What's in the name?

Posted by Teresa Foo on

'Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, Prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel) oil, Camellia oleifera (camellia) oil, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil (and) Daucus carota (carrot) extract*, Polyglyceryl-3 palmitate (derived from coconut), Glyceryl caprylate (derived from coconut), Sambucus nigra(elderberry extract) fruit extract, Arnica montana (arnica) flower extract, Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, Anthemis nobilis L. (roman chamomile) oil*, Citrus sinensis (sweet orange) oil, Cananga odorata (ylang ylang) oil, Tocopherols (vitamin E)'

These are names of the ingredients which can be found on our bath/shower oils. Do you have difficulty in pronouncing the names? I'm sure most people do as these are latin words (the italic ones). These are the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) names for cosmetic ingredients. It is a requirement by the ASEAN Cosmetics Directives (is modelled after the EU Cosmetics regulations), EU Cosmetics regulations and many others that all cosmetic ingredients to include both the INCI and English names on the product labels.

Do you have doubts when you do not know how to read the names and it conjures up images of chemicals that you're not familiar with? Don't be afraid. The INCI names are necessary and I will elaborate more. Have you read our previous post on chemophobia? If not, we highly recommend you to read it up. (link)

We will take an example of Lavender essential oils. The widely used Lavender plant has over 30 species with sub-species and hydrids too. If we were to use the English word Lavender essential oil, you will have no idea what species does it come from. If we include the INCI name for example, Lavandula Angustifolia, you will have an idea the essential oil is distilled from this species of the Lavender plant. There are also Lavendula officinalis, Lavandula Spica, Lavandula Latifolia, Lavandin and the list just goes on and on. 

Even water is also defined with the INCI name as Aqua. This is how they are called in scientific terms. 

In fact when you do a search on the internet with the INCI name of the ingredient, often you will get an accurate description of what it is and you can even find a scientific or clinical study on it. Here at Balm Kitchen, we want to empower our customers with the knowledge of knowing and to separate myths from facts. With that note, look at the ingredients' list on the products in your household and search the INCI names on the internet. Have fun!




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