Skincare Ingredient Lists: What Product Labels Won’t Tell You


 February 1, 2022

Skincare Ingredient Lists: What Product Labels Won’t Tell You

What do you know about alpha-hydroxy acids? How about salicylic acid, hydroquinone, or retinoids? If you’re like millions of other consumers, you probably struggle to decipher ingredient lists printed on the bottles of your favorite cosmetics and skincare products.

Skincare ingredient lists are notoriously challenging to decipher. Without the necessary information, it’s almost impossible to know which products are best suited for your skin. Some prescription skincare products may claim to brighten the skin or reduce acne, others might even strengthen the skin microbiome. But without a scientific background, most consumers have no way of knowing whether the products they’re purchasing can deliver the results they’re looking for.

Before digging into the specific ingredients listed on today’s top skincare products, let’s take a step back and talk about skincare product labels more generally — how they are designed, what information they provide, and what keywords you should be looking for to tell if a certain product is right for you.

Understanding Skincare Product Labels

Turn over your favorite bottle of skin lotion or sunscreen, and the first thing you’ll find is a list of ingredients. Ingredients on skincare products are listed from highest to lowest concentration. That means the ingredient you see listed first is more prevalent than the ingredient you see listed last on the label.

When evaluating the ingredients in a certain skincare product, give the most attention to those listed at the top of the product label. For microbiome skincare products, in particular, the low concentrations of ingredients listed at the bottom of the product label won’t have an enormous impact on how your skin looks or feels.

Some less-expensive skincare products may claim to contain high-end ingredients, like retinoids or topical antioxidants. However, if those ingredients are listed at the bottom of the product label, that means you won’t actually be getting much benefit. Additionally, experts suggest staying away from microbiome skincare products that list ingredients like alcohol near the top of the product list. Alcohol is drying when used in microbiome skincare products, and it can be used as a filler meant to bring down the price of products that contain lesser amounts of high-end ingredients. According to the Cleveland Clinic, alcohol-based toners strip natural oils from the skin and lead to dryness or irritation.

Another thing to look for on skincare products is the open jar symbol. When you find this symbol on a skincare product, it represents how long the product is good for once it has been opened. Certain ingredients expire more quickly than others. Continuing to use a microbiome skincare product that’s past its expiration date can lead to clogged pores, or worse, so it’s important to take a look at the open jar symbol and use it as a guide for when it’s time to replace your products.

Omya Kinetik’s Microbiome Skincare Formulations

At Omya Kinetik, we develop beauty products for a range of skin types. Whether you’re looking for a formulation designed to combat dry skin, sensitive skin, aging skin, or anything else, discover the best personal care formulations for your brand with the right consultative support and resources.

Contact us at (732) 335-5775 for more information.