Incidentals Average Solvent No known benefits Incidentals at a glance Refers to ingredients with no measurable effect in a cosmetic or on skin The lack of efficacy is almost always due to the amount being vanishingly low Preservatives and de-foaming agents fall into this category May also refer to ingredients added during processing that do not end up in finished good Incidentals description Incidental ingredients are defined by the FDA as “any ingredient of another ingredient or processing aid present at an insignificant level and having no technical or functional effect.” Preservatives, defoamers, stabilizers, and other similar ingredients that are part of another ingredient, blend, or used as a processing aid are examples of incidental ingredients. They are considered incidental because they are present in such vanishingly low amounts in the final product that they have no technical or functional effect in the formula or on skin. What is the difference between a regular ingredient in your personal care formulas versus an incidental ingredient? Incidental ingredients do not have any impact on the product’s performance, aesthetics, or safety. In the United States and many other countries, it is not a requirement to declare incidental ingredients on a cosmetic’s ingredient list since they have no impact on the product itself or how it may interact with skin. However, some brands opt to include them. In contrast, regular, non-incidental ingredients can and do have a wide range of effects in a formula and on skin. These non-incidental ingredients are required to be disclosed via standardized ingredient lists, as they serve an intended purpose to provide benefits to skin and its appearance and/or to stabilize a formula so it remains intact, stable and safe to use.