THE IMPORTANCE OF INCI
The acronym INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients and it has been used in Europe since 1997 according to the Decree 96/335/CE (updated by the Decree 2006/257/CE) in order to of identify substances with the same denomination in all member countries of the European Union, thus allowing the consumers to easily recognize the ingredients they should avoid, for instance, in case of allergies. INCI is used to uniquely define the name of the substances used within the cosmetic product in Europe and in some non-European countries as USA, Brazil, Russia, Canada, South Africa.
The list of ingredients of cosmetics must be labeled with the word “ingredients”. The order of the ingredients that appear in the list reflects the percentages of the ingredients used in the final mix, that is, an ingredient at the top of the list will be what has been used in a higher percentage. If some ingredients have been used in percentage below 1%, they may be listed in random order after those present in concentrations above 1%. Therefore, the last ingredient
on the list is not necessarily the one used in the lower percentage and the point where the ingredients
below 1% start is not indicated.
The ingredients are labeled with the name in English (for example, Cetyl alcohol), or in Latin, if they are originated from plants or listed in the pharmacopoeia; the name is in Latin just to indicate their botanical origin, possibly followed by the part of the plant used and the type of derivative (the latter in English). Example: Butyrospermum parkii nut extract or Butyrospermum parkii oil. In short, INCI is the real identity card of a product.