Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Where Do The Names Listed On Beauty Products Come From?

The other day, I was watching a YouTube video in which the person was reviewing a new skin care line that didn't seem to have the ingredients listed properly as required by the INCI.  The INCI or International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient, is the list of systematic names of cosmetic ingredients recognized internationally. This list is assembled by the International Nomenclature Committee and published by the Personal Care Products Council. 

What this does is provide a way for all beauty and cosmetic suppliers to use standardized terminology when listing ingredients. One advantage is the common labeling means dermatologists and others are able to look for ingredients that are known to create  rashes or other adverse reactions.  In addition, scientists are able to publish results using these standardized names so everyone is aware of any issues or results.

Furthermore, the use of standardized terms for ingredients means that global companies are able to meet all requirements world wide for their products.  This prevents them from getting in trouble with governments for using banned ingredients. In addition, it is much easier to maintain safety records since everyone is using the same name.  It prevents confusion if different places use a different name for a certain item.  

Although the names have been approved for use globally, it does not mean the actual item is approved for use in cosmetics. Creating a standardized name for an ingredient does not mean that it is safe, or that its use in cosmetics automatically guarantees the product is safe.  It is left up to the manufacturer to determine the safety and fitness of an ingredient used in the product.  

Where the INCI names come into play in the United States is with the FDA.  The United States Food and Drug Administration requires all cosmetic and beauty manufacturers to use the names listed in the International Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook in their cosmetic ingredient labeling per US regulation 21 CFR 701.3.

The aforementioned International Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook is considered the worldwide authoritative reference of ingredient information for the medical profession, industry, government, consumers and academia. The International Nomenclature Committee is charged with making sure that all information appearing in the dictionary/handbook is correct. 

If you wonder, this process began back in the 1970's when countries began requiring all ingredients to be listed on products.  The listing of ingredients has been evolving and changing over time with the development of new technologies and innovation of new ingredients. Furthermore, ingredients are listed under either general conventions, specific conventions, or miscellaneous conventions.  Ingredients may be reclassified as necessary.

So now we know where the names used for the ingredients come from.  You also know if there is no list of ingredients on some skincare, personal beauty supplies, or cosmetics, then the manufacturer is breaking the law.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day?

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