Until a few years ago, I never knew what the deal was with those illegible labels on the back of skin care products. Do you?
When I started my personal search for 100% natural skin care, I really couldn't see the forest for the trees: ecocert, natrue, fair trade... and many other quality marks. But I also read: Dimethicone, Allantoin, cyclowattes? And many ingredients that are completely unrecognizable to me. Should I look them all up in a dictionary?
And oh yes, I also searched for vegan, cruelty-free, organic and 100% natural. But where can I actually check those statements?
We all put a lot on our faces and let's be honest: I don't think most people know what you are actually putting on your face, what the quality marks stand for and what the terms 'natural based' do or do not mean.
Quality marks for skincare
Do you ever pay attention to quality marks when you want to purchase something? Well, I have looked into it carefully, because with Food for Skin we wanted to certify and I can tell you: there is a lot that is good, unfortunately there are also quality marks of the type “We at WC duck recommend WC duck”, in other words: quality marks created by chemical companies. So do some research if you think that a quality mark is really important and go to those websites and look up additional information. Personally, my research has completely turned me off to the fact that it is important to have a quality mark. I'm definitely in favor of high and clear standards, that could clarify a lot, but just like with chocolate (coincidentally my previous job) there is a jumble of quality marks for skin care at the moment.
As mentioned, standards and control are absolutely important. But even the strictest certifiers may still contain certain % of ingredients that, in my opinion, do not belong there. Food for Skin is standardized (not yet certified due to high costs) on Natrue. Natrue is one of the strictest certifiers, but let's be honest: there too you have categories, for example, making category 3 slightly less 'pure' than category 1. And the ultimate consumer never sees that! Our advice is: check your ingredients, ask your favorite brand where they come from and under what conditions it is made. Because if we, consumers, don't 'ask', the Big Beauties (the big pharmas) certainly won't 'run'.
Check cosmetic ingredients
Can you identify the ingredients on the back of your jar of shampoo? I don't, still not, even now that I already know a lot about it. This is partly due to the fact that, according to EU legislation, you must use INCIs. INCI stands for: International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, or the international naming system for cosmetic ingredients. And that is why the backs are really not legible or recognizable, including unfortunately the back of our Food for Skin products. You must use the official names of those ingredients. Did you know, for example, that Solanum Lycopersicum is 'just' a tomato? We neither!
When we started Food for Skin, we intended to only place 'recognizable' and 'edible' ingredients on the back, but we did not yet know about the INCIs. It is good that there is an international standard for this, but does this really help consumers?
Check skincare ingredients
Three ways to quickly see a list and the good and bad bad skin care ingredients:
1. The Beat the Microbead (BTMB) app
This one is from the Plastic Soup Foundation. With 1 photo of the label you know whether your product contains harmful microplastics. We challenge you to scan your bathroom! Download here .
2. Website incidecoder.com
And, a little more work, but the website incidecoder.com is great! You can search for your favorite product (provided it is a major brand), or for a specific ingredient. You will then read what this ingredient does or does not do for your skin and what it consists of.
3. Download an INCI app
There are various apps that, after a scan of your care product, show whether there are harmful substances or bad ingredients in your facial care. It also shows what possible irritants are in the product. You can also easily find lists of all harmful ingredients in cosmetics and read more about them.
Some options are:
Food for Skin wants to be transparent and honest and has therefore translated the INCIs for all products into 'plain Dutch' and explained why this is in the product. You will find this on the product pages of our products.
Care products without harmful substances
Our mission is to 'clean the beauty industry together'. Clean from ambiguity and without bad ingredients such as plastics in your facial care. That is why we want to start raising awareness among our readers.
If it's all too much work for you, we understand that! Then choose a clear route: 100% natural skin care. Tip: not 'natural based', because then something has been done with the natural ingredient. You certainly don't have to choose Food for Skin, but any other brand that is truly natural, provided it is professionally formulated, professionally produced and checked in a lab. Unfortunately, as a consumer you cannot see anywhere on the packaging whether this has happened. Many brands choose to stir the pans themselves and not have it checked. As a consumer you cannot see this anywhere, unless the government comes to take a sample (and unfortunately that chance is not great). So also with natural brands: checking the ingredients of your cosmetics is not an unnecessary luxury and at least ask whether it is approved according to EU cosmetics legislation.
For those who really want to dive in: read Robin van Wechem's book 'The anti-wrinkle complex – the back of the beauty industry'!.