‘Natural’ is the buzzword when it comes to skincare (and food and laundry detergents and pretty much most things these days!) but if you’re not a chemist, how in the world do you decipher product labels to find out whether what’s going into that product is really natural?
The one big tip we give our customers when it comes to reading ingredient lists - and this goes for everything from food to skincare to cosmetics is to pay particular attention to the first three ingredients on the label. If those three ingredients are not natural (i.e. an oil, a herb, something clearly recognisable etc.), it’s a good indication that the product isn’t truly natural but made from naturally-derived ingredients.
“As a general rule, 90% of what goes into a skincare product is in the first three ingredients on an ingredients list.”
As a general rule, 90% of what goes into a skincare product is in the first three ingredients on an ingredients list, it’s a good way of finding out if what you’re purchasing is a truly natural, and not just ‘naturally-derived’, product.
What’s the difference? Well, SLS or sodium lauryl sulphate (the harsh cleansing ingredient used most commonly in everything from shampoos to industrial detergents) was originally, and often still is, naturally derived from coconuts! Many colour additives to our food and skincare also come from natural sources, although just like other ingredients, they are heavily processed.
So, natural is often a sliding scale, and if the brand you’re buying is truly natural, that will be clearly reflected in its ingredient list.