Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Reading INCI names

In this post, A conditioning shampoo with SCI, Synara asks: Just wondering: I only have Amphosol CG and cocamidopropyl betaine. Can I make a shampoo with these surfactants?

The short answer is no. And that's because you actually only have one surfactant because Amphosol CG is cocamidopropyl betaine as made by Stepan, and it's such a mild surfactant, it wouldn't be a good product for anyone other than small babies with very fine hair.

This is where checking the INCI or International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients name of the product comes in handy! The INCI is the name the ingredient should be called on labels for cosmetic products, and every supplier should have that information handy on a label or on their websites.

If you take a closer look at the label on the Amphosol CG I bought from Voyageur Soap & Candle, you can see it lists the ingredient as cocamidopropyl betaine. Knowing this information means I don't buy it from another site and end up with two or three of everything. (Ask me how I found this out the hard way!)

This comes up a lot with surfactants and emulsifiers as the names can be different depending upon the manufacturer of the product our suppliers have chosen to use and the suppliers' desire to put their stamp on the product. Knowing the INCI for Incroquat BTMS-50 is behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetyl alcohol (and) butylene glycol keeps me from buying the conditioner emulsifier at this supplier, the emulsifying conditioner at another supplier, and the conditioning emulsifying wax at yet another.

This also comes in handy when you're ordering in a different language. I recently went on a surfactant buying spree at Les Ames Fleurs in Quebec, and I was able to figure out easily what I wanted based on the INCI names!

I know the names may seem daunting, but knowing what you're buying will save you so much money, and help you make more awesome things! Plus, it makes it easier to break down commercial products' ingredient lists so you can learn what you like, what you don't like, and where to start if you want to duplicate it.

Related posts:
Reading INCI names
Substitutions: Reading INCI names

1 comment:

Kath Collard said...

Those INCI names are a mouthful but you are right about duplicating purchases. A very helpful and money saving tip/post. Thanks 😆