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Deciphering Organic, Part 1
By: Leslie Lyon and Marilyn Patterson
Posted: January 29, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
page 4 of 7
Lyon: Can an ingredient be referred to by more than one name? This can often confuse the consumer.
Patterson: There is only one International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) name assigned by the PCPC for a cosmetic ingredient that can be used on a product label, but not all companies follow the labeling regulations. In the United States, the regulation control is lax compared to Europe, where companies that mislabel cosmetics are frequently fined by enforcement organizations operated on a country-to-country basis. Some companies put the source of the ingredient in brackets after the INCI name, and this can be misleading and often is inaccurate. An example would be “sodium laureth sulfosuccinate (coconut).” This is also improper INCI labeling, for it to be proper, the information in the parentheses would have to be removed.
Lyon: Are there laws regarding product label claims?
Patterson: The FDA, FTC and Health Canada do have strict labeling requirements concerning claims, ingredient labeling, letter size and more, but the policing of these is minimal.
Lyon: What’s all the fuss about parabens? What are they and why are they so taboo?