Skin care products are becoming more complex and effective every day. New and advanced ingredients are becoming available more rapidly to cosmetic chemists with higher levels of efficacy and, of course, side effects. Skin care professionals need to be able to understand how to read product ingredient labels and provide answers to their clients regarding what the ingredients are, what dose is in the product, what role the ingredients play and what contraindications should be warranted.
There are basic rules that product manufacturers must comply with in order to list ingredients on their products.
- Standardized names. Ingredient names must comply with the International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) format. The ingredient names are standardized in this format so that all products can be compared to each other easily and for safety reasons.
- Descending order. Ingredients must be listed in descending order of concentration to 1%. Ingredients below 1% can be listed in any order
Now that the rules are understood, let’s find out how skin care ingredients are used in formulated skin care products. There are a few broad classes of skin care products that will be covered in this article: cleansers, lotion/creams and serums.