What do the inscriptions on cosmetic bottles mean? How to read a label to evaluate the effectiveness of the content


  • Analysis of the composition of decorative cosmetics
  • How to check if cosmetics are safe?
  • Harmful substances and components in cosmetics
  • Why are cosmetic chemicals so dangerous?
  • Analysis of natural ingredients in cosmetics

Those who are new to the chemical names of cosmetics ingredients prefer not to go into details - the list of ingredients on the package often resembles a cipher. But it is also not entirely correct to treat with indifference what is on your skin every day. This material is dedicated to the safety of products in your cosmetic bag, as well as tips that will allow you to analyze the composition of cosmetics.

Analysis of the composition of decorative cosmetics: what affects the effectiveness?

Before considering each component separately, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the basic principles of the "device" of the composition of cosmetics.

The order in which the ingredients are listed depends on their concentration. In the first place is always the substance, which is larger in percentage terms. In the list, all components are arranged in descending order. At the very end - substances whose content is about 1%.And what is in the composition in even smaller quantities may not be prescribed at all.

Product advertising can give the impression that a particular beneficial ingredient is the main ingredient in the formula. The composition indicated on the label allows you to understand how things are in reality. Sometimes the list of ingredients stretches for a dozen lines, but today it is more common to trust "pure" formulas, which consist of a small number of components - they do not confuse the buyer.

Also, when analyzing the ingredients, it is useful to know that any product includes a base (80-90% of the content) and active ingredients (about 10-15% of the composition), as well as additions in the form of preservatives and fragrances (may take up to 5% ).

The safety of a formula often depends on the basis. Its task is to ensure the delivery of active ingredients and prevent dehydration of the skin; at the same time, it is important that it does not disturb the physiological processes in the skin.

If the first positions in the composition are propylene glycol (deprives the skin of air, creating a film on its surface), isopropyl alcohol (dehydrates and irritates the skin), lanolin (a strong allergen), sodium laureth sulfate (you can recognize it by the abbreviation SLES - in concentrations of more than 2% has a toxic effect), this is a reason to be wary. Meanwhile, we have listed only some of the substances that do not make cosmetics useful.

How to check if cosmetics are safe?

Basic knowledge about the composition of cosmetics in general helps to at least offhand determine whether the manufacturer has taken care of the safety of the composition. If you do not undertake to draw conclusions on your own, refer to one of the many auxiliary services - for example, Cosmobase, Ecogolik, Ekokosmetika. Some of them offer to copy the entire list of ingredients and as a result give out a comprehensive analysis of the composition.

There you can also check individual components that cause doubts. Information in such services is based on data from the INCI database (stands for "International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients" ), and ratings are based on data from eco-organizations.

Harmful substances and components in cosmetics


These are ammonia derivatives found in face creams and hair products; they are used as a thickener and pH regulator. Can cause skin irritation, and in large quantities even affect the functioning of internal organs such as the thyroid gland.


Cosmetics manufacturers need parabens as a preservative. Once on the skin, they easily penetrate deep into and then can cause a whole range of consequences, from hormonal disorders to DNA damage, according to some scientists.Meanwhile, they are contained, according to industry sources, in 90% of cosmetics.


They cause harm both to the skin, clogging pores, and to the environment. In the meantime, they are added to cosmetics anyway, using their emollient properties.


These substances help cosmetics retain their color and fragrance, and hair sprays securely fix hair after styling. At the same time, phthalates, penetrating the body, sometimes become the culprits of hormonal disorders, affecting, for example, male sexual functions.


The least this carcinogen can do is cause irritation. But despite everything, it is often present even in moisturizers.


This powder, so often included in powder products, retains water and inhibits oxidative processes inside the cosmetic jar. At the same time, it can clog pores and draw moisture out of the skin, dehydrating it.


The purpose of many fragrances is not only to make your favorite product smell good. With their help, the unpleasant odor of other chemicals in the composition is eliminated. Most often, fragrances are a mixture of synthetic substances, the composition of which is not disclosed by manufacturers, citing trade secrets - they write “perfume” on the packaging. They may contain strong allergens.

Why are cosmetic chemicals so dangerous?

Many ingredients are present only to give the product the desired properties: for example, to make its texture comfortable and the aroma pleasant. This “benefit” does not apply to the skin.Most often, on the contrary, you can get a skin reaction in the form of irritation. Individual substances can negatively affect the hormonal background, the functioning of organs or even entire systems.

If we take into account that harmful components are contained in cosmetics not one at a time, but there can be a dozen of products that every girl uses daily, then the likelihood of unpleasant consequences increases. Plus, when one or another substance enters the body, a cumulative effect can be observed, which sooner or later will make itself felt.

However, do not forget: even if the composition of cosmetics is safe, it is very important to properly store the products and clean the brushes regularly. We talked about how to wash brushes at home in this video.

Analysis of natural ingredients in cosmetics

In contrast to those brands that generously saturate cosmetic formulations with chemicals, there are more and more beauty brands that advocate all natural. They work with botanical ingredients - oils and extracts, as well as mud, clay, s alt and many other ingredients that are not synthesized in laboratories.

Many people try not to chemically process such components, but use, again, only natural substances as preservatives - in particular, propolis, eucalyptus extract.

The positive properties of natural ingredients are not only the absence of harm; in terms of how much skin benefits such products contain, they are in no way inferior to high-tech “cosmetics of the future”: these are various vitamins (A, E, C), panthenol, hyaluronic acid and much more.

1natural oils

They all act differently, but most often they are used to nourish the skin, restore the hydrolipidic balance. So, avocado oil promotes the production of collagen and elastin, coconut oil helps the skin with antibacterial properties, and macadamia oil has an antipollution effect. You can read about some products with oils in this article.

2plant extracts

Just like oils, different plant extracts have different functions: for example, aloe extract is good for soothing the skin and has a healing effect, jasmine and rose extracts soften the skin, and green tea extract provides antioxidant benefits.


They are obtained from rocks and are most often added to decorative cosmetics - powder, shadows, blush and other dry products. They are able to soothe the skin, relieve inflammation, normalize pH; covering the skin with crystalline "flakes" , they create physical UV protection.And the compositions of creams are saturated with minerals with the help of thermal water.