03 Aug Inci, between myth and legend
You will think that this is a somewhat curious title, well, how to blame you .. I wanted to call it that because every time I talk to the "non-experts" about what eco-friendly cosmetics is and what Inci is they always look at me as if you came from another planet 🙂
Having made this small premise, I come to the point by explaining what INCI is, how to read it and the ingredients to avoid.
The INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is nothing more than the list of ingredients contained in cosmetics, so reading it we will immediately understand if the cosmetic we want to buy is natural or chemical.
In the West, the law requires manufacturers to enter the list of products in detail, the list is in descending order, which means that the first ingredient is the one you will find in greater quantity in the formula.
After reading the whole article and I hope you really read it all because these ingredients are also found in household detergents, in those for washing clothes and right here they settle more ending up on your skin but also of your children, that's why the change should concern not only cosmetics but also the quality of life itself, after reading you will also understand the choice to create this line.
What ingredients avoid and why:
- Mineral oils (hydrocarbons): they are inert fats derived from minerals, obtained from the refining of coal and oil. They are used for 3 reasons: low cost, chemical inertness (they are not subject to rancidity), good workability. Widely used in pharmacy and cosmetic products as they perform a lubricating and protective action, given their composition and origin they are not in the least skin compatible therefore they cannot penetrate the epidermis as natural vegetable fats do, in fact therefore their function "Moisturizing" is given by their occlusive power, they create a sort of film on the skin which in the long run can lead to skin problems such as dermatitis. The environmental damage caused by these ingredients is immense as they are used for creams but also rinsing products that end up in the soil and water.
How to recognize them: Paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum, mineral oil, microcrystalline wax .. etc.
- Silicones: they are semi-organic polymers obtained from silicon mixed with oxygen, in other words they are “plastic” materials. They are used for their low cost, stability in formulas and high tolerability on the skin; in fact they are used for the creation of creams because they give it a velvety texture and for bathroom products because they leave a film on the skin making it soft. Given their composition, these raw materials are also not skin-compatible and are very polluting.
How to recognize them: Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane and in general all the names ending with -one and -ane.
- Fatty alcohols: often used as emulsifiers or dispersing agents to give body to the formula. Very polluting and often irritating.
How to recognize them: methyl propyl, caprylyl- alcohol, hexadecanol, cetyl alcohol, polypropylene glycol (PPG).
- Polymers: plastic substances similar to silicones for their use, used as texture agents and sometimes as emulsifiers; known as polyethylene glycol (PEG), they are not directly toxic to the skin but are made through heavy chemical processes that use toxic gases for humans and the planet. Many emulsifiers are ethoxylated compounds, their creation process involves the use of ethylene oxide, a toxic and carcinogenic gas.
How to recognize them: Crosspolymer, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), ingredients ending in -eth or -oxynol.
- Preservatives: Parabens, paraben is an ester-like chemical compound deriving from the condensation of an acid with an alcohol, widely used for their antibacterial and antifungal activity, have been and still are extremely criticized because they are found in cancerous cells. The studies made contradict each other and it is not certain whether or not they can interfere with the endocrine activity, however it is proven that they penetrate into the tissues and this fact is already wrong if we think that cosmetics should not penetrate beyond the skin.
EDTA: an acid that has very high antibacterial and stabilizing activity, but in fact it is a poison; it is also used in the photographic and paper industry, highly toxic and highly criticized, obviously polluting.
How to recognize it: all words that contain EDTA.
- Formaldehyde Cessors: Formaldehyde is a dehydrogenated alcohol found in the form of gas, used in cosmetics in the form of water is highly corrosive, irritating and has been classified as a type 1B carcinogen. Its direct use has been banned by the European Union but in its place we can find the formaldehyde chemicals, substances that release formaldehyde due to their decomposition or by association with other ingredients.
How to recognize them: Quaternium-15, -18, Polyquaternium..etc.
- SLES / SLS: they are surfactants used in shampoos, conditioners and shower gels for their cleansing and washing power; like all anionic compounds (with negative charge) they are aggressive and dry the skin.
- Aluminum salts: Widely used as antiperspirants in deodorants, they are considered irritating and potentially dangerous because their particles are able to penetrate the skin.