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The comprehensive guide to understanding skincare ingredients

In the world of skincare and cosmetics, understanding the ingredients in your products is crucial. INCI labeling is the system used in the skincare and...
INCI ingredient label on skincare packaging

In the world of skincare and cosmetics, understanding the ingredients in your products is crucial. INCI labeling is the system used in the skincare and cosmetics industry to not only ensure regulatory compliance standards have been met but to also inform and ensure the consumer about what has gone into creating a skincare formulation.

Regardless of where you at on your skincare journey knowing how to decipher these ingredient lists is extremely important. Here at IN we believe the right knowledge is power and should be freely shared to ensure transparency and safety of all the ingredients that you expose yourself too.

This is why we have compiled this guide to help you navigate and understand what is referred to in the industry as the INCI label.

 

Understanding the INCI label

INCI is short for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients which is the system used to name all ingredients used in the skincare and cosmetics industry. Pronounced ‘inky’ This system lists all ingredients in descending order from the highest to the lowest ingredient percentage that's contained in a products final formulation.

Its common practice that all ingredients are listed under their Latin name as this allow them to be differentiated between each other as many share the same common name.  For example, Helichrysum italicum,  Helichrysum gymnocephalum and Helichrysum bracteiferum are commonly known as Helichrysum, Everlasting or Immortelle. Though all are from the same family they contain very different chemical profiles and there for properties as cosmetic ingredients. This also reflects the price point of the raw ingredient if you are looking for the best Helichrysum for skincare you want Helichrysum italicum. You don't want to be mislead and pay higher price for a ingredient that doesn't deliver the active benefits you desire.  So, like everything dont just take a product or ingredient at its word dig a little deeper so you can be sure your getting the benefits you desire for the products you choose to use.

 

How to Read a Skincare INCI (Ingredient) label

Although ingredients are required to be listed in descending order it's not required that an ingredient which is present in a formulation bellow 1% to be listed at all on the INCI label. This is another reason why it's so impotent to choose brands to are fully transparent about the ingredients they choose to work with.

Tips for Understanding Ingredient Lists

  • Always look for the full ingredients list on the packaging or outer carton.
  • Familiarize yourself with common ingredients and their purposes by using resources like a INCI decoder to decode complex ingredients.

What Ingredient lists actually tell you?

  • Ingredient lists help you avoid allergens and identify beneficial ingredients.
  • They can also indicate the potential effectiveness of a product.
  • They do not reveal the source or skin feel of ingredients.

What to look out for on Ingredient Lists

  • Use of common names instead of Latin names.
  • Inclusion of marketing-driven phrases.
  • Missing or incomplete ingredient lists.
  • Ingredients listed out of order.
  • Duplicate ingredients.
  • Trade names of ingredients listed instead of actual ingredients.
  • Unrealistic active percentage claims.

Understanding cosmetic ingredients is essential to making the most informed choices about your skincare products not only to ensure the effectiveness of a product but to ensure its safety. Don't forget the skin you're so beautifully wrapped up in is the largest organ of your body.

While ingredient lists do have their limitations, they are valuable source of information about the products you use. By familiarizing yourself with them you will be able to confidently navigate the skincare and cosmetics industry and choose products that are aligned with your values and skincare needs.

 

Shop transparently natural and organic skincare 

Vanessa Megan | Vitamin A+B+C Daily Face Cream +SPF15 vēr वेर  Face oil 30ML | Intentionally Natural Frankie natural Sun Defence Natural Sunscreen 75G

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