1. All alkoxylated materials must be named by including
the alkoxylation level as the average number of moles
of ethylene oxide and/or propylene oxide (reference
conventions #17–19, page xxiii).
a) If the alkoxylation is a mixture composition of EO
and PO, then the order of addition is required and
where they are reacted on the ingredient is neces-
sary for proper nomenclature assignment.
2. Alkyl groups are typically named per the convention
on page xxv (reference conventions #20–25).
a) If the alkyl comes from a natural source, the purity
is important to determine if a chemical name or a
source name is required (e.g., Cetearyl vs. Palm or
3. Esters require good manufacturing and starting
ingredient information to understand which
a) “Glycerides,” as a suffix term, refer to the
reaction of fatty acids with glycerin to form a com-
plex mixture of mono-, di-, and tri-ester linkages as
outlined in Convention #38, page xxviii.
b) Transesters are complex compositions derived by
the process of transestification of triglycerides,
and are identified with the suffix “ester”
as outlined in Convention #54, page xxxi
(e.g., “Apricot Kernel PEG- 8 Esters”).
4. Oils and triglycerides
a) “Oil” as a suffix descriptor is used for plant or
animal origin triglycerides as outlined in
Convention #42, page xxix.
b) If these oils are further derivatized (e.g., hydroge-
nation, acetylation, oxidation), the process name
goes first, but the “oil” suffix remains
(e.g., “Hydrogenated Castor Oil”).
5. polymers have become more complex over the past
few years as new controlled processes are commer-
cialized (reference conventions #43–46, page xxix).
a) They are named from the starting monomers in
alphabetical order, with slashes (/) between each
b) Homo-polymers are named with “poly” as the
c) “Copolymer” suffix is used when more than one
monomer is used to make the polymer.
d) When there are more than 4 monomers,
the polymer class name is used with an
arbitrary number (e.g., “Polyester- 1”,
e) “Crosspolymer” suffix is used when the polymer is
crosslinked; only when the crosslinking ingredient
is a polymer will it be included in the assigned
6. botanicals require identification of the genus and
species, along with detailed information on the pro-
cess and final composition.
a) Distillation will produce a water-soluble compo-
nent (“water” suffix) and water-insoluble portion
b) Any extraction process (e.g., press, solvent extrac-
tion, etc) will be designated by an “extract” suffix,
unless extraction was mechanical pressing, e.g., to
obtain the juice from a fruit in which case a “juice”
c) Harmonization has eliminated usage of common
names in most cases.
d) Water is simply designated as “water,” unless it is a
fragrance water derived by steam distillation, or
water derived from the sea which is termed “sea
a) Minerals are typically named from either their
source, geological name, or a well- documented
b) If the mineral is a synthetic replicate, then the
assignment would be based on the inorganic mate-
rials used and its process, unless the final com-
position can be accurately proven as physically
indistinguishable from the natural sourced compo-
8. bio-active material have become quite complex and
will not be covered in this article except for a few key
a) Typical naming of materials from a biotech process
requires identification of the bacteria used and
complete details of the process.
b) If the bacteria is pathogenic, then the genus and
species are both necessary and will be part of the
c) If the gene, or any part of the composition, is
human sourced (or a recombinant) then “Human”
will be part of the assigned nomenclature.
9. powder is a form and usually not denoted in the
nomenclature assignment unless there is a clearly
defined mechanical process resulting in a significantly
reduced particle size.
Source: INCI Applications & Nomenclature conventions at