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Choosing beauty products is tricky enough without having to translate all the ingredients and scientific lingo on product labels. But knowing what we put on our bodies (hello, rose gold highlighter) is just as important as knowing what we put in them, so we recruited beauty expert, founder and CEO of Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc. Gabriel De Santino to school us on some label-reading basics. When it comes to understanding beauty ingredient labels, knowledge is definitely power. Even though it takes up your precious time to learn how to decipher everything that’s listed on your favorite product, in the end your skin (and your body!) will be better for it. Not only will you be able to confirm that the product you’re using is free of harmful add-ins, but you’ll also be able to better understand how it stacks up to others on the market. Plus, you’ll be certain that you’re choosing earth conscious and ethical items—how extra woke of you. Want to ensure that the products you’re spending your hard-earned cash on are cruelty-free and made with clean ingredients? When perusing the aisles of your favorite store, the easiest way to spot a cruelty-free brand is through one of three certifications that appear right on the packaging—Leaping Bunny, PETA’s cruelty-free logo, and the Choose Cruelty-Free logo. Familiarize yourself with these symbols and it will make shopping a breeze. If you’re filling up your cart online with time to kill, take a few minutes to check out each of the certification sites mentioned above for a list of cruelty-free brands so you can purchase from companies with like-minded val ues that you can trust. And always remember—if you see an ingredient listed that you can’t pronounce, Google it! Sometimes a complex-sounding word is a totally harmless additive, and soemtimes it's as dirty as dirty gets.

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Other tips to keep in mind: the higher up on the ingredient list something is = the higher the concentration, paraben-free is always the way to be, and the term “fragrance” can be used to mask unclean ingredients so be wary of brands that use it. It’s also important to note that just because a product is formulated vegan that doesn’t mean it’s cruelty-free and vice versa. Vegan beauty products are made without animal ingredients or by-products, while cruelty-free refers to products and ingredients that aren't tested on animals --- however, this doesn't necessarily means the prod-

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