When grocery shopping, chances are most of us read the ingredients listed on the label. Do you do the same when buying beauty products though?

If not, you should because while finding quality skin care and beauty products can be tricky, reading the fine print on the labels can help you pinpoint the right products for you.

Your skin is the largest organ, so treat it right. Here are some easy tips and tricks to start shopping by.

Expiration dates. Yep, beauty products expire too! If you see a number paired with a ‘M’ next to it, it means how many months it’ll last until it goes bad. However, as a general rule of thumb, mascaras and sponges typically have a shelf life of six months, all liners one year, and concealers, powders, and moisturizers have a shelf life of two years.

Amount of ingredients. The ingredients listed on any given product are in descending order, from largest amount to the smallest amount. So, if you’re using something because it boasts argan oil but it’s listed near the end of the of ingredients, there’s probably not much in it.

Rule of thumb. Usually, the first ingredient listed will be water or an iteration that will get the same job done, such as aloe vera or cucumber water. The second ingredient will likely be one that thickens or smoothes, providing the consistency of the product.

False advertising. If a product says, “Dermatologist Tested” that does not necessarily mean it is dermatologist recommended, approved, or supported. If it says “made with organic ingredients” that does not mean it’s made of only organic ingredients.

SPF. Sunscreen is divided into two categories: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreen uses UV filters that block both UVA rays, which penetrate deep into the skin causing wrinkles and early aging, and UVB rays which only reach the top levels of your skin that can result in tans and burns. Chemical sunscreen uses active FDA approved ingredients that absorb sun radiation and prevent them from getting deep in your skin

Active ingredients. “Active” ingredients mean they are scientifically shown to have a pharmacological effect and is FDA approved. For example, products that advertise eliminating acne will have active ingredients, such as salicylic acid.

Do your research. If you see something unfamiliar on a product, look it up! Here is a great resource to use.

xx, The FabFitFun Team