Read the Label!

EFSA [European Food Safety Authority]
10th June 2015
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There is a very simple way to differentiate between the hype and truth in skin care…read the ingredient list on the label.

But do you know what it all means?

This image shows the ingredients in Olay Total Effects 7 Day Moisturiser & Serum…there are many potentially harmful ingredients listed in this product.

Let’s take a look at just one – Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate which is an anti-caking & viscosity increasing agent.  This is used to keep the product from clogging up & to keep it free flowing…so nothing to do with moisturising your skin.

The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database tells us “It is a chemical that is toxic to the human nervous system & is a suspected developmental neurotoxin.  The aluminium compounds are also suspected respiratory hazards…pretty ghastly eh?

It is a legal requirement that all skin care products must be labelled with the ingredients in descending order of their quantity in the product. Usually the top third of the list contains 90-95% of the product, the middle third usually contains 5-8% and the bottom third, 1-3%.

If you learned the names of just a few of the main chemicals to avoid you would be able to make much safer, informed, choices for you & your family.

Public pressure is increasing; manufacturers are at long last becoming aware of the rising tide of protest.

There is a great news article in Forbes… click here, which reveals that “Johnson & Johnson would remove quarternium-15 & other formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from all of its baby products worldwide.”

The whole thing will only take you a few minutes to read.

For years their baby products have contained 1,4-dioxane which is definitely a carcinogen or cancer causing element,  & formaldehyde, which is used for preserving dead bodies etc – however their announcement did not cover any other of their products e.g. Neutrogena & Aveena

Three years later the New York Times ran this article… click here, Johnson & Johnson announce “No More Tears” shampoo – Now With No Formaldehyde!

Be aware, too, that manufacturers have to comply with regulations in all the countries that sell their products.  Different countries have different rules & regulations.  You might buy a tube of Nivea cream for example,  in the UK & it will have vastly differing ingredients to the same product on sale in the USA or Italy or Greece.

I mention Nivea because I know someone who suddenly got a really bad rash after buying it in Italy – she usually buys it here in the UK & isn’t affected by it.  The great thing is we were able to work out why she got her rash & by just not using it she was completely healed in about a week.  It also put me on the track of investigating differing countries & their individual take on cosmetic ingredients, but more about that in another post.

Do let me know what you think?  Have you had an allergic reaction to a product? Do let me know…





  1. sacha says:

    I can’t remember the last time I had an allergic reaction. Since my skin is extra sensitive I don’t try a lot of products.

  2. Robyn says:

    This made me think about all the drug commercials I see…. the lists of side effects are always much longer than the list of benefits. Why would I take something that has a side effects lists longer than the benefits? Ingredients, for me, are much the same. If I can’t pronounce the ingredient then I just don’t use that product! Great info. THANKS

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