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NCI of cosmetics: what is it and how to read it?

To buy a cosmetic suitable for our skin and our ethics, it is of great importance to know how to read the INCI of cosmetics, or the label that shows all the ingredients present. Here’s how to learn how to do it to make informed choices
26-02-2019
COSMETICS AND PERFUMES

In the world of cosmetics we often hear about INCI, but what is it in a nutshell? The INCI of cosmetics is nothing more than a list of ingredients shown on the label of a product, which faithfully reports all the ingredients contained in the composition of the cream, shampoo, mask or make-up purchased.

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Lately it has become increasingly important to learn how to read the INCI, especially if you want to know the difference between natural cosmetics, organic cosmetics and traditional cosmetics.

Some ingredients present in the INCI can be potentially harmful to the skin, and there are some apps that help you calculate the INCI of products, coming to associate the classic traffic light color (red, yellow and green) to each ingredient.

Let’s see together how to read the INCI and all the tricks to choose a good cosmetic product.

Knowing the ingredients of cosmetics
Reading the INCI of cosmetics and understanding how to interpret it can really make the difference in choosing a beauty product. Learning how to read INCI is not easy, also because the interpretation of ingredients would require too much specific knowledge. So if reading the ingredients of cosmetics can be difficult at first glance, fortunately there are some apps for the INCI of products that are very explanatory and easy to use.

Not only quality, but also quantity
The INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) faithfully reports all the ingredients present in cosmetics, including those potentially harmful to health. Even if their presence is certified by the INCI, this should not always scare you: a lot also depends on the quantity of a particular ingredient within the cosmetic product.

We reveal a little trick, however: to know the quantities, since no percentages are indicated, you just have to pay attention to the order in which the ingredients are listed on the label. If the first ingredient is castor oil, for example, it is certainly present in large quantities.

Let’s not forget about certifications
Now we know how to read the INCI regarding ingredients, but what you can find out about a given product is not limited to that. The INCI of cosmetics also reports the presence of possible certifications such as organic, ecological and eco-sustainable.

What is really important to know, besides the list of ingredients, is also how they can act on our skin. Not always a natural ingredient is free of danger, especially if we are allergy sufferers, as resulted from allergy tests carried out.

Check if on the INCI of cosmetics there are particular perfumes or fragrances, which could irritate you even if the cosmetic does not have silicones, parabens, preservatives or dyes. In any case, a good habit is to ask advice from your herbalist or perfumery saleswoman, relying also on smartphone apps.

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