Understanding Your Skincare Ingredients

Here at Jersey Beauty HQ we talk to lots of customers and curious folk every day of the year (well almost, we do get some time off for good behaviour!) and have done since around 2006. That’s a whole heap of conversations and the one consistent theme that keeps popping up is ingredients; what they are, how they work and whether they are as sinister and dastardly as some reports may say.

Over the coming weeks we will be looking at ingredients in more detail but to kick things off, here’s some top tips to think about when assessing what's in your skincare products:

Natural does not always mean good for skin

The broad use of the term natural can be questioned more closely and rigorously. Tons upon tons of chemicals that are used (some of which are not such good guys where skin health is concerned) are by their very nature, naturally occurring. Natural is often used as a super effective, feel good marketing tool based on the general understanding that natural means good. Sometimes it is of course fabulously good for skin but remember to remember that it’s not always so and if you're wanting to take a more natural approach think skin health first and research those ingredients!

Disaster headlines always have a sub plot

How often do you get to hear horrifically awful things about the ‘bad guys’ of cosmetic ingredients? Carcinogenic, petrochemical and toxic are mentioned so frequently and the context repeated so often that the truth gets submerged somewhere between research and understanding! Thinking critically, researching the source of information and taking a logical, deductive approach will help you get to grips with weeding out the horror fiction from the horror facts.

Not all ingredients are created equally

Ingredients are often lumped together as their whole. A great example is parabens where studies highlighted risk that one particular type of paraben could be possibly carcinogenic which has led to all parabens being characterised as such in the public domain. How often do you hear, read or are told to avoid all parabens at all costs? Understanding context and source is key in understanding that not all ingredients are equal, irrespective of grouping.

Stick to your values and to the facts

Choosing cosmetics from a personal position is a great place to start, come from a place based on your own personal values research and understanding and try to ditch those sometimes confused or conflicting marketing messages. Ingredients such as Mineral Oil are a great example of what has become a trigger point for reasons other than the source, muddying an industrial process with a sanitary byproduct of the process. Dirty, toxic and carcinogenic are words often used to describe what is an inert and skin friendly ingredient.  Analysing the facts and physical data as well as keeping your personal wants, needs and values in mind will help keep fact from fiction and ensure that your buying choices are the right ones for you personally.

That's it for now, a quick fire top tip rundown to get you started. If you have any thoughts, we’d love to hear how you wade through the noise and chatter on skincare ingredients. We’d also love to hear which ingredients you’d like us to cover in more details in the coming weeks.