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Are You Getting What You Pay For With Regards to the Ingredients?

Have you ever spent money on a commercial lotion or soap because it claimed to contain natural components or another type of moisturizer, only to discover that you got nothing out of it but a waste of your money?

If you answered “yes” to this question, you should know that you are not the only one.

In order to satiate the need that customers have for natural products, the commercial cosmetics sector has begun to list natural components such as aloevera and, more recently, shea butter on the labels of their products.

You may even pay extra for the presence of natural components, but are you receiving your money’s worth

Are You Getting What You Pay For With Regards to the Ingredients?foto:

When shopping for products with labels boasting a variety of specific claims, be/ sure to keep the following in mind:

1) According to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, the contents must be stated in a quantity-based sequence that decreases from highest to lowest. This indicates that whichever ingredient constitutes the majority of the product should be listed first; consequently, if you are looking for a product that contains shea butter, you should look for that ingredient towards the top of the product’s ingredient list.

2) The term “natural” refers to a product in which the active components have not been manufactured but rather are derived from the original plant or animal source. Even though it is said that there is no evidence that natural components are better for the skin, I can definitely tell the difference when using all natural bath oil as opposed to the 100% mineral oil (a synthetic oil that is generated from petroleum) that I’ve used in the past.

3) The term “hypoallergenic” appears on the packaging of cosmetics and indicates that the item will not likely produce an allergic reaction. When you see terminology like “dermatologist-tested” or “nonirritating,” or other comments that imply the product has been evaluated, this does not necessarily mean that you will not have an adverse reaction to the product.

4) Products that promise to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines typically contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) as active components in their formulations. When applying these components, you should always exercise extreme caution and do a patch test first to identify whether or not a reaction will take place. When taking AHA, you should also stay out of the sun as much as possible and always wear sunscreen.

5) The soap that you are familiar with is actually a synthetic detergent bar that is governed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Soap is not required to fulfill FDA rules unless it promises to do something other than clean, so long as it does not make any other claims. If the bar of soap advertises itself as a deodorant soap, then it is deemed a cosmetic and is subject to FDA rules because of this. If it claims to eliminate dandruff or make any other kind of medical claim, then it needs to be classified as a medicine, it needs to contain the proper drug labeling, and it needs to meet the FDA’s requirements for both safety and effectiveness. Since I started using homemade soaps, I haven’t had the same problem with my skin becoming dry as I did when I used commercial soaps. This is because handmade soaps preserve natural glycerin, a humectant which attracts moisture to your skin, whereas the commercial soaps remove the glycerin to use in more profitable goods.

Remember that handmade bath and body products often have a higher percentage of natural ingredients. This is especially true of natural soaps.

I strongly advise you to do some comparison shopping before making any purchases, regardless of whether you want to buy “natural” or “commercial” products, because not all products are made equal. If you want to assess whether or not you are getting your money’s worth, you need to know what to look for in terms of the ingredients and how they are described.

Think about how the product makes your skin feel after using it; for example, does it leave your skin feeling dry or does it feel supple and moisturized?

This essay is not intended to criticize commercial products; rather, it is designed to provide you with the information you need to make an educated choice on those products and what you will actually be receiving.

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