As they say, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; and the same rule applies to beauty products and their packaging. The first thing The Geeks do to decide if the product is worth splashing the cash is to take a look at the ingredients list. Ingredients are listed in order from the highest concentration to the lowest, so the higher up on the list, the more of the ingredient in the product.

Another clever way to get an indication of the concentrations of ingredients is to look for phenoxyethanol, as this has been approved for use in cosmetics up to a concentration of 1%. So then you know anything before this on the list will be above 1% and anything below will be less.

If you are on the look out for a moisturising product, then keep your eyes peeled for ingredients including (but not limited to):

  • Glycerin/glycerol
  • Hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate
  • Ceramides
  • Urea
  • Shea butter/ Coconut Oil
  • Mineral oil/petrolatum
  • Fatty acids (linoleic and oleic acids)

Searching for the perfect anti-ageing product can be time consuming, not to mention confusing. We are bombarded daily with TV and magazine advertisements portraying flawless looking women, promoting a new revolutionary product. But how are we supposed to separate those that will really work from those that won’t? Well, when looking at the ingredients list, some of the best anti-ageing ingredients to keep a look our for are:

  • The moisturising ingredients mentioned above are really good as hydrated, moisturised skin appears healthier and ‘plumper’ so will help smooth out any fine lines and wrinkles
  • SPF (titanium dioxide/zinc oxide)
  • Retinol – should be in concentrations between 0.1 and 1%
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid/magnesium ascorbyl phosphate/sodium ascorbyl phosphate) – should be between 5 and 20% concentration
  • Niacinamide/nicotinamide – should only be used up to concentrations of 4 or 5%
  • AHA/BHA’s (glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid) – between 5 and 15% concentration would be found in an anti-ageing product, above 20% is used in chemical peels

As well as being able to spot great ingredients, you should also be aware of ingredients that aren’t so good in high concentrations (so in the first couple of ingredients):

  • Alcohol Denaturated
  • Ethanol/ethyl alcohol
  • Methanol

Some products use alcohol as a preservative or to keep products wet (think make up wipes), but high concentrations of alcohol, where it features as one of the first ingredients can be harmful to your skin and can have a very drying effect!

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