The ingredient list…The Good. The Bad. The INCI.


Some brands have been told that an ingredient list (aka: ingredient declaration) can be as creative as their marketing. Unfortunately, a creative ingredient list does not follow the proper INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) set by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC). This may not seem critical to some, but as the industry grows and we continue to see more and more regulations, we foresee that the industry will be directed to only use the proper INCI classifications for an ingredient list. Therefore, we strongly feel that brands should follow the INCI process now, when creating ingredient lists, in order to be best prepared for the future.

The INCI names are recognized worldwide to identify cosmetic ingredients. Oversite of the INCI program is provided by the Personal Care Products Council who is committed to working with national governments, trade associations, and other organizations to ensure that the dictionary provides the world community with accurate nomenclature.

The following is a quick example of a creative, non-INCI ingredient list compared to an INCI ingredient list. 

1: Ingredient List with creative, non-INCI listing: 

Aloe Vera Juice, Safflower Seed Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Natural Clay, Sorbitan Isostearate, Titanium Dioxide, Witch Hazel Extract, Botanical Sustainable Plant Stem Cells, Natural Preservative, Fragrance Oil Extract

2: Ingredient List with INCI listing: 

Aqua (Water), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Kaolin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Titanium Dioxide, Aloe Vera Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance/Parfum 

Most would agree that the first listing seems to be more ‘natural’. However, the second listing is the exact same formula, so in reality it is just as ‘natural’ as the first listing. The most important difference to recognize is that the second listing makes it far easier for a brand to embrace their future growth strategies. 

If you would like to have a clearer picture in regards to how an INCI ingredient list should be organized, as well as other labeling claim regulations, please visit the following websites: