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The Ingredients of Your Cosmetics

The cosmetics industry is big around the world. Consumers across the globe spend billions of dollars a year on make-up, fragrances, cleaners, and shampoos. Make-up is definitely not a recent development. Women over 3000 years ago in Greece used make-up that contained lead in it to get a pale complexion and women in ancient Egypt used a dark substance known as kohl to darken their eyelids. Today, make-up is more widely used than ever. Cosmetic advertisers now target males and females in an effort to expand their massive business.

The exact definition of what a cosmetic is was defined by the Australian Trade Practices Act of 1974 as “a substance or preparation intended for placement in contact with any external part of the body”. People use cosmetics to alter their appearances and to change the odors our body produces. So what’s in all this stuff that we put on our faces and bodies? A majority of the cosmetics produced generally has at least some of the following ingredients; emulsifier, preservatives, thickener, ph stabilizers, fragrance, color, and water. Preservatives are added to the ingredients of cosmetics to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, which could ruin the make-up and harm the user. Emulsifiers are small drops of oil in water or small drops of water in oil.

To keep the oil and water from separating, emulsifiers are added. The combination of oil and water produces a homogenous surface with an even texture. Once this even texture is achieved, polymers are added to change the consistency of the cosmetics. Thickeners can be derived from synthetic materials known as polyethylene glycol or from natural sources known as polysaccharides. If the cosmetic becomes too thick, it can be diluted with water or alcohol, which are both solvents. A number of chemicals may also be present to give the cosmetics a more pleasant smell and change the color to the desired hue. There are also additives to adjust the acidity of make-up, or the ph level. The majority of make-ups contain these ingredients to be as safe for as many people as possible. If you have reactions or know that you are allergic to some substances, be cautious before trying out that new tube of lipstick.


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