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The conventions used for establishing INCI names are as

1. In order to facilitate use and clarity, INCI names have
been designed to require a minimum of punctuation and

2. Wherever new nomenclature has been adopted, every
effort has been made to use the shortest name
consistent with these rules.

3. Simple chemical names are used wherever possible.
4. Recognized chemical abbreviations are used where




5. Traditional stems are retained as combining forms when
consistent with other systems.

6. Abbreviations are utilized for simplifying the nomenclature
of families of complex ingredients when applicable.

7. Compounds that are related or are similar to materials
described in recognized sources are named, whenever
possible, by analogy to the listed names.

8. Singly susbstituted derivatives do not usually include the
prefix ‘mono’. This term is used only when required to
prevent ambiguity. The absence of a suitable prefix
implies ‘mono’, e.g. Glyceril stearate.



9. The term ‘Glyceride’ has been utilized to describe a
monoglyceride. Mixtures of mono-, di- and triglycerides
are referred to as ‘Glycerides’. Triglycerides are
assigned specific nomenclature, e.g. Tristearin.

10. Multiple substitution is routinely described with the
appropriate prefix, such as ‘di-‘, ‘tri-‘ or ‘tetra-‘, e.g.
Glyceryl distearate.

11. Names of ingredients, other than colours, that contain
terminal numbers are generally hyphenated.
Derivatives of hyphenated materials retain the original



12. Hydration states are not usually expressed.

13. Straight-chain alkyl groups are described by their
common stem names.

14. Materials containing mixtures of even-carbon chain
length fractions are named by the appropriate,
commonly used fatty stem term.

Materials containing mixtures of even- and odd-
carbon chain length fractions are designated by
alternate nomenclature.



15. Branched-chain alkyl groups are usually described by the
prefix ‘iso’ followed by the common stem name for the
comparable straight-chain group (e.g. Isostearyl alcohol, Isocetyl
alcohol). The major exception to this rule is the nomenclature for
the Guerbet alcohols. These materials are named chemically (e.g.
Octyldodecanol, Decyltetradecanol) except for ‘2-Ethylhexyl’. ‘2-
Ethylhexyl’ is represented by the term ‘octyl’ due to its
widespread usage (e.g. Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, Octyl
myristate). Therefore esters or other derivatives of 2-
Ethylhexylhexanoic acid are also named as Octanoic acid
derivatives (e.g. Iso-decyl octanoate). Straight-chain eight-
carbon groups are usually named with the appropriate stem
derived from caprylic acid.



17. Branched-chain acids and alcohols utilize the names
preceded by the term ‘iso’ (e.g. Isosteraric acid). Guerbet
alcohols, however, are designated by specific names (e.g.

18. The nomenclature for ingredients consisting of mixtures of
similar materials (e.g. fatty acids, fatty alcohols) is
determined on the basis of the chemical identity of the raw
material as purchased. Mixtures that reflect the original
distribution of components due to their natural source (e.g.
coconut) are named utilizing the source stem (e.g. coconut
alcohol). If the original natural distribution has been
significantly cut or enriched, the mixture is named on the
basis of the predominant



19. Names of lanolin derivatives usually contain the stem

20. Alkanolamides are named by the specific alkyl amide
stem and the appropriate abbreviation, e.g. ‘MEA’,
‘DEA’, owing to the widespread use of these

21. The dimethyl term is omitted and is assumed in all
alkyl dimethyl amine oxide names (e.g. Stearamine
oxide). Tertiary amine oxides with different substituent
groups are named completely (e.g. Dihydroxyethyl
stearamine oxide).



22. Quaternary ammonium salts usually have the suffix ‘-
ium’ in the stem of the cation. The term ‘monium’
describes a monomethyl-substituted quaternary
nitrogen; ‘dimonium’ describes a dimethyl-substituted
quaternary nitrogen; ‘trimonium’ describes a trimethyl-
substituted quaternary nitrogen.

