The Quality Check, Purchasing Skincare Mindfully.
A detailed guide to understanding skincare.
Almost 73% percent of purchasing decisions are made at a point of sale, this tells us that packaging greatly influences our purchasing decisions, especially when it comes to skincare. While this may seem unreal, to us this number seems about right. As beauty brand, whose main products comprise of vegan skincare, we know how much work goes in to developing packaging for all your products.
That said, it is important to look beyond what the packaging looks like and determine whether or not the packaging itself right for the product you are using - this is the start of our Quality Check list.
One simple way to explain this is to understand the efficacy of ingredients and the environments they thrive in. Vitamin C is a big one when it comes to this, when this ingredient is exposed to air, light and or heat will degrade your serum, as such it is important to ensure that your Vitamin C serum is housed in a dark or frosted bottle.
As such, we developed our product first, and our packaging second. Once a product is created, you can then see the kind of home it needs to be in.
Ingredients Demystified: “The First Five” Rule, and then some.While there are several hormones that affect the skin including oestrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormones, the ones to impact the skin and its functions are Oestrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. Extreme skin dryness, acne flare-ups, pigmentation, flakes, and so on and so forth, are some of the changes that are seen on the skin due to hormones.
Taking a cue from this, here’s a quick guide on how to understand your skincare product’s ingredient labels better.
When reading an ingredient list in skincare, it is similar to reading labels of food, and the like. Skincare brands list their ingredients according to the INCI regulations, the INCI otherwise known as International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, has been around since the 1970s, as such nearly all brands list their ingredients according to their regulations.
According to INCI Regulations brands must print ingredients on their labels form highest to lowest concentration. Let’s look in to this further.
“The First Five” Rule
As a result to the INCI regulations, “The First Five” rule has become somewhat of an industry standard, what does this rule entail? Let’s dive right in!
- The first ingredient in a skincare product’s ingredient label generally makes up 70% or more of the product, which is acceptable, and is generally water based.
- Thereafter the next four ingredients are 3-5% each of the product.
- Having said that, even though those after the first five ingredients are much lower in concentration, this doesn’t mean that there are no actives in the last few ingredients.
- Look out for thickeners, preservatives and or fillers if that’s something you’re concerned about.
- When reading your labels note that there are many ingredients that companies put in their cosmetics as an attempt to ‘greenwash’ their products to make them more attractive to the conscious consumer.
Claims and Certifications
Beyond the ingredients you must then learn about the different claims and or certifications products have. Below are a few examples of the different logos and or statements beauty brands put on their packaging.
Dermatologist Tested vs. Approved
Dermatologist-approved is considered to have more weight and or significance than dermatologist-tested, however, we always encourage an in-person visit with a dermatologist who can see your skin, assess it and can provide you with the necessary information that’s great for your skin.
Organic vs. All Natural
These two claims can be very vague, as such we recommend reading your ingredient labels, and learning about the brand to determine what their priorities are in terms of products so that. You know whether quality ingredients are a priority to them.
PETA & Cruelty Certified
Companies that are certified with the PETA and or Leaping Bunny logo, would have had to submit a thorough description of how each their ingredients are sourced, as well as how their products are being manufactures. They would then be made to sign PETA’s statement of assurance, and or provided a declaration stating that they do not conduct or commission any animal testing on ingredients, formulations and finished products.
As such companies who make a commitment to this certification, are generally quite thorough in terms of their commitment to clean, quality ingredients.
Reviews and Testimonials
With influencers and bloggers growing in number in this day and age, authenticity is becoming harder and harder to determine. That said, most influencers generally try to be authentic giving you more and more information about a product. Going by a research study, “Third-party online reviews are thought to be highly influential because information seekers perceive online reviewers as objective peers with experience with the entity they want to learn more about." More so, if you search for reviews online or on platforms like YouTube or TikTok, you may come across videos of many real users who are skincare enthusiasts who talk about products that are free from product bias or brand promotion.
Additionally, looking for ratings and comments can help you decide on your purchase better.
When you’ve looked over all of the above and choose to buy a product, and for some reason aren’t convinced, you as a consumer have the right to ask as many questions and choose what’s right for you.
Apart from learning the above, some simple ways that can help you purchase products better:
- Reach out to the brand for more information.
- Purchase a trial pack, or if available ask for samples.
- Go over the brand’s website, their values speak volumes
With education as one of our brand’s key values, we want to bring to you information that’s accurate and backed by research.
Choose wisely and responsibly and be the founders of your skincare journey! Happy skincare shopping!
Rubin CB, Brod B. Natural Does Not Mean Safe—The Dirt on Clean Beauty Products. JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(12):1344–1345. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.2724
ldebe, Amara, and Zeinab Alfattal. The Influence of Third-Party Online Reviews on Consumers’ Online Purchase Intention for Skincare. Diva-Portal.org,
Ferreira, Mariana, et al. Overview of Cosmetic Regulatory Frameworks around the World. www.mdpi.com, 4 Oct. 2021, https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/9/4/72/pdf.
Al-Niaimi, F., & Chiang, N. (2017). Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 10(7), 14–17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605218/