FAQ / Contact

How does the INCI (ingredient) search tool work?

Enter the whole term or just the first few letters

Each INCI term (= each ingredient) you find in the database is accompanied by a rating, a smiley face ranging from "very good" to "not recommended".

  • Each ingredient appears with its main function (skin care agent, film-forming agent, preservative, etc.) and an indication of its nature or source : plant-based, chemical, mineral, animal or biotechnological, for example. Some components may be of several natures and will therefore be indicated as "different sources".
  • Some ingredients also include details (restrictions on use in Europe, microplastics, substances classified as CMR, etc.) or are described in greater detail in dedicated articles on the site (e.g. titanium dioxide).
  • As for plant ingredients such as aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis) or jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis), they appear differently in the declaration depending on whether they are present in oil, extract, powder or other form. For example, an ingredient derived from almonds may appear under many different names: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Meal, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Protein or Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Seed Extract, and so on.
    In the site's INCI database, you'll always find the basic botanical term for ingredients of plant origin and the indication that all variants will be evaluated in the same way.

Example: The evaluation of Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis will be valid for all INCI names beginning with "Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis".

  • The same principle also applies to certain categories of synthetic ingredients. Example: The evaluation is identical for all INCI terms beginning with "PEG", whatever the number that follows or the composition of the word.
  • For "CI + numbers" colorants: note CI, followed by the first number with no space in between.
  • The database is far from representing ALL the (countless...) INCI names currently present and regularly added on the market - but will be regularly updated and completed.

I can't find the specific INCI that appears on my product

Please double-check and respect the following instructions before contacting us: enter the whole word or just the first letters.

For CIs (colorants): note « CI » followed by the first number with no spaces in between.

The INCI list is updated on a regular basis. It is possible that certain INCI ingredients are not yet listed when you carry out your INCI search on the site, as the cosmetics industry, for example, is constantly developing new components.

Questions about products, brands or skincare advice

The "The Truth About Cosmetics" site is an independent, global information site and is not designed to give personalized advice. The site is therefore unable to answer specific, personal questions such as "What do you think of this brand or this product?", "I have a specific skin problem" or "Which suncare products are best for my child?

The site's INCI search, on the other hand, enables you to carry out a detailed search on ingredients and thus evaluate your products. The various articles and product tests regularly published on the site also enable you to delve deeper into the subjects and give you valuable pointers for making informed consumer choices.

What is the basis for the ingredient assessment system ?

  • For its assessment of ingredients, the Truth about Cosmetics website relies on a range of official and independent scientific sources, including the following listed below. 
  • European cosmetics regulations (Regulation EC 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council) have been used as the overall basis for the assessment of ingredients. However, the site offers an assessment system that may differ from official European sources. The assessments proposed by the site do not replace official data, but are supported by various scientific studies or official international sources. Some ingredients authorised by European regulations are strongly criticised by numerous international scientific sources for being (potentially or proven) harmful to human health, animal health or the health of the planet. Several decades can pass between these sound scientific warnings and an official ban at European level, for example, which is why they remain relevant. 
  • Readers and consumers remain free to follow any recommendations or interpretations of these assessments. 
  • The components are updated and re-evaluated regularly, throughout the year.


Official agencies and opinions in France

  • ANSES (Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail),
  • ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products)
  • CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research)

Official agencies and opinions in Europe

  • Opinions of the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) FINAL OPINION
  • ECHA (European Chemicals Agency)

And various official and independent sources at international level

  • BFR (Bundesinstituts für Risikobewertung)
  • IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer)
  • SIN LIST (Substitute It Now-CHEMsEC)

As well as independent scientific studies and resources (PUBMED/ SKIN DEEP)

I can't find the exact brand or product I use in the product tests

The products for the product test articles are randomly selected. No product test, even those in magazines specializing in product tests, can claim to test ALL the products available on the market. For our product tests, we choose products available on the market, in different distribution networks.

Questions about marketing or selling products

The site is a source of information in the broadest sense of the term, and is aimed at the general public, the press and, of course, professionals: retailers, players in the cosmetics industry, etc. However, we are not in a position to answer questions about product marketing or to give specific professional advice on formulation, product sales or your career path.

One product featured in the product tests two years ago has since changed its composition

As mentioned above, these are randomly selected products. Product compositions can change at any time, and an entire range can change direction from one year to the next. And the brand may even decide to remove or add certain components, for example.

No consumer website or magazine constantly updates these changes, as it would be a gigantic task to do so continuously. And articles are not removed at the simple request of manufacturers or brands who claim that formulas have changed since the test was published. Product tests, on the other hand, reflect "the exact image of the moment", and are also clearly dated.

You can always check the product's current composition, thanks to the website's INCI search function.


You didn't find what you were looking for?

IMPORTANT: "The truth about cosmetics" is an independent informational website. We are therefore not entitled to provide personal advice
(like "what do do think about this brand, or product ?" or "I'm looking for a natural hair color that suits me" or "I have a specific skin condition and need assistance" etc).

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