Article by: Perry Romanowski
Transcript of video
Hi I’m Perry Romanowski and Welcome to Cosmetic Science in 300 seconds brought to you by Chemists Corner.
Today’s topic is Cosmetics.
Cosmetics are used by people all over the world and represent a huge industry that sells over $300 billion a year. Almost every person on the planet uses some form of cosmetic product. This is true now and has been since the dawn of civilization.
Throughout history people have used cosmetics for three primary purposes. Camoflauging flaws, improving overall appearance, and enhancing attractiveness to the opposite sex.
The first direct evidence for cosmetic use are some 30,000 year old cave paintings in Europe that show people with colored faces. In ancient Egypt from around 3500 BCE cosmetics were routinely used for religious ceremonies, aesthetic and hygenic reasons. They used a variety of natural ingredients like oils, honey, natron, and even lead. There is also evidence of cosmetic use by people in ancient India, China and the Americas.
The ancient Greeks & Romans had records of cosmetic use. The first cosmetic formulation book was produced by Galen during the Second Century. Recently, archeologists have uncovered the oldest skin lotion which is over 2000 years old.
During the Middle Ages use of cosmetics was at times frowned on but technology developed along with medicine. The term Make-up was introduced in the 17th century and during these times, cosmetics were generally produced at home. In the 19th century most cosmetic & perfume development was done in France where it was more acceptable. It wasn’t until the 20th century after World War 1 that regular use of cosmetics was viewed as socially acceptable.
Throughout history there had been instances of cosmetics harming people. Lead & mercury were common ingredients until it was discovered that they were poisons. In the US, the cosmetic industry was largely unregulated until the passage of the 1938 Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. This helped set safety standards and provided the current definition for cosmetic products.
According to FDA regulations cosmetic products are…
“articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and (2) articles intended for use as a component of any such articles; except that such term shall not include soap”
What this means is that cosmetics are pretty much any product you put on your body that is meant to change the appearance. It also means that cosmetics are not supposed to have any significant effect on the biochemical processes of the body. If a product does, it is classified as a drug.
There are 5 cateogries of cosmetic products including hair, skin, oral, makeup, and fine fragrances. In each category that are numerous types.
Skin cosmetics are the most popular types of products and include moisturizers, lotions, anti-aging creams, facial scubs, body washes, deodorants, self tanners, and toners. Sunscreens and anti-acne products are often sold with cosmetics but they are technically over the counter drugs.
Hair cosmetics include shampoos, conditioners, hair colors, hair sprays, hairdressing, styling gels, and various other hair styling formulations.
Color cosmetics or makeup is what people usually think about when they hear the term cosmetics. This includes any type of product for temporarily changing the color of skin. It includes lipstick, lip gloss, eyeshadow, foundation, blush, nail polish and more.
Oral care products are designed to take care of the teeth and mouth and include things like toothpaste and mouthwash. Note however, that toothpaste containing flouride is actually an OTC drug according to the FDA.
Fine fragrances are the last category of cosmetics that we will consider. They include perfumes, colognes and mists and are some of the oldest types of cosmetics. Some fragrance formulations have been unchanged for over 100 years.
While products in the cosmetic industry have not drastically changed since the 1960’s they have steadily improved in both effectiveness and safety. In the future we will see a blurring of lines between what is considered a drug and what is a cosmetic. A group of compounds called cosmeceuticals look to get pharmaceutical effects from cosmetic applications. Nanotechnology also promises to drastically improve the performance of current cosmetics.
For cosmetic chemists who formulate cosmetic products, the future holds some interesting developments. And the cosmetic industry will be around for years to come. As long as there are people interested in changing and improving how they look, the cosmetic industry will be here to provide them solutions.
This brings us to the end of Cosmetic Science in 300 Seconds. If you want to learn more about cosmetic science and formulating please visit our website Chemists Corner.com. I’m Perry Romanowski and thanks for watching.