How to Choose the Skincare Products Best Suited for Your Skin, According to Dermatologists
Unless you have a background in Latin or a degree in chemistry, a skincare ingredients check can feel like reading a foreign language. But that language actually has a name—it's the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), and it exists to help create a standardized language of ingredient names to be used on labels around the world. And unfortunately, it's not consumer friendly.
Sometimes manufacturers will throw the everyday shopper a bone, putting the more common name in parentheses next to the scientific name, like this: tocopherol (vitamin E). But without that nudge, an ingredients list often just looks like a string of long unfamiliar words separated by commas.
Instead of doing detective work, it can be easier to follow popularity and opt for skincare products (and ingredients) with a cult following, especially in the age of beauty influencers. But that's not always the best route. There's no one-size-fits-all skincare solution. As Jennifer David, MD, a dermatologist specializing in cosmetic dermatology and skin of color dermatology, explains, "What works for your best friend may not work for you."
An individualized approach is crucial to finding the right skincare products with the right ingredients for your skin. This takes a little extra time and patience, but it's worth it.
Luckily for you, we talked to dermatologists to make the whole process less intimidating. With this information in your back pocket, you can feel like a confident consumer, and hopefully avoid reactive skin disasters when trying new products in the future.