How to understand a list of ingredients?

Ingredient chronology

A list of ingredients is broken down into two ingredient types: the active and auxiliary substances. The active substances determine the functioning of the product and often account for those listed on the front of the packaging. Auxiliary substances are ingredients that support the product and determine the structure and content. Take for instance, anti-caking agents, colouring agents, preservatives and emulsifiers.


The ingredient chronology is determined by individual concentration thereof in the product in question. The higher the ingredient is itemised on the list, the higher its concentration. That’s why you often see water (aqua) right at the top.

Which active substances do we use (and what are they called)?

At Alaise you won’t find the active ingredients at the bottom of the list; see for yourself:

  • Bamboe-extract = Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf Extract/Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract
    Research has shown that bamboo extract is a natural source of antioxidants, and that it has a soothing effect on your skin.
  • Shea-butter = Butyrospermum Parkii Butter
    Shea butter is a plant based fat obtained from Shea nuts, the fruit of the African Shea tree. Shea butter is nourishing and hydrating thanks to its high concentration of vitamins A, E and F.
  • Amandelolie = Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil
    You’ve guessed it, almond oil comes from almonds. Almond oil helps keep skin hydrated and contains nourishing ingredients and antioxidants.

What do the weird & wonderful scientific names actually mean?

What do the weird & wonderful scientific names actually mean? The names of the ingredients are often long and tricky to spell. Luckily, there’s a great deal of information to be found online about most ingredients.

  • Tocopherol: a posh term for vitamin E.
  • Xanthan gum: a natural thickening agent.
  • • Cetyl alcohol & cetearyl alcohol: two types of ‘fatty’ alcohol that stabilise emulsions and have hydrating properties unlike other harmful alcohol variants.
  • Potassium sorbate: a preservative. It is often used in combination with another preservative, such as Sodium Benzoate, as it doesn’t have enough oomph on its own.

It might take a little while to fully grasp a list of ingredients. But the sooner you know exactly what’s in your pot, the sooner you’ll find the perfect care product that’s just right for your skin.

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