We all ask ourselves, “what are these ingredients in my skin care products”? How many ingredient names can you pronounce when you are reading the labels on your skin care products? Navigating your way through a list of skin care ingredients can be overwhelming. Everything sounds so chemical, unnatural, toxic, and in some cases, like complete gibberish. These ingredients MUST be bad for you, right? Wrong!

It’s not uncommon for someone to read the ingredients on a skin care label and immediately make the assumption that the product must be bad for you.  We hear it all the time, “If I can’t pronounce it, I’m certainly not putting it on my face”.  Well, let’s take a look at what all the fuss is about and get a clear perspective on what these skin care ingredients really are. We’re here to help you decode and understand your skincare labels.

What’s an INCI Name?

The skin care ingredients listed on your product labels have what we call, INCI names. INCI is an abbreviation for, International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient. Fancy right? The FDA requires that all cosmetic ingredients, which includes skin care ingredients, are consistent from product to product, brand to brand, and company to company. It’s essentially a standardization of ingredient listings that are always consistent. INCI names are mandatory and also internationally recognized. This makes it much easier for consumers to compare products. Well, if you understand what you’re reading it does. Realistically, the crazier an ingredient looks on the label, the more likely it may be naturally derived, and even fabulous for your skin.

Wait, that’s a Vitamin?

When you’re wondering what those ingredients are in your skin care products remember this.  Skin-friendly vitamins also get misinterpreted because they really don’t look like they should on a skin care label. Panthenol is actually Vitamin B5, Ascorbyl Palmitate is a form of Vitamin C, and Tocopheryl Acetate is actually a form of Vitamin E. Who knew?  And two of my favorites – Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane and Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate. Yeah, try saying that 10 times fast. Any guesses what they are? Well, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane is a skin lightening ingredient and potent antioxidant that is derived from turmeric. You know, the spice? And Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate is also known as licorice root. It too is a plant extract that helps with skin discoloration and provides a brighter complexion.

When in doubt…Look it up!

If you aren’t certain what an ingredient is or what it does just look it up. There are countless online resources you can refer to. Just don’t think that if you can’t pronounce it then it must be bad. Chances are it’s natural, plant-based, a skin healthy vitamin or just some weird plant found in the Arctic. Who knows? But, when in doubt check it out. Your skin deserves to know! For more information on skin care ingredients go to Whim ingredients.