The art of reading the label is such a powerful tool. Yet, a lot of consumers are fooled by products that claim as “Natural”, “Cruelty-Free”, “Plant-based”. There are several ingredients that may sound toxic or chemical, but are in fact more natural than others. For example, I get a lot of questions about “phenoxyethanol”. It is a preservative found in many cosmetics with water in them and is relatively safe. It is also found in nature as well as in green tea. But consumers are alarmed by this ingredient and think of it as an alcohol or perhaps an endocrine disruptor. This brings me to the subject that little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So the nail polish you use may have nitrocellulose as the number one ingredient-also known as gun cotton and used to make explosives. But we see 95% brands calling nail polish safe and 3 free, or 5 free!
When reading a label, remember to see the top 5 ingredeints which make up the majority (about 90%) of the product where the top ingredient may be water or aloe vera leaf juice (75-90%). Sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, silicones are some ingredients you want to stay away from. Anyone claiming a Preservative Free or Chemical Free product is misguiding you! Water is also a chemical and so is salt and sugar. Think about it!
By Shilpi Jain, MS Hons.Chemistry, magna cum laude
President and Founder, Skinveda
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