23. The terms quaternium/polyquaternium are used to
describe complex quaternary ammonium salts that do
not have a common name or that cannot be named by
analogy to established names (e.g. Quaternium-82,



24. The term ‘ampho’ has been used as a combining
term in the nomenclature for the imidazoline-type
amphoteric surfactants. In naming these compounds,
this stem is combined with the appropriate stem
names for the substituent groupings (e.g. Sodium

25. Common fatty stem terms are used to designate
the alkyl portion of alkyl imidazoline compounds
(e.g. Lauryl Hydroxyethyl Imidazoline



26. Biological materials are named by specific terms (e.g.
Hyaluronic Acid) when the material has been isolated,
purified and chemically characterized. Alternate
nomenclature for biologicals (e.g. Glycosamino-glycans
or Spleen extract) is utilized to name materials in
accordance with the extent of their processing.

27. Cosmetic colorants have INCI names according to the
nomenclature used in Annex IV to Directive

28. Hair dye ingredients are named according to
chemical structure. In the event that chemical names are
very complex, a colour/number combination is used
prefixed by the letters ‘HC’.



29. Denatured alcohols are designated by the INCI name
‘Alcohol denat.’. Alcohol denat. is ethyl alcohol that is
denatured with one or more denaturing agents in
accordance with the national legislation of each
Community Member State.

30. Materials derived from plants are known as
botanicals. They have INCI names based on the
international Linné designated nomenclature of the
genus and the species. Chemical derivatives of
botanicals follow the nomenclature rules for chemicals.



31. Name/number combinations are used as INCI
names for cosmetic ingredients only where the
complexity and/or similarity of ingredients
precludes assignment of reasonable nomenclature
by any other means. In all cases where arbitrary
numbers are used, these numbers are preceded by
names suggestive of the structure or the composition
of the material. Each name/number combination
represents a specific ingredient that is listed in the



The following name/number series of combinations have been used:
(a) Benzophenone
This term is used for all benzophenone derivatives (e.g. Benzophenone-2).
(b) HC colour
See rule 28.
(c) Quaternium/Polyquarternium
See rule 23.
(d) Hydrofluorocarbon/Hydrochlorofluorocarbon
These terms are used for hydrohalocarbon aerosol propellants (e.g.

Hydrofluorocarbon 152a, Hydrochlorofluorocarbon 142b).
(e) Polysilicone
This term is used to describe complex silicone polymers that cannot be

named by common names or established conventions for silicone
compounds (e.g. Polysilicone-1).



32. Compounded mixtures created by combining several materials are
named by listing each ingredient present in descending order of

33. The INCI names for extracts represent the ‘material extracted’ and do
not include reference to the extracting solvents and/or other diluents
that may be present in these materials.

34. Solvents and/or diluents contained in commercially available raw
materials such as surfactants, polymers and resins are not normally
identified as part of the INCI name.

35. Alkoxylated materials are named by including the alkoxylation level
as the average number of moles of ethylene oxide and/or propylene

Ethoxylates, which are commonly expressed by an approximate
molecular weight, are converted to the number of moles



Numerical designations included in alternate chemical names
for ethoxylated compounds describe the average number of
moles of ethoxylation when stated parenthetically, e.g.
Polyethylene glycol (20 000).

Without parenthetical notation, the numerical value identifies
molecular weight, e.g. Polyethylene glycol 20 000.

36. Ethoxylated alcohols are named by completing the
conventional alcoholic stem name with ‘eth’ followed by the
average number of moles of ethylene oxide.

37. The polyethylene glycol fraction of all other ethoxylated
compounds that are not named by rule 6 or 36 is followed
by the average number of moles of ethylene oxide.



38. The term ‘Pareth’ applies to ethoxylated paraffinic
alcohols containing both even- and odd-carbon chain
length fractions.

39. The term ‘Acrylates’ is used to describe linear, non-cross-
linked copolymers that contain combinations of acrylic
acid, methacrylic acid and their simple esters. Similarly, the
term ‘Crotonate(s)’ is used to describe the copolymers that
contain combinations of crotonic acid and its simple esters.

40. The name ‘Carbomer’ is used to describe high molecular
weight cross-linked homopolymers of acrylic acid. The
cross-linking agent(s) is (are) identified in the ingredient
monograph definition.

41. The term ‘cross-polymer’ is used to describe polymers
other than Carbomer that arewwcwr.oDuslosM-ixli.cnomked.