CODEBOOK 101: HOW TO CHOOSE A SKINCARE PRODUCT

All you need to know before stepping into the Skincare ball game!

We have compiled here the 5 ultimate Skincare codes to decrypt, before choosing the right Skincare product for you.

If you think choices can make life easy, you don’t know the pain and helplessness of ‘choice overload’. More is not always better. Don’t believe me? Go to any nearest Sephora outlet, or any Beauty Retail Store near you. I am 100% sure that there is no single women on this planet, who went there and didn’t get flabbergasted by the bewildering collection of skincare products stacked on their racks.

The Skincare and beauty industry has colossally expanded in the last decade, resulting in a maddening array of extremely appealing skincare products; making the already daunting phase of purchasing something, excruciatingly confusing.

As difficult as it may sound, would you believe me if I say that the secret key to this perplexing puzzle is encrypted right behind the product you are holding?

I know you won’t, Sigh!

Yes, I know what I’m saying. The answer lies right behind the product packaging; you just have to decode it. It’s kind of a secret message like a ‘MORSE CODE’. So, I am here to acquaint you all to the basics of ‘SKINCARE DECODING’ that will help you to skim through those giant, tiring shelves in few minutes.

CODE #1: THE FIRST 6 INGREDIENTS

As my favourite beauty YouTuber ‘Hyram’ says, “Ingredients don’t lie”

The first 6 ingredients are the deciders. They tell you in seconds whether the product is trash, or is worth your cash!

The theory behind this code is, that the ingredients are listed in chronological order behind the product packaging. Therefore, the first 6 ingredients are present in highest percentages, and it is crucial that the ingredients that form the bulk of the product are high-yield, good for skin, don’t cause any reactions or sensitivity, and deliver what is promised by the product. Sadly, a lot of products out there, even those from well-reputed beauty brands, are exploiting their consumers by hiding behind this code, and not delivering what they are chanting. The companies clearly write their ingredients behind, but it is us who are unable to understand what they mean.

So how to interpret them?

If you are an amateur and don’t know much about ingredients and their purposes, I recommend to assist your purchase with ‘Paula’s Choice Skincare; Ingredient Dictionary’. The link is right here below:

https://www.paulaschoice.com/ingredient-dictionary

This dictionary is a life saver! The ingredients are arranged alphabetically. Click on the first initial of your concerned ingredient, find your ingredient and VOILA! Clear color coding varying from blue, green, orange, and red according to its reactivity with skin ranging from best, good, average, and poor respectively. Along with all the relevant information you must know is there on your screen.

CODE #2: FRAGRANCES

To all those girls drooling over their skincare products because they smell so nice. I, with heavy heart, want to tell them, ‘they are not meant to be’. It’s a product that must be applied on your skin; your skin absorbs it within and they then eventually diffuse into your bloodstream. So please! Stop this nuisance and go buy a good perfume for yourself. Don’t try to compensate it in your skincare products. Fragrances in skincare products irritate your skin and, can cause severe hypersensitivity reactions.

Ingredients like limonene, linalool, citronellol, parfum etc. mentioned on the product label are all fragrances. And products containing them should not be preferred at all, especially for those with sensitive skin. The last thing you want this 2020 is an ‘irritated skin’.

CODE #3: ALCOHOL

Alcohols are volatile and stripping, simple chemistry. So is there any solid reason for them to be in your skincare product? NO!

Alcohols, especially petroleum-based, i.e. denatured alcohol, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol are hazardous for your skin and will cause serious detrimental effects slowly, but surely. Products having alcohol among the first 6 ingredients must not be considered at all. Just ignore them as if they don’t even exist!

For instance, just take a look at the ingredient list of a very famous sunscreen, ‘MIISHA All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++ (70ml)’, and note ‘Alcohol Denatured’ as the third ingredient.

I don’t think I have to elaborate any further. You all are smart enough!

CODE #4: BE SPECIFIC

If you are looking for a product to target a specific condition, for example: acne. Look for products that have the potent active ingredient; Salicylic acid in this case. The active ingredient must be present at the start, or mid of the ingredient list in some cases. Otherwise the product is no different than any other one in the shelf. Just tally all the promises a company makes in front, to the ingredients in the back. You will know where they stand!

For instance, take a look at CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser and its ingredients. Salicylic acid is acidic in nature hence, its amount has to be controlled in a product for optimal results. As everything before Phenoxyethanol is present more than 1% in the product. Salicylic acid is still the hero ingredient!

 

CODE #5: THE EXFOLIANT RULE

Listen to me very carefully! When dermatologists suggest us to exfoliate our skin at least once a week, they don’t mean viciously rubbing walnut or apricot scrubs on our face. This is pure butchery!

Our skin keeps regenerating every day, but is a bit slow getting rid of those old dead cells that stay accumulated on top of your skin. Exfoliation get rid of this layer allowing new skin cells to come up and breath. So, you have to be gentle for the sake of your newborn skin babies. By using such scrubs you are peeling your entire skin off. Nothing will be left to regenerate and repair to then. In spite, you will promote severe inflammatory reactions and irritation that will take years to subside, and can promote ageing too.

The exfoliant should be mild enough to scrub in first contact and then dissolve gradually like sugar. Another safer and better option is to use a good chemical exfoliator like Ordinary AHA BHA solution.

This is the packaging of St. Ives Apricot scrub. You will surely bleed to death if you use it 3-4 times per week as instructed on the label.

So my beautiful readers! I have spilled out all the beans, of the charismatic skincare industry, out here. By keeping in mind all the above mentioned tips, your will now shop like a boss; without the fear of being swindled, or opting for a wrong choice.

No one can fool you now, as you are completely equipped to face the façade of this beauty industry and decode all their secret codebooks

But that’s not it, there are much more juicy beauty secrets and codes yet to construe!

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