For many of you, the composition of the cosmetics you use, is a total mystery. When we look at the label on a cosmetic product, we often see a plethora of difficult, long names.

Ingredients lists, also called “INCI’s” are equired by law. No product can have any “mysterious” ingedients (like it was the case in the past), because every ingredient has to be mentionned on this list.

The abbreviation “INCI” stands for: International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. Nomenclature meaning: names.

Ingredient names are in both Latin and English. Example: Butyrospernum Parkii (Shea Butter) wax.

Ingredients lists enable people with known allergies, to pick out products they could be allergic to.

For myself – as a cosmetologist – I’m particularly keen on INCI list because they tell me whet a product is made up of. Think of “active ingredients”, like vitamins, or collagen stimulating peptides, but also hydrating/moisturizing components and method of preservation.

A few things to know about an INCI:

  • Ingredients are listed from the highest concentration tot he lowest: the more an ingredient is listed at the beginning, the higher its concentration.
  • If the concentration of ingredients is lower than 1% – which is the case of most “active ingredients”- they can be listed in a random order.
  • A lower concentration doesn’t necessarily mean that the product isn’t good.
  • The synergy of ingredients (meaning : the way they are combined) determines the efficacity of a product.
  • Water (Aqua) is mostly the first ingredient listed : most cosmetic formulations are made up of water for about 80 to 90 percent. (exceptions are some water-free, oil-based products).

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