How to read skin and body care labels

organic body wash blog


  If you are keen to understand what ingredients goes into the products you are slathering on your skin, you are in the right place!  Although more and more of us are becoming aware of the benefits of vegan and natural or organic ingredients and are looking to the back of the skincare products to see what it is made of, what we commonly find is a list of extremely long and complicated words that looks like a chemistry equation!

Labels on many of these products are confusing and sometimes difficult to understand and are usually filled with marketing jargon, illustrations, and complex words, and ingredients that sound like a mini chemistry equation.

Having knowledge about the ingredients of the product before using it will empower you and help choosing ingredients to help your skin look healthy and good a much easier task!

So, how do you read a label? In this post, we have created a quick guide to make reading labels easy.


Concentration levels

The first and most important thing you should know about reading labels is that the order of ingredients are listed based on their concentration levels. This means the ingredients with the higher concentration level are mentioned first and the least at the end. It also means that if a ‘star’ ingredient is listed in the end, you will not get much benefit from it as the amount might be trace amounts even. ( Naughty marketing tricks exposed!) In the same way, if an ingredient that you should avoid such as alcohol is listed at the top, you are advised to use another product instead.

Vegan & Organic

If you are looking for vegan or organic products, most brands typically advertise this on their labels or through certifications. However there are many products that are vegan without advertising it. Look out for plant-based ingredients and check that the majority of the ingredients is not a chemical. Also worth noting is that most vegan, organic or natural products have fewer ingredients than the standard commercial run product.

What Does the Bunny Symbol Indicate?

Ok this might be an obvious one for some of us, but it is worth a mention. There are some products on which you can see a bunny sign. This basically indicates that it is a cruelty-free product which means the products are not tested on animals and are usually made of less chemicals and are gentler on the skin(we test on people only)!  

The Open Jar Symbol

Wondering what does the open jar symbol mean? It means how long the product is good for use once you open it. Usually, you can see numbers like 24M, 12M, or 6M next to the symbol.  This also depends on how you are storing the product , generally away from direct sunlight and heat is always recommended. Do note that most natural based products do not last as long as products with more preservatives and chemicals. We are not complaining though, it gives us an valid excuse to slather on the products and to use it more regularly! We highly do not recommend to use products that are expired, and encourage recycling of containers wherever possible.

Ingredients that are good for your skin

There are many ingredients that are good for your skin, these are just a few that we recommend. Don’t be put off by the scientific or chemical sounding names, these are actually some of the good guys!

  • Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (Stable form of Vitamin C)
  • Tocopherol ( Vitamin E)
  • Caprylic glycerides (Derived from coconut oil and glycerin, it's considered an excellent emollient and skin-replenishing ingredient)
  • Ferulic acid (Ferulic acid is an antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants such as rice and oats and the seeds of apples and oranges, where it plays a key role in the plants' protection and self-preservation)


Ingredients You Should Avoid

Here is non exhaustive list  of common ingredients that are not recommended for your skin and general term health with long term use.

  • Sulfates ( Sulfates are chemicals used as cleansing agents. They're found in household cleaners, detergents, and even shampoo. Two main types of sulfates are used in shampoo: sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate and are used to cleanse and create lather )


  • Parabens ( butylparabenmethylparaben and propylparaben, Parabens allow products to survive for months, even years, in our bathroom cabinet, known to cause hormonal issues with prolonged exposure and use )


  • Synthetic fragrances and colorants (These chemicals include: benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies ) 


We hope this guide has helped and as always, do your homework and empower yourself with the products you use and consume. Be a conscious consumer and always remember to check with your healthcare professional if you have any doubts or allergies to some of these ingredients. Visit us at or sign up for our newsletter here  for updates and more articles ! Please also help us share this article with your friends!

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