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Ingredient list: we decrypt names and debunk myths for you

It's all in a name, they say. Find out what these names mean as we break down the makings of an ingredient list and debunk myths for you.

Let’s face it. Latin, English and scientific names in an ingredient list aren’t the easiest thing to understand. Add myths about fragrances and natural products into the mix, and that's one intense concoction.

1. Order matters

Looking at any ingredient list, you may question how these ingredients are presented. Well, there is much to learn!

All these names you see are listed in the order of quantity, starting with the highest amount.

Let’s refer to the ingredient list for our LilaRoze Organic Orange Blossom Hand Sanitizer.

LilaRoze’s orange blossom hand sanitisers use pure ethanol produced from the fermentation and distillation of organic wheat, added with glycerin and neroli.

 Ingredients: Alcohol**, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract*, T-Butyl Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Triethanolamine, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Geraniol, Citral, Denatonium Benzoate, CI 15510 (Orange 4)

One of the faves amongst our team, this fragrant hand sanitiser contains 60% ethanol. This concentration follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendation of alcohol-based sanitisers containing at least 60% ethanol. LilaRoze’s hand sanitisers use pure ethanol produced from the fermentation and distillation of organic wheat too.

The next key ingredient is glycerin, a moisturiser to combat alcohol's drying nature. It helps the sanitiser linger on your hands too, and allow ample time for the sanitising effect.

The star member is Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Extract, aka Bitter Orange Flower extract! Made organically, the extract gives our sanitiser its intense signature scent that's refreshing and indulgent.

2. Is natural best?

If you can't pronounce it, it's terrible for you? Not!

Research and technological development have contributed a great deal to the way we care for ourselves. Where nature is unable to fulfil, nurtured products step in to give nature a boost.

Homemade recipes with natural ingredients typically must be used weeks or months, as these are perishable. Components are processed or combined with other additives to improve shelf life and enhance efficacy.

International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) is a registry of over 16,000 ingredients where Latin, English or scientific names replace common names.

Are there any natural elements used in CanGro Bold Brows? Yes! There are skin-loving extracts from the German chamomile, grape seed, jojoba seed and bearberry.

Cangro Bold Brows is formulated with some natural ingredients

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Niacinamide, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Lactate, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Extract, Acctostaphylosn Uva Uris Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Myristoyl Hexapeptide-16, Myristoyl Tetrapeptide-12, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium PCA, Polysorbate 80, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide

3. Purposeful skincare

Beyond the cryptic spelling, beauty products contain other ingredients with each performing specific functions to create powerful formulas.

 From the Bold Brow ingredient list, they are divided into their functions below.

【Solvent – Aqua】Pure and simple, water is a solvent for the ingredients below!

【Moisturisers – Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA】These moisturising additions create nourishing formulas that are gentle for our skin.

【Vitamins】Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) – a moisturising vitamin that helps skin to attract and hold water Niacinamide (vitamin B3) – a superstar vitamin with benefits like anti-ageing, wrinkle-smoothing

 【Amino acids – Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Myristoyl Hexapeptide-16, Myristoyl Tetrapeptide-12, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1】Amino acids used together for keratin-boosting properties

【Stabiliser – Hydroxypropyl Guar, Hydroxyethylcellulose】As the name suggests, stabilisers keep a product stable, allowing you to enjoy your product for a longer time.

 【Emulsifiers – Polysorbate 80, Polysorbate 20】Texture makes a difference between serums, toners and creams. Emulsifiers help to change the texture for that perfect feel, making each step of your skincare routine feel ~just right.~

【Preservative – Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate】Formulas have trace amounts of preservatives to keep bacteria and germs at bay. Do stay clear of sulfates, phthalates and parabens. Research has shown that these can cause skin sensitivity, allergic reactions and even cancer!

【pH buffer – Sodium Hydroxide】As the underdog of all ingredients, pH buffers perfect pH levels of products. In doing so, your skin's natural pH will maintain its balance. Healthy skin has a pH of around 5.5, which means our skin is slightly acidic. Added acidic or alkaline pH buffers keep our skin's flora and fauna in check.

 Ingredients can be multi-purpose too. Citric acid, an acidic pH buffer, is also a gentle exfoliant. Check out INCIDecoder to help crack the code on other names.

4. Bonus: Yay or nay for fragrances?

Fragrances give an added dimension to your skincare products. A floral scent reminds one of the fields of blooms and spring, providing an uplifting feel. Christmas favourites like pines and cinnamon liken to hugs from your nose!

Despite the way they make us feel, an estimated 2.5 million Americans suffer from fragrance allergies.

Beauty brands list these scented additives as parfum, perfume or fragrance in ingredient lists. However, there is no information about its origins or manufacturing process. It’s no surprise many are choosing fragrance-free products.

Thankfully, we have other options available today. Essential oils are an example of natural alternatives.

LilaRoze's range of body care goodies is scented only with parfum of organic origins, giving a more intense and lingering fragrance than using floral extracts alone.


Deciphering ingredient lists is a journey of nuances and sometimes, investigative work.

Before you make a purchase, take a quick look at the ingredient list and pay attention to the order. Nourishing and moisturising ones should come first, while preservatives and fragrances last.

100% natural isn't always better. Science can and has helped boost the natural ingredients we love by keeping them useful for a longer time.

Fragrances are not all made the same. Do read up on sources and choose brands like LilaRoze for their organic scents.

Brands typically carry the same mantra throughout their entire product range. Once you’ve found a brand that works for you, stay loyal to it.

To smoothen your ride, we have curated a list of brands dedicated to their craft. Find more about these brands and their stories here.



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