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Cosmetic Chemist Jargon – Acronyms of the Industry

Every industry has acronyms which are supposed to make communication easier. Unfortunately, for an industry newcomer, it seems like a foreign language. The following of cosmetic industry acronyms should help you decipher the cosmetic jargon. All the acronyms we could imagine are listed with their meanings. If you can think of any we missed, please leave a comment and we’ll add it to the list.

ACD Allergic contact dermatitis
ACGIH American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
ACS American Chemical Society
AHA Alpha hydroxy acid
ALES Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
ALS Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
AMP Aminomethyl propanol
APD Antiperspirant Deordorant
ASTM American Standards of Testing Materials
BHA Butylhydroxyanisole
BHT Butylhydroxytoluene
BOGO Buy One Get One
CAS Chemical Abstract Service
CD Cyclodextrin
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
CFC Chloroflurocarbon
CFR Code of Federal Regulation
CI Color Index
CIR Cosmetic Ingredient Review
CMC Critical micelle concentration
COLIPA European Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association
CTFA Cosmetics Toiletries & Fragrance Association
CTPA Cosmetic Toiletries and Perfume Association
DBMSA Dibenzaldehyde monosorbitol acetate
DEA Diethanolamine
DHA Dihydoxy acetone
DME Dimethyl ether
DMSO Dimethyl sulfoxide
DOT Department of Transportation
DOT Department of Transportation
EDTA Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid
EU European Union
EWG Environmental Working Group
FCAT Forearm controlled application technique
FCC Food Chemicals Codex
FD&C Food, Drug & Cosmetic
FDA Food & Drug Administration
FPLA Fair Packaging and Labeling Act
FTC Federal Trade Commision
FTIR Fourrier Transfer Infra Red
GC Gas chromatograph
GMP Good Manufacturing Procedures
HDPE High Density poly ethylene
HEC Hydroxyethyl Cellulose
HLB Hydrophobe/Lipophobe Balance
HMS Homosalate
HPLC High Performance Liquid Chromatography
HPMC Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulouse
HUT Home Use Test
ICD Irritant contact dermatitis
ICMAD Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors
IFSCC International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists
INCI International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients
IR Infrared
IUPAC International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
JCIA Japanese Cosmetic Industry Association
LD-50 Lethal Dose 50%
LDH Lactate Dehydrogenase
LDPE Low density poly ethylene
MA Maleic anhydride.
MEA Methylethylamine
MED Minimal erythemal dose
MHW Ministry of Health and Welfare
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet
NAD National Advertising Division
NDA New Drug Application
NF National Formulary
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
NIH National Institute of Health
NMF Natural Moisturizing Factor
NMR Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
OH Hydroxyl Group
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OTC Over The Counter (drug)
OW Oil in water (emulsion)
PABA Para amino benzoic acid
PCA Pyrollidone carboxylic acid
PCD Product category designation
PCPC Personal Care Products Councle
PEG Polyethylene Glycol
PEL Permissible Exposure Limit
PET Polyethylene Teraphthalate
PG Propylene Glycol
PIT Phase inversion temperature
PPG Polypropylene Glycol
PVC Polyvinyl Chloride
PVM Polyvinyl Methylether
PVP Polyvinyl Pyrollidone
QA Quality Assurance
QC Quality Control
REACH Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances
RIPT Repeat Insult Patch Test
RTECS Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
SARA Search and Rescue Aid
SCC Society of Cosmetic Chemists
SCS Society of Cosmetic Scientists
SLES Sodium Laureth Sulfate
SLS Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
SPF Sun Protection Factor
TEA Triethanolamine
TLV Threshold Limit Value
TSCA Toxic Substances Control Act
USP United States Pharmacopeia
UV Ultraviolet
UVA Ultra violet A
UVB Ultra violet B
UVC Ultra violet C
VA Vinyl Acetate
VOC Volitile Organic Compound
VP Vinyl Pyrollidone
WO Water in Oil (emulsion)
WOW Water in oil in water (emulsion)

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Gul Muhammad Bawa 05/17/2014, 6:33 am

    Hi Perry,
    Thank you for your helpful tips and the useful material you keep on providing to the novices like me trying to wet their feet into the cosmetic industry trying to learn about the cosmetic ingredients, formulation techniques which are helping some of us to understand the fundamentals of what, where, when, how and why the five basics of knowledge.

    Thanks again
    Gul Muhammad Bawa

  • Ngozi Muoneke 04/30/2014, 10:45 am

    Thanks Perry!!!

  • Fer 04/23/2014, 10:22 am

    Thank you Perry!!

  • ali hosseini 04/08/2014, 11:47 pm

    thank you so much.great post.

  • mallong Joan 04/07/2014, 7:08 am

    All i will ever keep saying is big big thank you Perry pls how can i purchase your books and is there an e book version of it thanks again

    • Perry Romanowski 04/08/2014, 12:35 pm

      You should be able to find most of my books on Amazon.com some of them have e-book versions.

  • Harald 03/12/2014, 3:22 pm

    Another one:
    TEWL or TWL (transepidermal water loss)

  • Harald 03/12/2014, 3:20 pm

    MCT (medium chain triglycerides)
    SC (stratum corneum)

  • Mica Oba 03/07/2014, 5:26 pm

    Great post. Thanks for sharing, Perry!

  • Rob 03/06/2014, 3:52 am

    Very useful.

    All abbreviations remind me of one particular medical abbreviation that one comes up against occasionally – GOK (God Only Knows).

  • Sudheer Koneru 03/05/2014, 8:06 am

    PET also stands for Preservative Efficacy Test.

  • Jim 03/04/2014, 4:50 pm

    SARA – Superfund Amendments and Re-authorization Act
    MEA – Monoethanolamine

  • shah 02/05/2014, 8:55 am

    Wow…. Really use full and great efforts by you. it has complete info required for new people to join cosmetic industry

  • Reitumetse 01/29/2014, 12:55 am

    This is so informative. Thank you

  • BOUBOUKA CHRYSSANTHIE 01/27/2014, 12:47 am

    Thank you so much!!!!!!

  • sudha 09/09/2013, 8:33 am

    thank you

  • Assem 06/27/2013, 5:36 pm

    Thank you for your efforts .. Assem

  • Gayani 04/16/2013, 11:37 pm

    Thanks for your great service for the people in cosmetic Industry.

    • Sreedharan 07/28/2014, 11:52 pm

      Thank you

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