INCI Names of Silk Proteins: A Comprehensive Guide

The world of cosmetics is filled with a myriad of ingredients, each with its unique properties and benefits. One of the key aspects that help us understand these ingredients better is the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients or INCI. This article delves into the INCI nomenclature, its history, the body that governs it, and its relation to silk proteins.

The History of INCI Nomenclature

The INCI nomenclature was established in the early 1970s by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC). It was developed as a systematic way to identify and list the ingredients used in cosmetic and personal care products. The PCPC plays a crucial role in maintaining the INCI list. They are responsible for reviewing applications for new INCI names and ensuring that the nomenclature remains up-to-date and relevant.

Silk Proteins and INCI Names

Silk proteins are a popular ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products due to their moisturizing and smoothing properties. They are derived from the silk of the silkworm and are known for their high compatibility with the skin and hair.

INCI Names for Silk Proteins

There are several INCI names for silk proteins that have been approved by the FDA. These include Hydrolyzed Silk, Silk Amino Acids, Silk Extract, Silk Peptide, and Sericin, among others.

Chemical Composition of Silk Proteins

Silk proteins are primarily composed of two proteins, fibroin and sericin. Fibroin, the structural center of silk, is the component that gives silk its physical properties. Sericin, the sticky material surrounding fibroin, is a water-soluble protective gum.

Here is a table detailing the chemical composition of some INCI names for silk proteins:

INCI NameProtein ContentAmino AcidsOther Components
Hydrolyzed Silk ProteinHighContains 18 amino acidsWater-soluble
Silk Amino AcidsModerateContains 15 amino acidsWater-soluble
Silk PowderAbout 10%Contains 18 amino acidsExceptional purity, low ash content
Silk PeptideHighContains 18 amino acidsWater-soluble
SericinHighContains 18 amino acidsWater-soluble

The Importance of INCI Names

For consumers, INCI names provide a way to identify the ingredients in their products. This is particularly important for those with allergies or sensitivities, as it allows them to avoid products containing certain ingredients.

For manufacturers, using INCI names on their product labels helps to ensure compliance with international regulations. It also promotes transparency and trust with consumers.


Understanding the INCI nomenclature is crucial for both consumers and manufacturers in the cosmetics industry. It provides a standardized system for identifying ingredients, promoting transparency, and ensuring compliance with international regulations. As we continue to explore new ingredients like silk proteins, the importance of the INCI nomenclature only grows.


  1. How do you write an INCI name?
    INCI names are typically written in English and use Latin and scientific names for the ingredients. They are listed on the product label in descending order of concentration.
  2. How do I find the INCI name of an ingredient?
    The INCI names of ingredients can be found on the product label. They can also be searched in the International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary & Handbook or the EU inventory of cosmetic ingredients – CosIng.
  3. How do you read an INCI?
    INCI names are read from top to bottom on the product label, with the ingredients listed in descending order of concentration. The first ingredient listed is the one that is present in the highest amount in the product.
  4. What are some INCI names for silk proteins?
    Some INCI names for silk proteins include Hydrolyzed Silk, Silk Amino Acids, Silk Extract, Silk Peptide, and Sericin.

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