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Know thy ingredients: 1-minute version

Hello again!

Top 7 facts about ingredient
lists in one minute!
Thank you for the overwhelming response to our post on cosmetic ingredient lists and laws governing them in India. We received quite a few requests for a shorter version of the post, so here we go!, we've kept it short but packed. You can read the full one here. Cheers!

7 things you need to know about ingredient lists on cosmetics

Ingredients are listed in decreasing order of quantities added - i.e., highest first. So look for where in addition to what

There's only one legit way to declare a full ingredient list, and that is to start the list with the word "Ingredients:". Any other "key" word, for example: key ingredients, active ingredients, herbal actives, aqueous base etc,  indicates that there is likely an incomplete disclosure.

While declaring a full list is mandatory for all cosmetics, there are a few notable exceptions: proprietary ayurvedic medicines, RX products and stuff that weighs less than 30g or measures less than 60ml. That pretty much means all your lipsticks, kajals and lip balms do not need to declare what goes in.

Simply because an ingredient is there on the list doesn't mean it will do the job. Think of a capable player on a team who doesn't get the right conditions to perform. Good chemists, like good coaches, know how to get the best out of ingredients.

All ingredients have to be declared using standard INCI names. There are still some language variations possible.

Watch out for ingredients inside ingredients - that's not mandated to be declared. For example, fragrances are mixtures of tens of compounds, but are listed as one ingredient - fragrance. In particular, check if your brand is phthalate-free (we will see why in a subsequent post)

Not all names are equal. Rose extract is available in hundreds of forms, but always listed as rose extract. Look for what the manufacturer says about the quality of the stuff used.Hope this helps, do check out the full post here. Cheers, be good!
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