #skincare #beautyguru #beautyjunkie #beautyblog #beautyblogger 
#scottishbloggers  #shinyhappybloggers  #skincare  #wakeupandmakeup #skincareaddict #skincarecommunity #skincareingredients #skincareroutine  #skincarescience #zitsticka 
#pimplepatch #acneproneskin #acneprone
  • When people ask "what do I use for darkness under the eyes" it's can be a complicated issue because it's not always pigmentation.

When dealing with dark circles under the eyes it can be due to the pigmentation in the skin so you will need to look for tyrosinase inhibitors like kojic acid as well as azelaic acid which can brighten an area over time 
Darkness under the eyes can also comes from things like thin skin and lack of fat pads under the eyes, you can essentially see the darkness under the skin through the skin because the orbital area is hollow 
Shadows can be casted by either having too much or not enough fat pad.

This can corrected by using products that thicken the epidermis, glycolic acid is fantastic for this has it thickens the skin over time, there are more permanent fixes as well uses a the use of fillers.

Fillers are injected into the undereye area to simulate the presence of fat pads taking away the darkness. .
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#bbloggers #beautyblogger #scottishbloggers #skincarejunkie #beautyblog #glasgowblogger #skincare #beautyguru #beautyjunkie #beautyblog #beautyblogger 
#scottishbloggers  #shinyhappybloggers  #skincare  #wakeupandmakeup #skincareaddict #skincarecommunity #skincareingredients #skincareroutine  #skincarescience #undereyedarkcircles #undereyefiller #undereyeshadow
  • *GIFTED I love the formula of this sunscreen but I'm not too keen on how it's marketed as if somehow it's better than others because it's "clean". The whole "clean" skincare movement is something I dont agree with because it's not based on anything scientific and if I'm honest i feel like it uses people's fears against them in the sense that people have such an unfounded fear of toxic, dangerous ingredients in skincare.

I just really don't like when brands claim their products are clean as if other products are dirty and dangerous which just isn't the case.

This is an inorganic filter (physical) SPF 30 which uses 22% Zinc Oxide which is broad spectrum it's not more effective or cleaner than organic (chemical) filters.

Besides the way it's marketed I really like the actual product, the stuff inside. It goes on really well and spreads easily despite being silicone free. It also layers well under makeup without changing the colour of your makeup.

I haven't tried on deeper skin tones but I doubt this sunscreen will be suitable because of the high zinc oxide content which tends to look really ashy on deeper skin tones.

I just want to say as a last thing don't be afraid of organic (chemical) sunscreens, they aren't dangerous they aren't bad for you and just because something is inorganic (physical) it doesn't mean it's somehow cleaner. 
Sunscreens are put through an incredible amount of testing to make sure they are safe, effective and fit for purpose. Don't fall for the fearmongering.
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#bbloggers #beautyblogger #scottishbloggers #skincarejunkie #beautyblog #glasgowblogger #skincare #beautyguru #beautyjunkie #beautyblog #beautyblogger 
#scottishbloggers  #shinyhappybloggers  #skincare  #wakeupandmakeup #skincareaddict #skincarecommunity #skincareingredients #skincareroutine  #skincarescience  #sunscreen #spf #renskincare #cleanscreen #rencleanscreen
  • Theres an idea floating around that the skin needs to breathe but  this is just a myth.

The skin doesn't breathe and you don't need to let it breathe. Your pores have absolutely nothing to do with breathing and covering them won't suffocate your skin.

The idea that ingredients can suffocate the skin is just very old school thing the one most talked about is silicone which contrary to popular belief is actually really good for the skin.

Silicone gives your skin that really nice slip when applying products not to mention it also protects your skin by forming s barrier again the outside world, but thing can still get through as the shape of silicone is like a big hollow circle with branches so it doesn't suffocate your skin.

If you see people saying you need to let your skin breathe you can now tell them the truth!
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#bbloggers #beautyblogger #scottishbloggers #skincarejunkie #beautyblog #glasgowblogger #skincare #beautyguru #beautyjunkie #beautyblog #beautyblogger 
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  • New post up on the blog all about the Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum, check it out to see what I thought! 
Link is in the bio, don't forget to leave a comment ❤️
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#bbloggers #beautyblogger #scottishbloggers #skincarejunkie #beautyblog #glasgowblogger #skincare #beautyguru #beautyjunkie #beautyblog #beautyblogger 
#scottishbloggers  #shinyhappybloggers  #skincare  #wakeupandmakeup #skincareaddict #skincarecommunity #skincareingredients #skincareroutine  #skincarescience #sundayriley #retinol #retinoid #sundayrileyaplushighdoseretinoid #sundayrileyaplus
  • I see this all the time people talking about shrinking their pores by using hot water and closing them with cold water but this simply isn’t possible 
There are no muscles connected to the pore so there is no way for them to open and close. The size of pores is largely down to genetics and there is not much you can do to change that.

He only muscle that can be found is the arrector pili which causes goose bumps by pulling the hairs up on your skin but it doesn’t have anything to do with your pores and tightening them. 
When you see an enlarged pore it doesn’t mean it’s open it most likely means it’s congested with dead skin cells and hardened sebum however you can fix this by using something like salicylic acid which can penetrate the pore lining and flush everything out making the pore appear smaller.

While there are products out there that can blur and temporarily tighten the skin there is nothing permanent out there that can change the size of pores.
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