Disclosure: This is an e-book by our site director, Liz Thompson. Liz provided me a free copy of her book to review. All opinions are my own.
Confession time: when it comes to beauty products, I am kind of out of my element. I don’t wear make-up (unless you count lip balm), so I never really took the time to learn about how to read the labels on beauty products. It just didn’t really apply to my life before. Sure, I use the Skin Deep Database for research sometimes, but when I’m standing in the beauty aisle at the store, I’m pretty much useless.
I found this guide super handy. Liz draws a parallel between label-reading when you shop for cosmetics and food. I am an avid label-reader in the grocery store, because I’m vegan and so many foods have hidden animal ingredients. Her guide makes it easy to apply those label-reading skills in the beauty aisle. She says it so perfectly, I’ll just quote the book right here:
Ignore that pretty label on the front of a beauty product and turn right to the back. This is where you will find the true story – what the product is made of.
The book includes a list of ingredients to avoid that’s similar to the one we have here on the site. It’s a great resource for folks like me that aren’t clear on what many of those polysyllabic ingredients in beauty products are. Which ones are safe? Which aren’t?
The other thing that can be overwhelming when you’re shopping for beauty products is that wall of text on the back of the bottle. Ingredients lists are usually incredibly long, and when I’m just looking to grab a bottle of nail polish and get out of there, it can be a little bit overwhelming. That’s where this advice from her book will apply:
TIP: First 5/Last 5 In a rush? Quickly check the first 5 ingredients and the last 5 ingredients on the product label. This is where harmful ingredients usually hang out. The first 5 ingredients make up the majority of the product, the last 5 are usually preservatives and fragrance. If they look good, you are usually good to go.
That makes so much sense, and it’s way more doable than navigating a list of dozens of ingredients. If you want to buy clean cosmetics, you need to read the back of the bottle. Liz arms you with the information and tools you need to do that in a way that will work in real life.
The second half of the book is all about personalizing your beauty routine, and it uses the food analogy. Different people react differently to various foods:
Just because a product or line keeps your best friend/sister/favorite movie star looking gorgeous does not mean it will do the same for you. Maybe it will, maybe not. Rather than purchasing the most popular products, look at your own skincare needs.
She then walks you through some exercises to help you sort out exactly what beauty products are going to be best for your skin and meet your needs.
You can grab a copy of Liz’s e-book for $15 over at Organic Beauty Source.
Image Credit: Clean Face photo via Shutterstock