How to Read a Skin Care Product Label

October 11, 2017

There’s nothing like the ingredients list on a cleanser or moisturizer.  You need to take your old chemistry textbook with you to try to make sense of it.  Or you can just check out our handy glossary on common ingredients.


Dimethicone:  A silicone (along with anything else ending in “cone”), which gives a lotion a creamy silky feel.


Glycerin:  Draws in water to moisturize without feeling heavy or clogging pores



Petrolatum:  A thick, occlusive agent that seals in moisture


Ceramides:  Lipids naturally found in the skin that helps keep water in and irritants out


Salicylic Acid:  A beta hydroxy acid that clears out pores and helps prevent zits


Glycolic Acid:  An alpha hydroxy acid that sloughs away the top layer of skin to brighten and even out texture


Lactic Acid:  An alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates as well as hydrates


Retinol:  Sloughs away the top layer of skin to build collagen, soften wrinkles and minimize spots


Caffeine:  Temporarily tightens and depuffs


Hydroquinon:  A skin bleacher that fades dark spots


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