Changes are underfoot at Annmarie Skin Care. Don't worry, these changes only pertain to how we're labeling them, not to the ingredients inside.
If you’ve ever examined our ingredient lists, you've probably noticed that the names listed there looked pretty familiar. You saw things like “jojoba oil” and “licorice root extract,” for example.
We love the fact that the ingredients in our products are natural and therefore, recognizable.
Well, our labeling and packaging is going to be changing. In addition to seeing “jojoba oil” listed, you’ll soon see “Simmondsias chinensis seed oil.”
That new word may look a little intimidating or at least unfamiliar (unless you’re a botanist, in which case it probably looks pretty familiar).
The thing is, when we give tips on avoiding unnatural products, we often advise you to stay away from products with long ingredient lists. That’s because these ingredient lists are usually full of synthetic chemicals that are not nourishing to the skin, and potentially even harmful to your health. Things like Hydroxycitronellal, Phenoxyethanol, or peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone (yes that actually is an ingredient in a serum out there on the market).
So we want to make sure we let you know about the new way we’re listing the ingredients in our products, how you can differentiate between the nasty ingredients out there and why we're doing it.
What is an INCI Name?
Our new ingredient lists now include “INCI names.” INCI stands for “International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients.” This is a system of names based on the scientific, Latin, and English words that are used to describe cosmetic ingredients.
The system was created in the early 1970s by the Personal Care Products Council, and is used worldwide as a uniform way of labeling cosmetic products. It helps ensure that the cosmetic industry will have a single worldwide reference when it comes to ingredients, with scientific names that help identify what an ingredient is no matter where you live.
When a German customer sees “Simmondsias chinensis seed oil” on our ingredient deck, for example, she will be seeing the same ingredient that an American customer would see. Should she see “jojoba oil,” however, she’d be less likely to recognize it.
By using the INCI naming system, we help minimize language barriers across different countries, and help increase customer understanding of what’s in our products. This system of scientific names is supported across the industry, from companies providing raw materials to finished product manufacturers and regulatory bodies in various governments around the world.
The medical community is also supportive of this system, as it helps them identify any ingredients that might be responsible for a patient’s allergic reaction to a product.
Annmarie Skin Care, an International Brand
Because we sell products to people all over the world, it’s actually required that we use INCI names under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.
Since we’ve been using the common names thus far, we’re aware that there might be some confusion.
The Annmarie Skin Care community cares about what we put on our skin, hence the “if you can’t pronounce it, it’s not good for you” mantra that some of us use when choosing our products.
Though this idea can be helpful in finding natural products and avoiding those filled with potentially harmful ingredients, it can also lead to confusion when it comes to INCI names.
As an example, take a look at our old ingredient list for our Coconut Body Oil:
*Extra virgin coconut oil, *sunflower oil, herb infused oil (*grapeseed oil, *calendula flowers, *comfrey leaves, *comfrey root,*echinacea purpurea, *ginko leaves, *goji berries, *gotu kola leaves, *hibiscus flowers, *lavender flowers, *lemon balm, *licorice root, *life everlasting flowers, *lotus stamen, *plantago leaves, *rhodiola, *rooibos, *rose petals, *rosemary leaves, *green tea leaves, *shavegrass (horsetail herb), *violet leaves, *acai fruit, *amla, *ashwagandha, *frankincense, *milk thistle seed), *aloe vera oil, *olive oil, *lavender oil, non-GMO vitamin E tocopherols, elemi oil, peru balsam, frankincense oil.
Here’s what this looks like in INCI names:
Cocos nucifera oil; Helianthus annuus seed oil; Vitis vinifera seed oil, Calendula officinalis flower extract, Symphytum officinale leaf extract, Symphytum officinale root extract, Echinacea purpurea extract, Ginkgo biloba leaf extract, Lycium chinense fruit extract, Centella asiatica leaf extract, Hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract, Lavandula angustifolia flower extract, Melissa officinalis leaf extract, Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract, Helichrysum arenarium flower extract, Nelumbo nucifera stamen extract, Plantago lanceolata leaf extract, Rhodiola rosea root extract, Aspalathus linearnis leaf extract, Rosa centifolia flower extract, Rosmarinus officinalis extract, Camellia sinesis leaf extract, Equisetum arvense leaf extract, Viola tricolor extract, Euterpe oleracea fruit extract, Emblica officinalis fruit extract, Withania somnifera root extract, Boswellia serrata extract, Silybum marianum seed extract; Caprylic / Capric triglyceride, Cocos nucifera oil, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract; Olea europaea fruit oil; Lavandula angustifolia oil; Tocopherol; Canarium commune gum oil; Myroxylon pereirae resin; Boswellia carterii gum extract
You can see the difference. If you take a look at our competitors, however, you’ll notice that you can still tell what’s natural and what’s not. Take a look at this alternative coconut body oil, for example:
If you take a look at our competitors, however, you’ll notice that you can still tell what’s natural and what’s not. Take a look at this alternative coconut body oil, for example:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Emollient), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Cocos Nucifera Oil/Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Emollient), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil/Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil (Emollient), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Antioxidant), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (Emollient), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Antioxidant).
Right away you can see some red flags, right? The “Parfum/Fragrance” is one. Fragrances like these are often made up of a cocktail of chemicals that manufacturers don’t have to list on the label, since they’re protected as trade secrets. Fragrances are one of the most common sensitizers in skin care, meaning they carry a risk of allergic reactions. Some ingredients commonly used in fragrance can even affect your hormones.
You may see some other chemicals here. The dicaprylyl carbonate is one, and though it’s considered to be a safe ingredient, it is a chemical-based emollient.
Then you can see that this product also has several natural oils and extracts in it. It’s not necessarily a “bad” or unsafe product—we’re just using the list here to help you see the difference. You can probably tell pretty easily in our Coconut Body Oil that all the ingredients, even when listed with INCI names, are plant-based extracts and oils.
A Positive Change for Annmarie Skin Care
We believe that consumers have the right to know what’s in their skin care and we work hard to provide a truly natural alternative. We want people all over the world to be able to use our products, and thus this new method of labeling is par for the course.
These are the same products that you know and love—just with new labels that bring the line into compliance with industry regulations, and make the products globally friendly.
When you get a product with the new list, we’d love to know what you think!
Have you grown familiar with INCI names for plant-based oils and extracts? Please let us know what you think of this change.