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What is INCI?

The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (abbreviated INCI) is a naming system for ingredients based on scientific nomenclature. The INCI list can appear different from common names you may be used to.

Examples of Common Names and INCI Names

Plant ingredients are listed with their Latin names (two words) and a common name in parenthesis.

Some common or naturally derived ingredients can have complicated names, but all ingredients are safe to use in cosmetics and often have an important function in the product.

Common Name INCI Name
Water, Distilled water, Purified water, etc. Aqua
Coconut water Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice
Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid
Citric acid Citric Acid*
Shea butter Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter
Peppermint essential oil, Peppermint leaf oil Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Oil

* Some common names and INCI names are the same name.

Per regulations, allergens which are natural constituents of essential and/or fragrance oils must also be declared in the ingredients list. Any sub-ingredients are also listed individually.

Resources

Search any ingredient in the EU Cosmetic Ingredient Database

INCI on Wikipedia