Tashana asks…I just have a simple question for the Beauty Brains. Well, I hope it is. I was wondering where I could find a dictionary of approved chemicals, chemical combinations etc or something similar that could be used for creating shampoos, conditioners and other cosmetic items. Is there such a thing?
Left Brain’s locution…
The cosmetic industry is self-regulated, and all legitimate manufacturers agree to follow the rules laid out by the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrance Association (CTFA). One such rule is that everyone has to label their cosmetics using chemical names found in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI). This is the dictionary you seek.
Unfortunately, to get access to the online version you have to be a member of the CTFA. This is pricey for individuals and small companies. You may be able to find a copy in your local library. You also might try the CTFA Buyers Guide to look for specific ingredients.
For the ambitious Beauty Brains who want to make their own formulas, many of the raw material suppliers have created freely accessible formularies (cosmetic recipe books). Here’s one from Happi magazine.
It’s not our goal to turn everyone into cosmetic chemists, but we’ll encourage those that might be so inspired. Who knows, you could be the one who creates the next big thing at Sephora.