Do you know what INCI means?

Sep 11 2017

Modern consumers are responsible consumers. We are concerned about the origin of the food we buy, and love everything organic and fair trade. We try to avoid buying packed food and when we do, we go for the one with fewer preservatives. We also avoid artificial colors and sweeteners. We can say that we are in the era of the conscious consumerism.

But what happens when it comes to choosing you daily Face cream?

Experience has shown us that consumers are still focusing on the "front of the packaging" when choosing their skin care products. The front side is mostly communicating the brand and beneficial effects of the product. The INCI part, which is usually located on the back of the product, remains unnoticed.

INCI list ingredients

Therefore, I want to teach you today the basics of reading the INCI list, where all the important information about the skin care product are listed.

INCI is an international designation for the declaration of the ingredients on the packaging of cosmetics. The INCI names are based on scientific names, Latin names and English words. The use of scientific names minimizes the language barriers that often hinder consumer understanding and international trade. Therefore, the name of a particular ingredient within an INCI tag is often completely different from the usual (conversational) denomination.

Pay attention to the order of the listed ingredients

The declaration of ingredients in cosmetics with the INCI name is required to be in descending order. That means that the ingredient that is on the top of INCI list is the ingredient your skin care product is based on. Following the same logic, the counting continues - less of the specific ingredient in the product, the lower it will be on the INCI list.

Example: If the main ingredient of the face cream is water there will write AQUA on the top of the INCI list. Active ingredients can be found somewhere in the middle of the list, perfumes, dyes, and preservatives are usually at the end of the list.

Ingredients you don’t want in your skin care

  • Petrolatum: paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum, mineral oil
  • Silicones: dimethicone, amodimethicone, cyclomethicone, ciclopentasiloxane
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
  • Formaldehyde releaser: imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, ecc ...
  • EDTA
  • Phtalates

Basic rules of reading INCI list

  1. Chemicals (pure and synthetic) are named in English and numerical codes (as well as dyes)
  2. Natural substances are named with the Latin expression for the plant from which the active substance is derived.
  3. Ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions (including natural essential oils) are marked with an asterisk.
  4. The declaration of ingredients in cosmetics with the INCI name is in descending order.

Let’s have a short test! Read the INCI list on our Nurturing face cream and find out what is the main ingredient of the cream. That is one of the reasons why the cream is so special!

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