What Are Cosmetics

Cosmetics are products used to improve physical appearance in terms of cleanliness and appearance. This name is applied to products for topical use, that is, for hair, skin, nails and mouth.

Cosmetics contain mixtures of between 15 and 50 components. And the amount and type of substance used will depend on the type of cosmetic, the part of the body in which it will be used and its useful life (which can be from 3 months to 3 years).

In general, the most common components found in cosmetics are the following:

  • Water: for liquid products.
  • Oils and fats: for creams or crayons.
  • Alcohol: to incorporate specific minerals.
  • Pigments: to color.
  • Thickeners: to improve consistency.
  • Preservatives: to increase the shelf life of the product.
  • Fragrances: to make them user friendly.

types of cosmetics

There are many ways to classify cosmetics: according to their content, their use, their origin or their presentation.

According to the application area (the most common classification), for example, we can divide them into the following categories:

  • Skin: includes pressed powders, creams, lotions, and colorants.
  • Hair: includes dyes, shampoos, depitalotory creams, shaving creams.
  • Nail: includes lacquers, polishes and cuticle removers.
  • Hygiene: includes toothpastes, mouthwashes and soaps.

history of cosmetics

The use of cosmetics began 10,000 years BC in the ancient Egyptian civilization; who used it for hygienic purposes and to stay healthy.

In Egypt, both men and women used make-up and women already carried it with them to social gatherings to keep their appearance fresh. Next, we name examples of the cosmetics of Antiquity.

  • Oils: They were used to protect the skin from the wind.
  • Fragrance: camomile, aloealmond oil and roses were used for their aroma.
  • Make-up: red ocher was used for the lips and cheeks.
  • Nail polish: they used the henna to paint the nails.
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The current cosmetics has its origin in Asia and Africa. Among the products of that time, the henna originated in North Africa, the itra and the kohl they came from India and the safflower was from Japan.

In America, the use of pigments in ceremonies or to go to war was also common.

One of the earliest known cosmetologists is Abu’al-Qassim Al-Zahrawi, better known as Abulcasis. He wrote a medical encyclopedia called Al-Tasreef or (The method of medicine, in Spanish) and one of its chapters is entirely devoted to cosmetic products.

In the 20th century, the cosmetic industry as we know it today was born and became fashionable in the United States and Europe among the elite who frequented operas and ballet. Today the cosmetic industry has a massive reach in all corners of the world.

Examples of early modern cosmetics are:

  • In 1989 the first deodorantin Philadelphia (USA).
  • The lip It was introduced to the market in 1914.
  • The chemicals to keep the curly hair They are from 1935.

See also:

  • Cosmetology
  • minerals