INCI Cosmetics: what it is about

How many times have you been told that to understand the quality of beauty products you have to read their INCI cosmetics? Easy right? Even a child could do it! Mmmhhh… thinking about it…

… I think I exaggerated a little bit!

Maybe just the idea makes you like the girl in the photo?
Actually, you still have to understand what we're talking about speaking. I bet you've already made a dash to the bathroom to reach for the bottle of your favorite moisturizer. Have you looked at the label on the back. You tried to read it.
You have seen a myriad of symbols, numbers, words too complicated to pronounce. Let alone understood.
Don't tell me you're throwing in the towel without trying to understand something about cosmetic INCI. Take a few minutes to relax and read this article carefully.

You will see that together we will clarify and understand how, learning to read and recognize the ingredients of cosmetics, it can help.

I. No c THE is an abbreviation that means "International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients", i.e. international nomenclature of cosmetic ingredients.

As we can guess from the name, it is a name used all over the world and refers specifically to cosmetic products. Among the countries that have adopted this system are the members of the European Union, the United States of America, Russia, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.

It was introduced in 1997 in order to indicate the ingredients that make up a cosmetic formulation in a standardized and interpretable way.
In this way it was decided to protect the consumer. Specifically, help people with allergies identify the substances they are allergic to before buying and using a product.
Basically, it lists all the ingredients present in a cosmetic and obliges the manufacturer to indicate them on the label according to a pre-established criterion.

Which criterion? In decreasing order of concentration.  What does it mean?
That when you read the INCI cosmetics, the first substance you come across is the one present in the highest percentage. The last one is the one contained in a lower percentage. Even if, in reality, it is allowed to mention substances with a concentration lower than 1% in any order at the end. Due to its characteristics, obviously reading the list of ingredients has many advantages that you will be able to benefit from when making your purchases.

Cosmetic INCI: how to identify and read them

In this part of the article we will do some practice.
While I explain how to identify and read cosmetic INCI, you can follow me by looking at the photo below. It will be a very valuable aid!
What you see on the right is the list of ingredients of our anti-cellulite product with Visnadine. If you want to know more about its characteristics, I invite you to visit the page dedicated to Visna Forte Woman or Visna Forte Man if you are a boy.

inci cosmetici come individuarli leggerli

Let's start with the simplest exercise. Let's find out where the Inci is.

We need to look for a list of substances that starts with the word “ingredients”.
In this case it was simple because the label has clean and easily legible graphics, but believe me, sometimes you have to sharpen your eyes to identify the cosmetic INCI.

The order of substances

Do you remember what we said about the order of substances?
First we find those present in percentage greater.  In this case, therefore, the cream is mainly composed of water. Keep in mind that in cosmetics, water will always be the most abundant substance. We can easily move on to reading the second one on the list. "CI 42090", on the other hand, is present in extremely small quantities.

See the little arrow I drew about halfway down the list? Go ahead and look at the photo. Well... half of the list represents, in general, the demarcation between a sufficient percentage of active ingredients and a very minimal amount of the same.
The substances present in this part of the list have stabilizing functions of the texture, coloring or preservatives. But they have no effect on the skin at such insignificant dosages.

The precise formulation of the various cosmetics, like the best recipes, remains jealously guarded by the manufacturing companies. This detail will help you to have an idea of ​​the quality of the cosmetic.

Next time you buy the latest cream that boasts of containing the "super active ingredient xyz", remember what I just taught you.
If you see this principle appearing among the first names, then you can be sure that the cosmetic will actually keep its promises.

If, on the other hand, the "superprinciple xyz" is found after the fateful half of the list, I strongly advise you to put the product back on the shelf.

INCI COSMETICI ingredienti

Let's take a moment back to the INCI of Visnadine that we have just analyzed. The strong point of this gel, from which it even receives the commercial name Visna Forte, is the presence of the active ingredient Visnadine. As you can see, you immediately realize that this substance is among the very first places. You are guaranteed to make a good purchase.

Inci cosmetics: how to interpret them

Reading the list you will have noticed that we are dealing with a nice series of nice names. Some in English and some in Latin.
The Latin name is generally used to indicate the scientific wording of the substances present in their natural form, without having undergone chemical modifications. This includes the botanical ingredients or present in the pharmacopoeia.

The most classic example we can use is that of essential oils, widely used in INCI cosmetics due to their chemical-physical characteristics. The famous Capsicum Resinated Oil that we at FGM04 love so much can be found in the form of "Capsicum Frutescens Oleoresin".
Have you already identified it on the label above? For everything else, English is used.

It should be noted that some companies decide to use English mainly or exclusively. A special mention must be made for artificial dyes.
In any cosmetic you have in your hands, with the exception of hair dyes, the latter can be indicated through the "Color Index", abbreviated "CI" e followed by 5 digits (CI 15985, to name one, indicates azo derivatives).

And the exception of hair dyes?
Companies are  obligated to always indicate the chemical name.

INCI cosmetics: they tell us what to avoid

Telling you about the birth of the INCI, I told you that the initial goal was to help people with certain allergies to avoid potentially dangerous products for their health. If I'm allergic to caffeine and I see that a cosmetic contains it, I'll simply focus on another product.
But what if I'm unaware of a possible allergy? How do I prevent myself?

The INCI cosmetics give us a hand in this case too. There are, in fact, a series of substances that have particularly negative characteristics and should be avoided regardless. Among these we also find those with a high allergenic power.

Since companies are obliged to indicate any substance contained in the cosmetic, you will be able to identify its presence and run for cover. Let's analyze the classes of substances that you will have to avoid, or at least to which you will have to pay attention.

INCI COSMETICI cosa evitare

√   Highly allergenic: If the cosmetic you have chosen contains some of these ingredients in quantities important, I advise you to try a few samples first to check that you do not have any allergies.

√   Highly polluting : MEA, MIPA, TEA.

   They do not allow skin perspiration: all petroleum derivatives, including silicones.

Apart from those indicated, there are other categories of "not recommended" substances that have created various doubts on which the scientific community has no yet found satisfactory answers. Among these we can indicate the Parabens.

We will deal with this topic in depth with a dedicated article.
In this section we have learned another fundamental aspect of INCI cosmetics. If a substance is included in the permitted ingredients , it does not mean that it is harmless.

You should always check that you do not have allergies or intolerances to a particular component. Always take some time to carry out the due evaluations before proceeding with your purchase.

If in doubt, use the free trial samples. An aspect that has always distinguished FGM04 from the competition is precisely this. We have single-serving sachets for each product in our catalog to allow you to test the product on your skin before buying it.

INCI cosmetics: the advantages

The time has come to take stock of the situation and see all the benefits that you will be able to obtain from a correct reading and evaluation of the INCI of cosmetic products.

√   You will save resources.  You will use your money for real quality. You will avoid cheap products that will have no effect.

√   You will buy consciously.  You will be able to understand the reasons why you will have to choose one cosmetic over another.

√   You will avoid pollution. You will contribute to reducing the use of substances that damage the environment.

√   We safeguard your health. You will be able to avoid all potentially harmful products. We have reached the end of this first article dedicated to the technical aspects (let's call them that way) related to cosmetics.

As I already explained in the blog presentation article, in this section we will talk about all those topics related to production of cosmetics. I will explain how a formulation is born and how a successful texture is created.

We will analyze together the different active ingredients used and, over time, we will create a small database of the substances that must become part of your arsenal to maintain your beauty and your health.

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