Commonly Used Chemicals in Cosmetics

What is a cosmetic?

A cosmetic may be a substance or preparation that’s designed to be used on any external a part of the human body including within the mouth in order to enhance the odours of the body, to alter its look, cleanse it, keep it in condition, fragrance it or shield it. The type of cosmetics includes all products like shampoo, soap, hair dye, face cream, moisturizer, concealer, perfume, lipstick and many more.


Chemicals used in cosmetics

There are many chemical combinations used for the preparation of these cosmetics. The chemicals added is what gives the texture and feel for these kinds of beauty products. Cosmetics are made from a range of ingredients which are the so called industrial chemicals. Industrial chemicals may be either synthetic chemicals or naturally occurring processed chemicals. Few of the chemicals and its use in the cosmetic are listed below.

ALS-Ammonium lauryl sulphate Ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) act as an anionic surfactant by avoiding surface tension in liquids. Due to this property it is used in cosmetics like cleansing agents, hair shampoos and in bathing agents. These ALS are irritants to eyes and has very low acute toxicity.
Talc Talc is a major component in many cosmetics. The chemical formulation in talc is hydrated magnesium silicate. Talc is major ingredients in face powders, concealers etc.
Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is many cosmetics and personal care products of which it is a most common ingredient in nail polish, nail polish remover etc. It is found in very low amount in many consumer products like cosmetics and personal care products like shampoos and conditioners, shower gels and hair straightening solutions, liquid hand soaps, cream cleansers, skin moisturisers, toothpastes,.
Alcohols Alcohols are common ingredients in perfumes. The fatty alcohols(less dense alcohol after the removal of fats and oils in alcohols) are ingredients in detergent and act as cleansing agents. The glycols are used as substances to avoid loss of moisture. Isopropanol is the common alcohol ingredient in many cosmetics and cleansing products. Usually used to reduce the thickness of liquid.
Lanolin Lanolin is a thick substance derived from the sebaceous gland of sheep. It is a thick moisturizing agent. It is a common additive in cosmetic products for moisturizing skin, hair and nails. This act as an emulsion by blending with any other cosmetic product.
Mineral oil/waxes Mineral waxes are common ingredient in cosmetics. They are main ingredients in products such as paraffin oil, paraffin wax, petrolatum (known as Vaseline).

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