International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI)

INCI Names

The abbreviation "INCI" stands for "International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients." To ensure that cosmetic ingredients are consistently listed using the same ingredient name from product to product, INCI was established. In the U.S., the FDA requires that all cosmetics include a listing of ingredients using the standardized INCI name for each ingredient. Using consistent ingredient names on product labels allows consumers the ability to easily compare the ingredients between multiple products.


Latin/Botanical Names

The INCI name includes the Latin Name (also known as the Botanical Name).

The Latin name given to a species and genus of plant helps to clearly distinguish it from other plants that share the same common name. Examples of plants that share the same common name are Anthemis nobilis and Matricaria chamomilla (both commonly known as Chamomile), Cedrus atlantica and Juniperus virginiana (both commonly known as Cedarwood) and Helichrysum italicum, Helichrysum gymnocephalum and Helichrysum bracteiferum (all commonly known just as Helichrysum, Immortelle or Everlasting). In these examples, each of the botanicals has somewhat differing properties, so referring to the Latin names is necessary to fully understand the specific properties, benefits, precautions and other attributes directly associated with the botanical.

Normally, the Latin name is italicized, the first letter of the species name is capitalized and the first letter of the genus is in lowercase. However, for INCI formatting, each word tends to be capitalized.

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