How to analyze and understand the content of cosmetic labels?

How to analyze and understand the content of cosmetic labels?

Cosmetic product labels have been a mystery for many years. Between the Latin words and the English words… Impossible to understand what the product was made of!

And even less when it came to identifying the cosmetic product certification logos that we sometimes find on packaging . But today, the mystery is over. Since November 2009, brands producing beauty products have been required to clearly label all components of the product in question.

It is Regulation No. 1223/2009 of the European Parliament which democratized this obligation. And this is what allows us, today, to know concretely what we find in creams and oils.

Because knowing what we apply to our skin is essential! Especially when you run a beauty salon or spa ...

If you have clients with particularly sensitive skin or allergies, it is your duty to be able to offer them creams, oils or scrubs that will not cause skin reactions.

And thanks to labeling regulations , this is a very accessible possibility.

However, despite the rules in question, deciphering the content of cosmetic labels requires some preparation. And above all, lots of practice!

Green Spa presents the different elements that you can find on a label, to help you identify them.

Identify the functions of cosmetics

The first mention that you will necessarily find on cosmetics is the mention of the functions of the latter.

  • Is it a day cream?
  • Is it a scrub?
  • Is it a night cream?
  • Is this a hydrating body butter?

At a glance, you should be able to know which product you are dealing with.

And at a second glance, you should know how to use the product in question.

  • Application on the face?
  • Application on the body?
  • On damp skin?
  • With concentric circles?

However, you won't always find these application tips directly on the product.

Due to lack of space, they are often printed on the cosmetic packaging , or on a small cardboard label attached to the bottle.

Understanding the INCI list

Once you know what you have in front of you and what the cosmetic is for, you can ask yourself about its composition.

And for that, you have to read the INCI list ! (International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients)

It is this famous list which contains Latin or English names, and which tends not to be very clear to ordinary people (in other words: all people who do not work in chemistry).

Ingredients are listed in order of quantity, when they offer a concentration greater than 1%.

Generally speaking, Latin is used to name plant extracts or essential oils.

As for English words, they are more likely to designate molecules, perfumes, preservatives , alcohols , etc.

If you have any doubts about a word or don't understand its meaning: Google is your friend!

You just have to type it in the search bar to see which big family it belongs to, should you avoid it, etc…

Recognize labels and certifications

You have now identified the components of the cosmetic product. But the doubt persists: what do these little logos indicate that you don't always recognize?

In the majority of cases, these are logos which represent labels and certifications. These labels and certifications are very numerous (and popular) in the world of cosmetics.

The principle is simple: each label and each certification covers precise specifications . These specifications are therefore full of any requirements, which may concern:

  • The composition of the products
  • Production of finished products
  • The materials used
  • The chosen composition processes

This or that logo can therefore indicate that your cosmetic respects animal rights, that it is made up of at least 95% ingredients of natural origin , that it is made in France, etc.

Concretely, certification logos like Cosmos Organic by Ecocert are guarantees of quality for your cosmetics.

You then know what to expect: which allows you to only choose products that match your ethics, and those of your beauty institute.

Mentions relating to ecology

Finally, other logos may not represent certifications, but simple indications regarding the ecology of packaging.

Is the packaging recycled?

Is it recyclable?

These are indications that are also present on the product, and which allow you to identify the perfect cosmetics for your corporate identity.

But also for the requirements of your customers !

Knowing how to read the content of cosmetic labels therefore means carefully choosing all the products that you are going to offer to your customers.

Enough to guarantee their satisfaction, respect for the planet and care for the skin!

Do you need more information on the issue of certifications?