Do you think you can trust the labels on your “natural” cosmetics? The packaging sometimes can be misleading with big slogans that have nothing to do with actual ingredients of the product. Many cosmetics have a long list of Latin ingredients that need to be decoded in order to know what they actually mean. Here is a guid that will show you how to read cosmetic labels.

To even be able to read cosmetic labels and ingredient list on many cosmetics you will nearly need a magnifying glass. I am actually not joking, it will really come in handy. Font size companies use to list the ingredients is ridiculously small.

Not everyone knows that there is no legal definition of natural or organic.  Just because the label on a product states it is organic, it doesn’t mean that it is reflected in the ingredient list.

If you are looking for a genuinely organic product, make sure it has an official certification symbol.

Ingredients are listed either in Latin or in English. In some countries they must by listed in Latin according to law. Sometimes there is English translation  beside the Latin, which makes deciphering ingredients a little bit easier. Ingredient list will never tell you the exact amount of each ingredient in a product, but all the ingredients are listed in the order of quantity from the highest percentage to the smallest.

Many natural ingredients read like synthetics when they written in Latin. The more natural ingredients should be at the top of the list. and if there are any synthetic on the list they should be as far down the list as possible. In many products water is the main ingredient, therefore placed first on the list.

Hope I managed to explain to you how to read labels and it will help you, when purchasing your next skin care or make up product 🙂

Best known bodies certifying organic cosmetics

  • COSMOS (Europe-wide)
  • NASAA (Australia)
  • USDA (USA)
  • Soil Association (UK),
  • Ecocert (France)
  • Cosmebio (France).

Natural Standards

  • Ecocert Greenlife (a small amount of organic material is required);
  • BDIH (Germany) (doesn’t require organic material);
  • COSMOS has a natural level (doesn’t require organic material);
  • NATRUEhas a natural level (doesn’t require organic material);
  • Natural Products Association in US;
  • Whole Foods Premium Body Care Standards – a list of materials excluded from products they will stock in their stores.
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