How to read the Packaging Label

The list of ingredients on beauty products read like a language test at best of times, requiring a dictionary or MSc in Chemistry / Biology to decipher unpronounceable words. It can be daunting but we think it’s important to know or develop an understanding of the ingredients present in the products you’re using daily. In the beauty industry, we refer to this list as International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients or INCI for short.

Many of us are genuinely interested in seeking botanical ingredients but have no idea what is found in nature vs what is synthetically created. After all, many plant components can be created in the lab and are used entirely to produce skincare and cosmetic products or added to them. Many popular brands claim to be natural yet have very few botanicals or plant extracts and are instead packed with questionable ingredients.

At Naya we are passionate about natural skincare and make absolutely certain that the ingredients we use are natural bioactive ingredients that provide your skin with the daily dose of nutrients it needs to support healthy production and recovery of skin cells. And we are dead serious about our Free From policy. We work directly with local farmers in South America and a highly reputable Green formulator, and have safety assessment certifications for all our products, which all reputable brands must have before launching a product in Germany. 

We want to empower you to feel confident in reading labels and understand what it all means. For a start, we’ve created a guide to help you read our label and to know what to look out for. Take it further by going to the Environmental Working Group where you can type in the names of ingredients that you are not familiar with and learn more about them. It’ll be worth the effort.

Below is our INCI list. Give it a go and identify all the botanical sounding names. If you have any questions, get in touch with us.


Ingredients are listed in descending order, starting with the largest amount in the product. In general, ingredients in the top third make up the bulk of the product. Remember where ‘water’ is usually positioned? Creams typically have approx. 75%-95% of water.

The further you go down, the level of percentage will go down. Ideally, essential oils or sometimes indicated as ‘Parfum’ on the INCI list should be below 1% to avoid irritation and not ‘burn’ the skin. Do make sure Parfum is as low on the INCI list as possible to avoid damaging your skin barrier. Your skin barrier is your skin’s protection from all external environmental stressors. 

Sometimes you read Parfum instead of essential oils. According to the EU Cosmetic Regulations, when one uses more than one essential oil or more than one natural smell, formulators are allowed to indicated it as Parfum on the INCI list – as the smell as been developed based on a combination of oils. Parfum does not necessarily mean it is synthetic! We would recommend you enquire about what it consists of and what the smells are to eliminate any possible reactions. You also often read ‘Aroma’ or the way we indicate it at Naya, to outline the individual oils we are using to produce the smell.

In the EU, it is compulsory to list components of essential oils, also referred to as allergens. They are listed separately as an ingredient but it doesn’t mean they’re synthetic nor are they a separate ingredient. If you see these allergens listed, it means the product is a truly green product – that’s a good thing. If you do not see these components, it means that something has been synthetically added during formulation to strip them away. Look at labels carefully to see if these components are naturally part of an essential oil or added as a chemical. This has to be indicated by EU law. 

Our Free From policy, outlining some of the ingredients we avoid. Visit our Free From policy page to learn more.

This little symbol that looks like an open jar indicates when the product expires in number of months after opening the bottle. Oxygen impacts ingredients and their effectiveness. You will experience the optimal effect when it is at its freshest. So don’t leave it standing for too long once you’ve opened it.

Our packaging is 100% recyclable.

We are PETA-certified. We don’t test on animals and no animal is harmed in the sourcing of our ingredients or production of our products.