Is This Really a Natural Ingredient? Part 1

At O Naturals, we believe that it is our commitment to you to be fully transparent about our products. This is why we decided that you should know not just about the easily-identifiable natural ingredients, such as Shea Butter, but also about those that might initially raise some eyebrows and raise a few questions.

It is certainly reasonable to have questions, after all, Sodium Phytate doesn’t sound like a natural ingredient, right? Wrong, because Sodium Phytate is the salt form of the corn-derived plant component phytic acid, modified to become an ingredient used as a chelating agent in cosmetics. This is just one example of the many natural ingredients needed to make natural cosmetics that doesn’t sound natural because of its INCI name. So what exactly is an INCI name?

The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, or INCI, is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients that comp[ose cosmetics and soaps. The names themselves are derived from their general scientific names and Latin. However, they often differ significantly from their synthetic counterparts as well. This is in order to distinguish them as a natural ingredient. So you know where these names come from but why are these ingredients even necessary? To understand this, you have to examine how natural cosmetics are made.

You might think that in order to make a natural cosmetic product is simple. After all, it is natural, right? You just take a bunch of fruits and plants, smash them up, stir with water and there you have it! While there is some truth to that, making a real, sustainable natural cosmetic product line requires more chemistry than that. Put simply, those DIY (Do It Yourself) recipes will spoil fairly quickly. If you want a natural hand cream that will last several months, you need something with preservatives. You also need natural chemical stabilizers to allow the ingredients to mix properly. This is where the INCI named natural ingredients come into play.

To find out how these natural ingredients work, stay tuned for part 2 next week….