When we ask for a sign, what are we really asking for?
All sentient beings — not just us humans — are wired to read the signs that are all around us: signs of danger, fertility, or in the case of dogs sniffing for clues, indicators of history, health and compatibility.
Signs hint of something more going on, serving as a sometimes subtle or not-so-gentle reminder that there’s a bigger picture at work — that we can’t just rely upon logic alone to figure them out.
One thing precedes another in life, and noticing signs can help us make better choices and increase our chances for getting the results we desire.
In skin care, some people view a highlighted blurb with an ingredient callout and discounted price tag as the right sign for purchasing a skin care product.
Reading signs, like reading skin care product labels, require intuition, knowledge and translation skills.
But with skin care labels, it’s not enough to have knowledge about ingredients.
If you can recognize different functions of ingredients — like which ones actually have moisturizing properties — and common formula practices, you can intuit if a product will be right for your skin and deliver on its claims.
If you want moisturizing skin conditioning benefits, buy for these benefits and not product packaging or marketing:
- Order in the court and on the label: Ingredients matter, and thanks to the rules of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ingredients are listed in order of highest volume to the lowest, starting with the largest amount to the smallest.
- Numbers, numbers, numbers: After the volume ingredients are listed, any ingredient under 1% can be listed in any order. And some products that use percentage numbers like 99.9% of said magic ingredient aren’t true indicators that the product itself is 99.9% of the magic ingredient. But this is a common way to promote an active ingredient in a product.
- How silky do you like your smooth? We all want silky, smooth skin but if you want to get there naturally, beware of the “cones” — the popular silicone-based polymer ingredients that give lotions, creams and oils a silky feel. Ingredients like Dimethicone may be helping you get your silky smooth on, but beware of their lasting effects. They can also leave a thin rubber filmy feel too, causing skin dryness or issues.