What are cosmetics?

Cosmetics are

care substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body.

They are generally mixtures of chemical compounds, some being derived from natural sources and many being synthetics. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cosmetics. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and gels, deodorants, hand sanitizer, baby products, bath oils, bubble baths, bath salts, butters and many other types of products.

A subset of cosmetics is called “make-up,” which refers primarily to coloring products intended to alter the user’s appearance. Many manufacturers distinguish between decorative cosmetics and care cosmetics. Cosmetics have been around in our world longer than you may imagine, with make-up and such being dated back as early as the 12th century.

Most cosmetics are distinguished by the area of the body intended for application. Primer come in formulas to suit individual skin conditions. Most are meant to reduce the appearance of pore size, prolong the wear of makeup, and allow for a smoother application of makeup, and are applied before foundation.

Lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, lip balm, lip conditioner, lip primer, and lip boosters: Lipsticks are intended to add color and texture to the lips and often come in a wide range of colors, as well as finishes such as matte, satin and lustre. Lip stains have a water or gel base and may contain alcohol to help the product stay on. They temporarily saturate the lips with a dye. Usually designed to be waterproof, the product may come with an applicator brush, rollerball, or be applied with a finger. Lip glosses are intended to add shine to the lips and may add a tint of color, as well as being scented or flavored. Lip balms are most often used to moisturize and protect the lips. They often contain SPF protection.

Concealer makeup covers imperfections of the skin. Concealer is often used for any extra coverage needed to cover blemishes, undereye circles, and other imperfections. Concealer is often thicker and more solid than foundation, and provides longer lasting, more detailed coverage. Some formulations are meant only for the eye or only for the face. This product can also be used for contouring the face like ones nose, cheekbones, and jaw line. Foundation is used to smooth out the face and cover spots or uneven skin coloration. Usually a liquid, cream, or powder, as well as most recently a light and fluffy mousse. Foundation provides coverage from sheer to full.

6 thoughts on “What are cosmetics?

  • September 11, 2015 at 10:20 am
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    It’s interesting to read about what are cosmetics. I am a guy, but I am still interested in this kind of thing because my best friend loves makeup. I admire what this article brought to my attention.

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  • September 3, 2015 at 9:43 pm
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    makeup has been used for hundreds of years. The ancient Egyptians used it for more or less the same purpose that we do today – to make ourselves more attractive. Although I guess they may have had more of a spiritual and religious reason to wear it that I think has been lost as we head into the 21st century.

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  • September 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm
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    I try to stay away from anything that doesn’t contain minerals or plant based ingredients. My motto is that if I wouldn’t eat, neither should my skin.

    It’s funny you wrote this post because I feel that the majority of people know what makeup is. Maybe something about the history of makeup would be a good way to expand upon these topics.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 5:20 pm
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    What a detailed article on cosmetics! I cannot believe how much information I learned just reading this one article. Who knew that cosmetics had such a long history too? Thank you for the info here, will definitely feel more educated next time I am shopping for cosmetics.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 5:08 am
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    Wow, this is some informative article! I had no idea about all the things that are included and counted as cosmetics. Who knew? Not just make-up, what we usually think of as cosmetics, but makeup towelettes, perms, hand sanitizers, and baby products? So much info can be learned it’s really amazing that make up and cosmetics are about as old as dinosaurs, Well, maybe not but the 12th century is pretty darned old! I bet they came up with some really cool stuff back then,,,like Cleopatra. All natural cosmetics back then for sure. Thanks, good stuff here!

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  • August 17, 2015 at 11:29 pm
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    I had no idea until reading this article that make-up is part of cosmetics. I know most people probably just use these products without thinking of them, this article truly is an important “primer” that gives the basics.

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