Cosmetics
Assorted cosmetics and tools
Woman applying makeup

Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. 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 colored products intended to alter the user’s appearance. Many manufacturers distinguish between decorative cosmetics and care cosmetics. The word cosmetics derives from the Greek κοσμητική τέχνη (kosmetikē tekhnē), meaning "technique of dress and ornament", from κοσμητικός (kosmētikos), "skilled in ordering or arranging"[1] and that from κόσμος (kosmos), meaning amongst others "order" and "ornament".[2]

The manufacture of cosmetics is currently dominated by a small number of multinational corporations that originated in the early 20th century, but the distribution and sale of cosmetics is spread among a wide range of different businesses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates cosmetics in the United States[3] defines cosmetics as: "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions." This broad definition includes, as well, any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product. The FDA specifically excludes soap from this category.[4]

Contents

History

An 1889 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painting of a woman applying cosmetics to her face

The first archaeological evidence of cosmetics usage was found in Egypt around 3500 BC during the Old Kingdom[citation needed]. The Ancient Greeks and Romans also used cosmetics.[5][6] The Romans and Ancient Egyptians used cosmetics containing poisonous mercury and often lead. The ancient kingdom of Israel was influenced by cosmetics as recorded in the Old Testament—2 Kings 9:30 where Jezebel painted her eyelids—approximately 840 BC. The Biblical book of Esther describes various beauty treatments as well.

In the Middle Ages, although its use was frowned upon by Church leaders, many women still wore cosmetics. A popular fad for women during the Middle Ages was to have a pale-skinned complexion, which was achieved through either applying pastes of lead, chalk, or flour, or by bloodletting. Women would also put white lead pigment that was known as "ceruse" on their faces to appear to have pale skin.[7]

Cosmetic use was frowned upon at many points in Western history. For example, in the 19th century, Queen Victoria publicly declared makeup improper, vulgar, and acceptable only for use by actors.[8] Adolf Hitler told women that face painting was for clowns and not for the women of the master race.[citation needed]

Women in the 19th century liked to be thought of as fragile ladies. They compared themselves to delicate flowers and emphasized their delicacy and femininity. They aimed always to look pale and interesting. Sometimes ladies discreetly used a little rouge on the cheeks, and used "belladonna" to dilate their eyes to make their eyes stand out more. Make-up was frowned upon in general especially during the 1870s when social etiquette became more rigid.

Actresses however were allowed to use make up and famous beauties such as Sarah Bernhardt and Lillie Langtry could be powdered. Most cosmetic products available were still either chemically dubious, or found in the kitchen amid food colorings, berries and beetroot.

By the middle of the 20th century, cosmetics were in widespread use by women in nearly all industrial societies around the world.

Cosmetics have been in use for thousands of years. The absence of regulation of the manufacture and use of cosmetics has led to negative side effects, deformities, blindness, and even death through the ages. Examples of this were the prevalent use of ceruse (white lead), to cover the face during the Renaissance, and blindness caused by the mascara Lash Lure during the early 20th century.

The worldwide annual expenditures for cosmetics today is estimated at $19 billion.[9] Of the major firms, the largest is L'Oréal, which was founded by Eugene Schueller in 1909 as the French Harmless Hair Colouring Company (now owned by Liliane Bettencourt 26% and Nestlé 28%; the remaining 46% is traded publicly). The market was developed in the USA during the 1910s by Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Max Factor. These firms were joined by Revlon just before World War II and Estée Lauder just after.

Beauty products are now widely available from dedicated internet-only retailers,[10] who have more recently been joined online by established outlets, including the major department stores and traditional bricks and mortar beauty retailers.

Like most industries, cosmetic companies resist regulation by government agencies like the FDA, and have lobbied against this throughout the years. The FDA does not have to approve or review the cosmetics, or what goes in them before they are sold to the consumers. The FDA only regulates against the colors that can be used in the cosmetics and hair dyes. The cosmetic companies do not have to report any injuries from the products; they also only have voluntary recalls on products.[11]

Though modern make-up has been used mainly by women traditionally, gradually an increasing number of males are using cosmetics usually associated to women to enhance or cover their own facial features. Concealer is commonly used by cosmetic-conscious men. Cosmetics brands are releasing cosmetic products especially tailored for men, and men are using such products increasily more commonly.[12] There is some controversy over this, however, as many feel that men who wear make-up are neglecting traditional gender roles, and do not view men wearing cosmetics in a positive light. Others, however, view this as a sign of ongoing gender equality and feel that men also have rights to enhance their facial features with cosmetics if women could. While highly subjective, some feel the most attractive beauty is natural beauty without make up.

Criticism and controversy

During the 20th century, the popularity of cosmetics increased rapidly.[citation needed] Cosmetics are increasingly used by girls at a young age, especially in the United States. Due to the fast-decreasing age of make-up users, many companies, from high-street brands like Rimmel to higher-end products like Estee Lauder, have catered to this expanding market by introducing more flavored lipsticks and glosses, cosmetics packaged in glittery, sparkly packaging and marketing and advertising using young models.[citation needed] The social consequences of younger and younger beautification has had much attention in the media over the last few years.

