Deceptive practices in skincare ingredient listings you need to be aware of

Deceptive practices in skincare ingredient listings you need to be aware of

There's a growing trend in how skincare and cosmetic brands showcase their ingredients on their websites. While these companies do disclose their ingredient lists, finding them can often feel like a treasure hunt.

The common tactic? Highlighting just three or four key ingredients in the product summary, sometimes elevating one to "hero" status in the product's name. Meanwhile, the complete list of ingredients tends to be buried in fine print, accessible only through a discreet dropdown menu.

And let’s face it—how many of us actually click to reveal these details?

This type of marketing is not just frustrating; it can be misleading. Most consumers trust these headlines at face value without delving deeper.

To illustrate this, let's compare two products:

Our Face Balm proudly lists its six ingredients, each in high concentrations and each considered 'active'. Our commitment to no fillers and chemicals means that every ingredient must play a crucial role. The result? It delivers intense hydration efficiently, so a little goes a long way.

Conversely, a similar product from a well-known 'clean beauty' brand appears comparable at first glance, with shea butter promoted as the hero ingredient. However, a deeper look into the product page reveals that shea butter is a fair way down the ingredient list, which is otherwise filled with numerous unnecessary additives.

Consider their list:


Water (aqua/eau) (remember this first ingredient is the one of the greatest quantity), glycerin, butylene glycol, dimethicone, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, propanediol, tricaprylin, glyceryl stearate se, cetyl alcohol, silica, myristyl myristate, peg-100 stearate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax (cera carnauba/cire de carnauba), hydrogenated polyisobutene, hydrogenated polydecene, behenyl alcohol, dimethylacrylamide/sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate crosspolymer, isostearic acid, stearyl alcohol, urea, glucosamine hcl, algae extract, saccharomyces cerevisiae extract, sodium pca, allantoin, ethylhexylglycerin, lauryl betaine, sodium citrate, disodium edta, sorbitan tristearate, phytosteryl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, alcohol, citric acid, carbomer, polysorbate 20, sodium hyaluronate, hypericum erectum extract, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, ceramide np, tocopherol, fragrance (parfum), geraniol, limonene, linalool, citral, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol.

This composition raises concerns, especially for those with sensitive skin:

  • Dimethicone: A silicone that smooths the skin but can trap impurities, potentially causing breakouts.
  • PEG-100 Stearate: An emulsifier that may contain impurities like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are considered carcinogenic.
  • Disodium EDTA: A preservative that can enhance the absorption of other potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Phenoxyethanol: Generally safe in small amounts but can be irritating, particularly to sensitive skin or in higher concentrations.
  • Fragrance (Parfum): Can include a mix of chemicals, some of which might be allergens or irritants.
  • Ethylhexylglycerin: Usually mild and safe, yet can occasionally cause skin reactions.
  • Butylene Glycol: Often safe, but potentially irritating in higher doses.

In stark contrast, our Face Balm keeps it simple:


Simmondsia chinensis (Organic Jojoba Oil), Oenothera Biennis (Organic Evening Primrose Oil Virgin), Mangifera indica (Mango Butter), Cera alba (Beeswax),Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Boswellia carterii (Organic Frankincense).

When it comes to skincare, we all seek effective results. However, one must consider whether the potential risks to health are worth the promised benefits, especially when products are laden with silicones, alcohols, and preservatives merely to enhance shelf life and profitability.

Do your research. Challenge the necessity and safety of each ingredient in your skincare products. Remember, marketers are more concerned with their bottom line than with your health.

Demand more from your skincare. Choose products that respect both your skin and your wellbeing.


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