Ever wonder what those cosmetic ingredients are on the back of your favorite beauty product? Not to worry, Daily Mom is here to take the mystery out, and help you decipher the 11 most common cosmetic ingredients found in beauty products.
11 Common Cosmetic Ingredients
What it is: Is a fat-soluble compound. It is also known as Vitamin E.
What it does: Acts as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from free-radicals. As well, it has anti-inflammatory properties and aids in moisturizing the skin.
Where you’ll find it: Found in most beauty products such as shampoo, conditioner, skincare products, bath & body products, foundations, and often found in mascara. You’ll also find this cosmetic ingredient in other types of make-up and serums due to tocopherol’s many benefits. This is definitely not an ingredient to fear!
What it is: A group of silicone molecules
What it does: Gives makeup products a slip and slide feel and lubricates the skin without feeling heavy. As well, since it helps with redness and inflammation it is usually used with harsher ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to mask the irritation.
Where you’ll find it: Most beauty products; moisturizers, body lotions, sunscreen, anti-aging serums, eye creams, foundations, facial powder, eye shadow, conditioner and hair dye.
(Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben and Isobutylparaben)
What it is: A man-made chemical used for preserving ingredients.
What it does: These cosmetic ingredients prevent that expensive cosmetic from forming bacteria and fungus!
Where you’ll find it: Personal care items such as; deodorants, foundations, creams, makeup, shampoo etc.
READ MORE: DIY Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Facial
What it is: A natural mineral taken from oxide of titanium.
What it does: It has many functions. It acts as a filler, making the cosmetic product more opaque. It is a coloring agent as it will give products a “whitish” hue. Also, it acts as a preservative and sunscreen by reflecting light.
Where you’ll find it: powder cosmetics, mineral makeup, sunscreen, vitamins.
Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
What it is: A foaming/cleaning agent.
What it does: Gives products that gentle, foaming quality
Where you’ll find it: Shampoos, cleansers, toothpastes and various household cleaning products
Sodium laureth sulphate (SLES)
What it is: A foaming/cleaning agent.
What it does: Gives products that gentle, foaming quality.
Where you’ll find it: Shampoo, cleansers, toothpastes and various household cleaning products
NOTEWORTHY: Due to the hype associated with SLS, a lot of companies now use this ingredient, since it causes less irritation. SLES is NOT a carcinogen, however, when mixed with certain chemicals such as ethylene oxide or 1, 4-dioxane it can be a carcinogenic. (Read the labels of baby shampoo for these ingredients, as it has been found in some popular brands in the past.)
What it is: Colorless, flammable gas that is found in the environment.
What it does: These cosmetic ingredients prevent products from expiring. It is mainly used as a preservative. In cosmetics it is used as a liquid form called formalin. Common formaldehyde releasers include; quaternium-15 and DMDM hydantoin.
Where you’ll find it: nail polishes, nail hardeners (note in nail hardeners formaldehyde is an active ingredient not a preservative) as well as the “Brazilian blowout” hair straighteners, shampoo, makeup, toiletries etc.
(Avobenzone, Mexoryl, Oxybenzone, Benzophenone)
What it is: Chemical UV filter.
What it does: These cosmetic ingredients help to block UV rays. Benzophenone prevents ultraviolet (UV) light from damaging scents and colors in products such as perfumes and soaps
Where you’ll find it: Sunblock, foundations, anything with sunscreen in it.
BENZOYL, DIPHENYLMETHANONE, A-OXODITANE, PARSOL 1789, EUSOLEX 9020, ESCALOL 517
(Cetyl alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Cetearyl Alcohol)
What it is: A fatty alcohol that acts as an emulsifier and emollient.
What it does: Mixes oil and water phases or vice versa. Also used as a lubricant. It allows the product to spread easily. That soft feeling you get after you condition your hair comes from this group of ingredients.
Where you’ll find it: Hair products, mainly conditioners and deep treatments.
(Isopropyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Palmitate)
What it is: A fatty acid that acts as an emollient and binder.
What it does: Lubricates and conditions the skin as well as holds all the ingredients together.
Where you’ll find it: Skincare, face and eye makeup, shampoo, deodorant, after shaves etc.
(Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE)
What it is: An emulsifier and a humectant. It is sourced from animal or plant fats. It can also be manufactured synthetically.
What it does: Mixes oil and water phases, but most importantly is able to absorb and retain moisture in the skin.
Where you’ll find it: Moisturizers, hand creams, body creams, soaps etc.
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