Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Which product would you rather use?

As I sit here in the studio I thought it would be fun to post a little about ingredients. I wanted to know which product you would rather purchase and use based solely on the ingredient list.

Product A: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Beeswax, Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil,  Tocopherol

Product B: Sweet Almond oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Vitamin E Oil

At a quick glance product B probably looks more appealing because you can instantly recognize all the ingredients. BUT what if I told you that they are the same product? That's correct, this is a lip balm that I make, for A, I used the INCI names and for B, I used the common (English) names which are easily recognized.

INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients and it is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics, and the like, based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.

It is a system which is easily recognizable throughout the world so if you are shopping in the streets of Italy (lucky you) you can recognize ingredients in a product even if the rest of the label is in Italian.

So many times I hear people say "I won't use a product if I can't recognize or pronounce the names of the ingredients" and so many times they are referring to the INCI names which look strange and foreign, unless you were a Latin major or a chemist in college. While I understand the thought behind that of not wanting to put potentially dangerous chemicals on one's self just remember that sometimes you cannot pronounce or recognize a name simply because it is in Latin. Case in point, the INCI name for Shea Butter is Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit, something I certainly cannot pronounce and would never guess except that I deal with these ingredients daily.

So there you have it, INCI is not scary, it just takes a little research to know what the ingredients are when they are labelled accordingly.

Here is a helpful link to INCI names for your reference: http://www.oshun.ca/inci.html

Rock on my friends
~ Your Soapsmith

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