Saturday, 24 November 2007

Ingredients Listing - How to Read Them

"Hi Evani! It's no problem. Feel free to ask me whatever you want and I'll try to help you if I can :) Yes, you can use mica to colour your lip balm. However, be sure that they are approved for use in lip products as some aren't. Also be careful not to use too much or the lip balm may feel scratchy. There are also dyes specifically made for use in lip products and you can check with either Brambleberry or From Nature With Love. Both links are on my side bar. Or you could cut off a sliver from old lipstick and use that. If you want to keep things all natural, alkanet root colours lipbalm a natural reddish colour with hints of purple, a few drops of beet juice (or you can use beet powder) gives it a lovely red colour. I hope that answered your question and have fun making the lip balm :)"

The Food, Drugs & Cosmetics (FD&C) Act has many rules when it comes to listing ingredients on cosmetic products. First, ingredients must be listed in their correct International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) terminology. It is a system of names for the ingredients used in cosmetics based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.

For example:
Vitamin E = Tocopherol
Jojoba Seed Oil = Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
Peppermint Leaf Oil = Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil
Beeswax = Cera Alba

The ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance. Meaning from the most to the least. If the cosmetic product is 70% water, then water should be listed first. They do have some exceptions to this rule:

a) If the cosmetic is also a drug, the drug has to be declared before declaring the cosmetic ingredients.
b) Ingredients not exceeding the concentration of 1% can be listed in any order after listing the ingredients exceeding 1% in descending order.
c) Colour additives of any concentration can be listed in any order after the listing of ingredients that are not colour additives.
d) Approved FDA ingredients that are a trade secret does not have to be disclosed on the label.

Fragrances or flavours can be listed as "fragrance" or "flavour". If they serve as both a fragrance and flavour they must be listed as "fragrance and flavour".

You can read more about the Act if you wish at theFDA website.

Be a smart consumer and know what you are buying. INCI names are very confusing and reading it straight off the label will probably not make any sense to you. However, Google is your friend and it is wise to educate yourself on what you are putting on your skin.

If you're like how I used to be then you'd never bother reading the ingredients list. I do it all the time now and I don't buy ingredients that contain Petrolatum, Mineral Oil and SLS especially if it's high on the list. And if shea butter is listed along the end of the label and the product says "Whipped Shea Butter", you'd probably know better than to get it.

No comments: