Meaning of Cosmetics

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.

What are cosmetics made of?

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 3 months and up 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 give color.
  • Thickeners: to improve consistency.
  • Preservatives: to increase the shelf life of the product.
  • Fragrances: to make them pleasant to the user.

Types of cosmetics

Set of cosmetics for skin makeup.

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

According to the area of ​​application (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, capitalor creams, shaving creams.
  • Nails: 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 ancient Egyptian civilization; who used it for hygienic purposes and to stay healthy.

In Egypt, both men and women wore makeup and women already wore it with them to social gatherings to keep their appearance fresh. Here are some examples of cosmetics from ancient times.

  • Oils: they were used to protect the skin from the wind.
  • Perfumes: chamomile, aloe, almond oil and roses were used for their aroma.
  • Makeup: red ocher was used for the lips and cheeks.
  • Nail polish: they used the hena to paint the nails.

Today's cosmetics have their origin in Asia and Africa. Among the products of that time, the hena originated in North Africa, the itra and the kohl They came from India and the safflower was from Japan.

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

One of the first 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 devoted entirely to cosmetic products.

In the twentieth 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 every corner of the world.

Examples of the first modern cosmetics are:

  • In 1989 the first deodorant was created in Philadelphia (USA).
  • The lipstick was introduced to the market in 1914.
  • The chemicals to keep hair curly are from 1935.

See also:

  • Cosmetology
  • Minerals

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