Cosmetic Labels

Ever get really excited about a product and can’t wait to use it…

Then your phone dies and your stuck in the bathroom reading labels like it’s 1998?

How the Hell do you read these labels?

Well that’s what happened to me. I had a super nice bath and even my husband said I smelled really good after it.  This Epsom salt bath with eucalyptus and spearmint smells really nice and was very relaxing.


But look at this:


Fragrance is 5th on the bottle and Eucalyptus “globules” and spearmint extract are #19 and #20.

The first thing you need to know about reading a cosmetic label is that they are listed in order of quantity.

So there is more fragrance(which can be 9000 different chemicals), salt and bubble ingredients are before the actual “feel good” ingredients.

Secondly and slightly contradicting to the first is the concentration of the ingredient.

Some chemicals and extracts are harmful to your skin so they are lower on the list but can still be active ingredients. Tea tree oils are like this, too much tea tree oil can burn your skin.

“Also, depending on the concentration used, the order of the ingredients could be misleading. As an example, lets assume we used 1 mL of 0.005% concentration of ingredient A and 0.1 mL of 50% concentration of ingredient B to make our product. In this case, ingredient A is listed ahead of B since the volume is higher by 10X. However, if we do the math, there is actually 10X more of ingredient B in the product because it is much more concentrated. So the ingredient tells you there is more of A than B, but this is actually not true!” –

After looking at eucalyptus oil and knowing these ways of reading labels it is recommended to under 25% concentration in skin care products. So that explains why it’s so far down on the list.

I’m still not impressed that fragrance is so high at the list.

The term “fragrance” on a product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various chemicals and ingredients, added to provide a pleasant scent, or (more often) to mask a bad one, says Tina Sigurdson, General Counsel at the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Here is a great resource for more about fragrance usage:

Watch out for some labels are on the boxes but not the jars:

By the ingredients it will usually have the product expiry date, and they will list (like above) any other information such as being cruelty free, gluten free, gmo free, etc..

Look out or other chemicals like on the bubble bath label, using’s easy to use look up:

methylchloroisothiazolinone is not listed but is a potential neurotoxin.


Now pretty much all the chemicals that are yellow to red are just irritants, and can cause a rash or allergies don’t super apply to me I have pretty healthy skin and I know what to stay away from for my skin type. I’m not sensitive to strong smells or harsher soaps on my body, my face on the other hand I do have to watch out for.

Also look out for the packaging. “Natural” is just a term there is no regulation behind it.  And to be perfectly honest this bubble bath company just makes me think of this:

Dr Teal’s Snake Oil Bubble Bath “The Venom is Exfoliating!”

But I’m happier knowing how to read a label and understanding the ingredients to be safe.


2 thoughts on “Cosmetic Labels

  1. Pingback: Étiquettes cosmétiques - Sweet Cherry Spa - Equilibreplus

    • I go through my cosmetic ingredient dictionary, i have linked in my post to which will explain whats in each product and why its used.

      Je passe par mon dictionnaire d’ingrédients cosmétiques, j’ai lié dans mon message à qui va expliquer ce qui est dans chaque produit et pourquoi il est utilisé.


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