First things first, flip over that package to see the ingredient list. Gelula says, “I read ingredients lists like crazy. I just skim through for chemicals. Plants are in Latin, so if it’s mostly in Latin, I can trust it. Look at the ingredient list and if a bunch of it is just big question marks…it’s kind of like when you flip over Cheetos. If you were to look at the list of ingredients on a bag of Cheetos, you’d see orange dye number this, preservative that—you know it’s not the same as your healthiest granola with sunflower seeds.”
It’s not just what’s in a product. The concentration of ingredient, often designated by the order it falls on the ingredient list, is important too. “I look at the first few ingredients and water’s often the first one. Sometimes it’s not and I’m always intrigued: ‘Oh, is jojoba first? Or is the magic ingredient way down at the end of the list?’ Sometimes it makes me avoid the product if they’re touting an ingredient on the front and I flip it over and they’ve just put a little drop in there.” A quick glance at two of our favorite products, Weleda’s Pomegranate Firming Day Cream and Night Cream, reveals jojoba, macadamia seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, argan oil, and shea butter near the top of the list.
The Next Big Thing
Buzzy ingredients come and go but natural skincare trends tend to have staying power. The next big one to look out for is plant stem cells. Gelula says, “It won’t be long before it hits the mainstream. The term ‘stem cell’ is so provocative and powerful in an anti-aging way. The thing about them to me is that they seem like more concentrated ingredients.” We’re on board—they’re already being used by one of our favorite brands, Juice Beauty, with amazing clinical results.
Read more about plant stem cells in our guide to the ingredient.