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Inci in cosmetics: find out how to read it to take care of yourself


The incidence of cosmetics is an important value in learning to choose what to buy and what not. Find out how to use it to be beautiful without harming your health.

When you approach the world of cosmetics in a more responsible way, the term inci is certainly the one you hear most often. To understand what inci is, just think of the ingredients that make up a given product and that, a bit like the food you buy at the supermarket, represents the identity card of a given cosmetic. So let’s find out everything there is to know about it.

What is the inci? The meaning

The term inci is the acronym of International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. Since 1997, the European Union has made it mandatory to indicate it on cosmetic packaging to show the consumer the substances of which a given product is made and guide him in his choice, as well as informing him of possible allergies or intolerances to some components.


Learning to read the incidence of cosmetics is therefore an essential aspect to understand what is best to buy and what you should avoid, both for your health and for respect for the environment. Let us now examine in detail the various terms that make up the INI to learn how to decipher it correctly.

How to read the inci of the products

When you are faced with a cosmetic, the list of ingredients is usually difficult to understand, at least at first glance. To be able to interpret it correctly it is in fact essential to know some basic rules , which are:

The order of the ingredients . These are written from the one most present within the product to the one that results in the least quantity.

Nomenclature . The way the various ingredients are listed has a particular meaning. Those in Latin are those natural ingredients that are inserted pure, that is, without having undergone any processing.

If accompanied by an asterisk , it also means that they come from organic farming. The processed or chemical products are written in English or inserted with numerical codes.

Dyes: Dyes are usually indicated with the CI shekale followed by the code of the color used.

Then there are other items that may be important to know and which are:

Cruelty free . Often, animal rights activists look for the word “not tested on animals” in order to make their purchases. This, however, only means that the finished product has not been tested. It is not certain that this has not happened for the single raw materials.

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The cruelty free writing is the one that gives the greatest guarantee and with it also the symbol of the bunny .

Nickel tested: Nickel tested is often written. This indicates that the product has been tested and that it contains a lower size than that which can create problems for allergy sufferers. In case of a clear nickel allergy, this is the only statement that applies.

The guarantee by the clerk that nickel has not been inserted in a given cosmetic, in fact, may not be enough. This metal is in fact naturally present in many products . Reason why to be sure (in case of allergy) it is better to buy only those with the wording.

Finally, it is important to know that the various ingredients are entered in order of weight only if they are higher than 1%. If the quantity is less they can be transcribed in no particular order.

How to understand what to buy based on the inci

If we are faced with doubts, the web comes to our rescue. In fact, there is a bio-dictionary that can be consulted online in order to understand if a given item is actually healthy or if it is to be avoided.

There are also smartphone apps that can help in this regard. In any case, the ingredients used for cosmetics are not so many. And over time it will be easier and easier to learn to recognize them in order to make informed and healthy choices, avoiding the harmful substances present in cosmetics.

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