INCI International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient

INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, a global system for naming skincare and cosmetic ingredients.

When it comes to skin care products, knowing what's in the bottle can be a complex thing. Enter the world of INCI - the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. This universal system assigns unique names to each ingredient used in cosmetic products making it easier for consumers to identify what they are applying on their skin.

Understanding INCI

INCI names aren't just random assortments of letters and numbers. They're scientifically-derived labels that often reveal an ingredient's origin. For example, 'Tocopherol' is a form of Vitamin E typically derived from vegetable oils.

Every skincare or cosmetic product you purchase will have its list of ingredients labeled according to the INCI standard. This enables consumers worldwide to easily recognize the ingredients regardless of language or regional differences.

Why is INCI Important?

Adhering to INCI standards helps ensure transparency in the cosmetics industry. It allows consumers to make informed decisions about their skincare purchases based on their skin needs or concerns about potential allergens or irritants.

Moreover, with an increasing number of consumers leaning towards 'clean beauty', understanding INCI nomenclatures can help differentiate between synthetic and natural ingredients.

How To Use The INCI List?

When you look at your skincare product label, you'll notice that ingredients are listed in descending order of their concentration. This indicates the amount of each ingredient present in the product.

For example, if you're looking for a potent retinol cream, you'd want 'Retinol' to be high up on the INCI list. Conversely, if you have sensitive skin and want to avoid fragrance, seeing 'Parfum' or 'Fragrance' low on the list would be favorable.

Deciphering INCI Names

While some INCI names like 'Aqua' (Water) or 'Citrus Aurantium Dulcis' (Orange Peel Oil) might be easier to decipher, others can seem like gibberish at first glance. But with a little research and patience, decoding these names can become second nature.

To aid your understanding of INCI nomenclatures better, there are several online databases such as EWG's Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database which provide safety ratings and detailed information about thousands of cosmetic ingredients.

The world of skincare is complex but with tools like INCI available, consumers can navigate it more easily. Understanding what goes into your products is not just empowering but also helps towards making smarter skincare decisions.

Book your appointment today

If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive aesthetic skin care options, call or text 480-933-2328 to schedule your initial consultation with Nancy Park, RN, BSN.


Or Call/Text 480-933-2328

Book your appointment with Nancy Park, RN, BSN
Nancy Park, RN, BSN
Certified Aesthetic Nurse