A Guide to Beauty-Product Labels
What it means: The product has no noticeable smell and usually contains no added artificial or chemical fragrances.
What it doesn't mean: It’s totally free of added substances, like botanical extracts, that mask the smell of the basic ingredients.
Best for: Sensitive, allergy-prone skin.
What it means: Contains ingredients that help plump up skin for a fuller look.
What it doesn't mean: Dramatic results. Chances are any “firming” effects you see will be subtle and not permanent.
Best for: Skin that lacks elasticity.
What it means: The product helps repair sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.
What it doesn't mean: Miracles. “The only thing that can really lift is the plastic surgeon,” says Annet King, director of training for the International Dermal Institute.
Best for: Mature skin.
What it means: Helps skin look radiant by expelling toxins from cells.
What it doesn't mean: Purification. It’s hard to prove that products can eliminate whatever is actually “toxic” to skin.
Best for: Dull, oily, or acne-prone skins.
What it means: Contains no ingredients known to clog pores or cause acne.
What it doesn't mean: It definitely won’t cause a reaction or be irritating in other ways.
Best for: Those with acne-prone skin and anyone concerned with clogged pores.
A thing of beauty should be a joy forever—or at least until five o’clock. Here’s how to stretch the life of your makeup, hair, manicure, perfume—and more.