How To Read An Ingredient List Of Skin Care Products

Trusted Health Products
Written By Jane Evans / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

Skincare companies are expected to list the ingredients for their products on the product’s packaging. The essence is to keep the users safe. Once a user is able to point out an ingredient that is not good for them, they can ignore such a product and go for other ones that are safe for them.

But how are you supposed to differentiate between these ingredients if you cannot even understand what they really are from the list? It is important to be educated on this. If you do not understand the ingredient list, how are you supposed to know what to buy to give you flawless skin and what not to? At the end of the day, you end up paying for a product that’ll likely give you skin rashes.

How then do you read the ingredient list for skincare products? There are certain things you should know.

  1. The naming of the ingredients

Many of the names sound very complicated and hard to even pronounce, not to mention understanding them. You might wonder, “Butyrospermum Parkii” when you can simply write “Shea butter”? This is because the naming of the ingredient follows a system by the international nomenclature of cosmetic ingredients (INCI). If all the companies were left to write the ingredient names the way they like, that would be more confusing.

The INCI system dictates that plants be written in the Latin names and ingredients be written in their scientific name. That explains writing butyro…whatever, instead of just shea butter.

Many companies, however, add the English name of the ingredients in parenthesis to aid our comprehension.

  1. The order of ingredients

Another rule guiding ingredient list for skincare products is that of the Federal Trade Commission. This law states that skincare ingredients are to be listed in the order of their concentration, starting from the most concentrated ingredient to the least concentrated. 

There are some exceptions to this rule, however. Ingredients that do not have up to one percent concentration can be written in no particular order. Color additives can also be written in no particular order after all ingredients (non-color additives) have been listed. And lastly, for drugs, active ingredients have to be the first on the list, then other ingredients can be listed afterward.

  1. How to determine ingredients with low concentration

Now that you have learned that ingredients with less than one percent concentration do not have to be written in a particular order, the next issue is to determine the point where the ingredient concentration starts to become low.

There is no particular rule for this, but to determine that point, there are a number of guidelines that you can follow.

  • The 5th rule: In skincare products normally, the most concentrated ingredients are the first five names on the ingredient list. From the 6th ingredient downwards, the concentration starts to reduce.
  • Preservatives: The concentration of preservatives in the product is usually less than one percent, so any ingredient listed after it definitely has a low concentration.
  • Fragrance: This is similar to the preservatives. Any ingredient listed after the perfume has at most one percent concentration.
  • Natural fluff: They usually come after the main chemicals have been listed. But they are really just there, and the main ingredients are above them.
  1. And other ingredients”

This is something that you read commonly on some labels. The phrase actually refers to ingredients that are exclusive to the brand. It is their own “trade secret” that they are trying to protect. It might be a secret formula discovered by the brand and they don’t want others to copy it, so they won’t reveal it on their ingredient list.


It is really not difficult reading the ingredient list on a skincare product. What you need is an understanding of how it is listed, and you now have that right here.

Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list

 Written By:

Jane Evans is a blogger and writer from York, England. She has a reputation for providing the best essay writing service on reddit. She is a big fan of traveling, meeting new people and starting new and interesting conversations. Also, she likes to talk more about modern art, literature, new technologies, and computer games. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at

Image by timokefoto from Pixabay 

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