November 24, 2018

International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients

The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, abbreviated INCI, is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics, and the like, based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.[1] INCI names often differ greatly from systematic chemical nomenclature or from more common trivial names.


  • 1 Table of common names
  • 2 INCI labeling
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Table of common names[edit]

Here is a table of several common names and their corresponding INCI names.[1]

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

INCI labeling[edit]

In the U.S., under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, certain accurate information is a requirement to appear on labels of cosmetic products.[2] In Canada, the regulatory guideline is the Cosmetic Regulations.[3] Ingredient names must comply by law with EU requirements by using INCI names.[4]

The cosmetic regulation laws are enforceable for important consumer safety. For example, the ingredients are listed on the ingredient declaration for the purchaser to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction to an ingredient the user has had an allergy to before. INCI names are mandated on the ingredient statement of every consumer personal care product. The INCI system allows the consumer to identify the ingredient content. In the U.S., true soaps (as defined by the FDA) are specifically exempted from INCI labeling requirements as cosmetics per FDA regulation.[5]

See also[edit]

  • Ingredients of cosmetics
  • Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA)
  • Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)


  • ^ a b Personal Care Products Council – International Buyers’ Guide
  • ^ U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Labeling Regulations: CFR Title 21, Part 701
  • ^ Health Canada – Guidelines for Cosmetics Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors
  • ^ Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association – Understanding your label
  • ^ U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?)
  • External links[edit]

    • European Commission: Cosmetic Ingredients Database
    • FDA: Labeling Claims
    • FDA: Cosmetic Labeling Guide



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