Here are some ingredients, how they work, and why I love them:
-- Titanium Dioxide - a key ingredient in sun protection, it's one of the only natural sun blocks, actually causing the sun's harmful rays to literally bounce off your skin. Because of this, it is a majour component of sun blocks and sun screens, because it deters the absorption of ultraviolet or UV rays. The concentration of titanium dioxide determines the product’s Sun Protection Factor, or SPF.
-- Alpha Hydroxy Acids, commonly derived from citrus and tropical fruits, aide in exfoliating the skin by helping remove dead skin cells from the surface. Using products with Alpha Hydroxy fruit acids helps give skin a brighter, younger appearance.
-- Glucosamine - The American Academy of Dermatology says that a recent study shows that glucosamine could prove to be an effective topical treatment to reverse the effects of skin cells damaged by UV exposure. Additionally, glucosamine acts as an agent in skincare that basically unlocks the glue that holds dead skin cells to the surface of our skin.
-- Soybean, licorice, and asiatica - three ingredients that soften your skin
-- Silver-tipped white tea, green tea - two powerful antioxidants that help stop the clock on aging. Prevent dehydration, deterioration, and oxidation of the skin, resulting in a younger, more radiant skin.
-- Vitamin C - another great powerful antioxidant, full of anti-aging properties
-- White China Clay, Kaolin Clay - both help absorb excess oils produced by the skin
-- Mimosa - a firming agent, helps restore skin's elasticity
-- salicylic acids - help control oils on the skin, and in higher concentrations, are amazing at taking away blemishes, black heads, and other unsightly skin impurities
-- sea harricots, oceanic flora, Rose of Jericho, Trehalose - powerful, natural ingredients that support, encourage, and sustain skin hydration on a cellular level.
-- shea butter - from the shea tree's nuts, this is an ingredient prized for it's hydration and anti-aging properties.
-- lavender - calms and purifies the skin.
-- menthol and spearmint - both stimulate the skin and awaken your senses.
-- natural sea salts - purify the skin
-- natural sugars - soften the skin
-- mica - reflects light and gives a "shimmer" effect
-- Avobenzone (trade names Parsol 1789, Eusolex 9020, Escalol 517) - is a chemically derived ingredient that absorbs the full spectrum of UVA rays. (remember, UVA stands for Ulta Violet AGING, and UVB stands for Ulta Violet BURNING - both of which are never en vogue!)
Origins, a great skincare company, has a guide to understanding your cosmetic labels:
Understanding Your Cosmetic Label
We know that reading cosmetic labels can be confusing. That’s why we’ve created this Guide to help you decipher many of the symbols and statements that may appear on our labels.
For centuries, cosmetic products have brought enjoyment and beauty to millions of people worldwide. Today, a wide range of make-up, skin care, hair care, and fragrance products are available to help you look and feel good. There are many products to choose from—each with a different purpose, benefit and range of ingredients that makes it unique, effective and pleasant to use.
We know that reading cosmetic labels can sometimes be confusing. That’s why we’ve created this Guide to help you understand the various symbols and statements that may appear on your favorite product.
1. PRODUCT IDENTITY: statement of what the product is.
2. NET CONTENTS: the amount of product in the package. The “” following the volume declaration is a guarantee that the product has been filled in accordance with the average system of measures used in the European Union (EU).
3. PRODUCT INGREDIENTS: lists all ingredients used in the formula in descending order of concentration. This is especially important for those people who are seeking a specific ingredient or want to avoid one. In addition, our ingredient listing now includes the various components of a fragrance ingredient previously not listed and therefore may be longer. This is important information for that small percentage of the population who may be sensitive to certain components of fragrances.
4. DIRECTIONS FOR USE: informs you of how, when and where to use the product.
5. NAME/LOCATION OF MANUFACTURER OR DISTRIBUTOR: informs you who made the product and where the manufacturer or distributor is located. The London address and Post Code is underlined to indicate the main contact office in the EU. Product inquiries can be sent to this address.
6. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: the country that manufactures or produces the product.
7. tells you the recommended number of months within which the product should be used after you have first opened and used it, provided the product has been stored under normal conditions and not exposed to extreme temperatures. For example (24M) means that you should replace this product within (24 months) after first opening. The “Period After Opening” number will vary based upon the type of cosmetic product.
8. denotes that our Company contributes to European programs for the proper disposal and recycling of all packing components.Other symbols and statements you might see on our label:
9. WARNINGS/CAUTIONS: informs you what to do and not do with the product. :
10. tells you to look elsewhere in the packaging for additional information, for example in a leaflet, card or tag.
Some brands I love: Origins, Bliss, Murad, The Art of Shaving, and Patricia Wexler.
It's always a good idea to stay away from products that are full of chemicals, oils, and things you might not understand. There is increasingly convincing medical research that products with Parabens may be cancer causing or cancer supporting - apparently there were studies where cancerous tumours were cut open and the parabens inside the tumours were in the exact same form, without any decomposition, as they existed in skincare and cosmetics products. So yea, be wise. Read your labels. And know what you're putting on your skin and into your body!