Your Foolproof Guide to Decoding Beauty Ingredient Labels

Deven Hopp

You’ve become a pro at thoroughly inspecting the ingredient labels on food, but beauty product labels are a different story. For starters, the majority of beauty ingredients don’t even look like English. Plus, the “don’t touch it if you can’t pronounce it” philosophy that keeps you eating clean doesn’t always carry over to cosmetics. Sometimes, a scary-sounding ingredient can actually be a beneficial vitamin or mineral, and other times, an ingredient that looks like it’s in a different language can turn out to be a toxic chemical (one you certainly don’t want to put on your face). Sorting out the innocuous from the harmful seems like a job for a master chemist or Marissa Waller, founder of the non-toxic beauty retailer BeaTeaBar.com, and longtime ingredient label decoder. Even if memorising a science textbook is not high on your priorities list, there are a few classes of ingredients you should be familiar with.

Keep reading for a lesson in ingredient list translation!

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