How to recognise ingredients
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How to recognise ingredients

One of the problems when checking to see what a cosmetic product is composed of is being able to interpret its label. (See also ADVICE “How to read labels”)
Naturaequa strives to communicate as clearly as possible, as you can see on our site, where, for instance, we explain that Butyrospermum parkii butter = SHEA BUTTER (fair-trade)
Argania spinosa oil = ARGAN OIL (fair-trade)
Mel = HONEY (fair-trade)
Aloe Arborescens Extract = EXTRACT OF ALOE ARBORESCENS (locally-sourced)
Ocinum Basilicum Extract = EXTRACT OF BASIL (locally-sourced)
The European Commission has made a tool available called CosIng (Cosmetic Ingredients) for the classification of raw ingredients (
In truth, it is a more useful tool for those involved in the industry than for consumers.
At the time of writing, there is still no simple and clear “codification system” for cosmetic ingredients.
Another useful tool, at least in terms of checking how natural a product is in origin, is the site
In this dictionary, cosmetic ingredients are “evaluated”:
2 green dots = go for it; you’re in the clear
1 green dot = acceptable
1 yellow dot = there could be problems but, all things considered, you can afford not to worry about it, especially if this ingredient is near the end of the ingredients list
1 red dot = a few problems; use of this ingredient is not recommended unless it is the only red-dotted component in the list or if it is present in a small quantity (in other words, at the end of the INCI list)
2 red dots = unacceptable
I wished to apply this tool to a Naturaequa product, and add a few comments of my own. I chose: Anti-Age Face Cream









2 green dots

Deionised water

Argania Spinosa Oil

L’ “Argania Spinosa Oil” is the fixed oil extracted from the seeds of Argania Spinosa, Sapotaceae

Skin Conditioner

2 green dots

Argan oil, plant-derived, organic, emolient, nourishing, improves elasticity


Butyrospermum parkii butter

 “Butyrospermum Parkii Butter” is the fat obtained from the fruit of the Butyrospermum parkii, Sapotaceae

Skin Conditioner /


2 green dots

Shea butter (Italian: Burro di Karitè)

plant-derived, nourishing, regenerative


Dicaprylyl Ether

Dioctyl oxide


2 green dots

Vegetable ether, emollient with a light feel



Denaturant / Humectant / Solvent

2 green dots

Plant-derived, moisturises the skin surface

Cetearyl Alcohol

Alcohols, C16-18. This substance is identified by SDA Substance Name “C16-C18 alkyl alcohol” and SDA Reporting Number 19-060-00

Emollient / Emulsifier / Emulsion Stabiliser / Mattifying Agent / Rheological Additive

2 green dots

Plant-derived, co-emulsifier and consistency factor

Glyceryl Stearate

Stearic acid, monoester with glycerol

Emollient / Emulsifier

2 green dots

Plant-derived, consistency factor

Aloe Arborescens Leaf Extract

“Aloe Arborescens extract” is an extract from the leaves of Aloe Arborescens, Liliaceae

Moisturising / Soothing

2 green dots

Plant-derived, extract from locally-sourced plants (locally-sourced)

Tocopheryl Acetate

2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-3,4-dihydro-2H-1-benzopyran-6-yl acetate


2 green dots

Plant-derived, it is pro-vitamin E

Sodium PCA

Sodium 5-oxo-2-pyrrolidinecarboxylate

Antistatic / Humectant / Skin Conditioner

2 green dots

Plant-derived, it is one of the components of the skin’s NMF (Natural Moisturising Factor)


Urea, (2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl)


2 green dots

Plant-derived, soothing and regenerative

Xanthan gum

Xanthan gum

Binding / Emulsion Stabiliser / Rheological Additive / Gelling Agent

2 green dots

Plant-derived, gelling agent

Cetearyl Glucoside

D-Glucopyranose, C16-18 alkyl glycosides


2 green dots

Plant-derived, emulsifier, promotes lamellar crystal (similar to the structure of the skin) emulsification


Lecithin. The complex combination of diglycerides of fatty acids linked to the choline ester of phosphoric acid

Antistatic / Emollient / Emulsifier / Skin Conditioner

1 yellow dot

Plant-derived, food-grade antioxidant



Antioxidant / Skin Conditioner

2 green dots

Plant-derived, it is vitamin E, a food-grade antioxidant

Ascorbyl Palmitate

6-O-Palmitoylascorbic acid


1 green dot

Plant-derived, food-grade antioxidant

Citric Acid

2-Hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylic acid

Buffering Agent / Chelating Agent

2 green dots

Plant-derived, corrects the pH-balance




1 yellow dot

Preservative well tolerated by the skin

Benzoic Acid

Benzoic acid


1 yellow dot

Preservative well tolerated by the skin

Sodium Dehydroacetate

Sodium 1-(3,4-dihydro-6-methyl-2,4-dioxo-2H-pyran-3-ylidene)ethanolate


1 yellow dot

Preservative well tolerated by the skin

Linalool, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Geraniol, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone

(compounds of essential oils or fragrance)

Fragrance Allergens

1 yellow dot

Allergens, components of the fair-trade essential oils that make up the fragrance

Profumo (Parfum)

Perfumes, aromatic compounds and raw substances

Deodorising / Odour Masking


Contains essential oils from fair trade

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