Hair & Beauty Magazine

Can’t Pronounce the Ingredients List? They’re Not All Bad – Look Again

By Null Null

Can’t Pronounce the Ingredients List? They’re Not All Bad – Look Again

Some companies like to be fancy (or thorough, take your pick) and list common safe ingredients by their scientific name. For example, most of us are well aware of what shea butter is. A very popular moisturizer and emollient, it’s amazing softening properties have been used for everything from shampoo to lotion. However, the scientific name for it is BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII. Yeah, I couldn’t pronounce that off the bat either.

The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, or INCI, is a system of names for the ingredients in personal care, cosmetic and like products.  INCI names are mandated on the ingredient list of every consumer personal care product. A lot of these names are Latin and unpronounceable to the average consumer.

So, don’t follow the old adage “if I can’t pronounce it, I won’t buy it.”Most of the time, you’ll see the layman term next to the scientific name, but you may come across the odd business that won’t. If you don’t recognize that ingredient, Google it!

Here’s a handy list of the more common ingredients and their official INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) names:

Product Name


Aloe Vera Gel Aloe barbadensis leaf juice

Apricot Kernel Prunus armeniacae kernel

Avocado Persea gratissima

Cocoa Theobroma cacao

Coconut Cocos nucifera

Coffee Bean Coffea arabica

Grapeseed Vitis vinifera

Green Tea Camelia sinensis leaf

Jojoba Simmondsia chinensis

Lavender Lavandula Augustifolia

Macadamia Macadamia ternifolia

Mango Mangifera indica

Olive Olea europea

Pomeganate Punica granatum linn

Rose Damascena Rosa damascena

Shea Butter Butyrospermum parkii

Sweet Almond Prunus amygdalus dulcis

Vitamin C Sodium ascorbate, Ascorbyl palmitate

Vitamin E Tocopherol


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