What is aqua?

Do you ever find yourself going to buy a hair treatment or product, and find that it has an ingredient known as Aqua?

This is very commonly seen today, as many hair products today will include Aqua. Alongside a whole host of other items, from Lauryl Glucoside to Sodium Benzoate, you should get used to seeing Aqua. It’s one of the most commonly used ingredients in all of general hair and skin care. But why, though? What is Aqua exactly?

Well, the simplest way to say this is that Aqua is water. If you see something listed as Aqua, then it’s good chance that it will say (water) next to it. While they could just say ‘water’, it’s part of the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) to call it Aqua. They have set up a conventional set of names for a whole host of popular ingredients, including water.

Another reason that a lot of companies just put Aqua is to help condense the list of ingredients as much as they can. This is quite intriguing, though, as many people assume that Aqua is some form of positive solution or an ingredient. It really is just water, and nothing else!

You will find that most companies use the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients these days to help them find the right way to list things. It’s a simple way to make sure that everyone can have the same kind of idea as to what they are actually using on their skin and their hair. So, the next time you buy a health or beauty product and you see it promoting ‘Aqua’ as an ingredient, it is quite literally just water.

Now, you can use products with Aqua in it knowing what you are actually getting. Aqua is also listed first because, for the most part, ingredients must be listed in the order of quantity. So, given that most products have water as their main ingredient, it’s normally always listed first! 


Written by Jordan Prichard. Medically reviewed by Dr. Shane Jackson, MBBS. Last modified on 20/05/2020. 


Dr. Shane Jackson a UK based doctor, working within the NHS for 9 years. With experience in both Medicine and Surgery, his time is now spent mainly in Elderly care and Rehabilitation. Outside of his clinical work he has a strong educational presence, teaching undergraduates and foreign doctors wishing to work in the UK. He is passionate about the dissemination of healthcare for all, providing consultancy for health, well-being and biotech startups worldwide. Dr. Jackson is the founder of Acrosophy, which helps school leavers applying to medical, dental and associated courses at the top universities in the country. 

Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published