One of our favorite ingredients is Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, also known as sweet almond oil. Another great ingredient is Hydrous Alumina Silicate, which might sound worse than it is. It’s actually sea clay, which is all natural, rich on minerals and very beneficial to the skin.
A lot of people stay clear of ingredients that they can’t pronounce the name of, but the thing about cosmetics’ labels (in Europe) is that ingredients need to be listed by their INCI names, which are based on scientific names as well as Latin. I don’t speak Latin and I don’t know all scientific names at the top of my head, and I’m sure most people don’t either, so this logic causes more worry than shortcuts. Some ingredients do have really long and weird names, and yes, some of them are bad for you, but you can’t tell by simply looking at the order of the letters in their names.
Harmful – or harmful to you?
I could probably pronounce Methylisothiazolinone (especially MIT or MI), but that doesn’t make it any better of an ingredient. It’s actually a terrible ingredient used in a vide variety of products, ranging from skin care products to paint. Getting an allergy towards MI could make it impossible to stay in a room that was painted months ago.
Citral is another name that’s especially easy to pronounce, and in most cases this is a harmless ingredient. Citral is an allergen that’s found in many different essential oils (like lemon, lime and orange) and fragrance oils. When an allergen is present at above a certain amount (0,001% in leave-on products / 0,01% in rinse-off products) in a finished product, it needs to be included on the label (in Europe). That’s because to people who are allergic to it (about 1% of the population), it can be an irritant or even dangerous. Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone is an example of an allergen with a more complex name (which doesn’t automatically make it any worse than Citral).
Knowledge is power
Some ingredients are harmful by themselves, and some are harmful to individuals due to allergies and sensitivities. In a market where harmful ingredients are still legally used, it’s unfortunately the consumer’s own responsibility to stay clear of these. The name’s complexity alone simply won’t tell if it’s dangerous or not, or whether or not your body is allergic to it. Knowledge is power, and apparently at some level the ability to read latin is also power. Choose a reliable supplier of products that go on your skin to avoid harmful chemicals, and make sure to follow usage instructions and test new products on a small area to make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction to it before using it all over your body.
INCI name VS. common name
This is the ingredients list of our Fresh Snow body butter in latin names:
Mangifera Indica Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Tapioca Starch, Parfum, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Ultramarine Blue (CI 77007), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Tin Oxide (CI 77861), Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool.
All natural oils, colorants, as well as a fragrance oil turns into a big ingredients list. These are the same ingredients with their common names:
Mango butter, shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, tapioca powder, fragrance oil, micas (colorant), allergens.
These are all good – even when the names are latin! We list every ingredient in all of our product descriptions (found under Additional Information). View our full range of products and remember to check the ingredients!