INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is a list of cosmetics ingredients expressed according to a standard nomenclature.
Since 1997 it is mandatory that each marketed carry-overs cosmetic packaging its INCI, the list of ingredients contained in it, written in descending order of concentration at the time of its incorporation.
In first place is the ingredient contained in highest percentage, followed by others, until that content in percentage lower. Below 1% of the ingredients may be listed in random order.
Vegetable-derived ingredients, which have not undergone chemical processes, are expressed by their Latin botanical name, followed by any part thereof used in English. For example: “prunus amygdalus dulcis oil” stands for “sweet almond oil”.
Substances which have undergone chemical intervention have an English name. For example: “sodium laureth sulphate” stands for “sodium laureth sulphate”.
The coloring agents are always at the bottom, with the initials C.I., which stands for colour index, followed by an identification number. An exception is the hair, which must always be shown with their chemical name.
A good rule of thumb? Use a few simple products and carefully read the ingredients (INCI) of individual products and not trusting blindly of sentences: natural, organic or dermatologist-tested.
Do you want know more?
Want to know the ingredients to promote and which ones to avoid? We recommend the following sites:
1) www.ewg.org. It is an English language site, very complete, supported by several scientific references and managed by the Association EWG-Environmental Working Group. A non-profit association that has as its mission the use of public information to protect public health and the environment.
2) www.biodizionario.it. It is an Italian language site, simple and easy to use, providing a first guide to conscious choice of our cosmetic products. Have been catalogued around 5,000 substances (about 6,200). The creator and moderator of this site is the chemist Andrew Zago.