Criticism of cosmetics has come from a variety of sources including some feminists, religious groups, animal rights activists, authors and public interest groups. There is a growing awareness and preference for cosmetics that are without any supposedly toxic ingredients, especially those derived from petroleum, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and parabens.[13]

Numerous published reports have raised concern over the safety of a few surfactants. SLS causes a number of skin issues including dermatitis.[14][15][16][17][18]

Parabens can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis in individuals with paraben allergies, a small percentage of the general population.[19] Animal experiments have shown that parabens have a weak estrogenic activity, acting as xenoestrogens.[20]

Prolonged use of makeup has also been linked to thinning eyelashes.[21]

Synthetic fragrances are widely used in consumer products. Studies concluded from patch testing show synthetic fragrances are made of many ingredients which cause allergic reactions.[22]

Cosmetics companies have been criticised for making pseudoscientific claims about their products which are misleading or unsupported by scientific evidence.[23][24]

Makeup types

Most cosmetics are distinguished by the area of the body intended for application.

  • Lipgloss, is a sheer form of lipstick that is in a liquid form.
  • Lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, lip balm, lip conditioner, lip primer, and lip boosters.[3] Lip stains have a water or gel base and may contain alcohol to help the product stay on the lips. The idea behind lip stains is to temporarily saturate the lips with a dye, rather than covering them with a colored wax. Usually designed to be waterproof, the product may come with an applicator brush or be applied with a finger.
  • Concealer, makeup used to cover any imperfections of the skin. Concealer is often used for any extra coverage needed to cover blemishes, or any other marks. Concealer is often thicker and more solid than foundation, and provides longer lasting, and more detailed coverage.
  • Foundation, 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, which provides excellent coverage as well.[3] Foundation primer can be applied before or after to get a smoother finish. Some primers come in powder or liquid form to be applied before foundation as a base, while other primers come as a spray to be applied after you are finished to help make-up last longer.
  • Face powder, used to set the foundation, giving a matte finish, and also to conceal small flaws or blemishes.
  • Rouge, blush or blusher, cheek coloring used to bring out the color in the cheeks and make the cheekbones appear more defined. This comes in powder, cream, and liquid forms.[3]
  • Bronzer, used to give skin a bit of color by adding a golden or bronze glow.[3]
  • Mascara is used to darken, lengthen, and thicken the eyelashes. It is available in natural colors such as brown and black, but also comes in bolder colors such as blue, pink, or purple. There are many different formulas, including waterproof for those prone to allergies or sudden tears. Often used after an eyelash curler and mascara primer.[3] There are now also many mascaras with certain components to help lashes to grow longer and thicker. There are specific minerals and proteins that are combined with the mascara that can benefit, as well as beautify.
Eye shadow being applied
Broadway actor Jim Brochu applies make-up before the opening night of a play.
The chin mask known as chutti for Kathakali, a performing art in Kerala, India is considered the thickest makeup applied for any art form.

Cosmetics can be also described by the physical composition of the product. Cosmetics can be liquid or cream emulsions; powders, both pressed and loose; dispersions; and anhydrous creams or sticks.

Makeup remover is the product used to remove the makeup products applied on the skin. It is used for cleaning the skin for other procedures, like applying any type of lotion at evening before the person go to sleep.

Skin care products

Also included in the general category of cosmetics are skin care products. These include creams and lotions to moisturize the face and body which are often formulated for different skin types per range, sunscreens to protect the skin from UV radiation and damage, skin lighteners, and treatment products to repair or hide skin imperfections (acne, wrinkles, dark circles under eyes, etc.), tanning oils to brown the skin.

Ingredients

While there is assurance from the largest cosmetic companies that ingredients have passed quality tests and official regulations, and are therefore generally safe to use, there is a growing preference for cosmetics that are without any "synthetic" ingredients, especially those derived from petroleum. Once a niche market, handmade and certified organic products are becoming more mainstream.

Ingredients' listings in cosmetics are highly regulated in many countries. The testing of cosmetic products on animals is a subject of some controversy. It is now illegal in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium, and a ban across the European Union came into effect in 2009.

Organic and natural ingredients

Even though many cosmetic products are regulated, there are still health concerns regarding the presence of harmful chemicals within these products.[citation needed] Aside from color additives, cosmetic products and their ingredients are not subject to FDA regulation prior to their release into the market. It is only when a product is found to violate Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) after its release that the FDA may start taking action against this violation.[12] With many new products released into the market every season, it is hard to keep track of the safety of every product. Some products carry carcinogenic contaminant 1,4- dioxane. Many cosmetic companies are coming out with "All natural" and organic products. All natural products contain mineral and plant ingredients and organic products are made with organic agricultural products. Products who claim they are organic are not, unless they are certified "USDA Organic."[25][26]

Mineral makeup

Mineral makeup, another term for loose powder makeup foundation, largely comprises earth-based Ingredients. This product contains coverage pigments like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both of which are also physical sunscreens.[27] The main ingredients (minerals such as mica, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide), have been the basis of most makeup foundations for decades, but many dermatologists report that because mineral makeup frequently eliminates classic irritants such as fragrances, binders, synthetic dyes, talc, and preservatives, it is considered purer and can be kinder to the skin.[28]

Benefits of mineral makeup

Because titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have anti-inflammatory properties, certain mineral makeups can also have a calming effect on the skin, particularly important if you suffer from inflammatory problems such as rosacea or acne. Mineral makeup also is known for being noncomedogenic, and many manufacturers claim it also offers sun protection. This is mostly due to the high content of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide -- two ingredients commonly found in traditional sunscreen.[28]

Cosmetic industry

The cosmetic industry is a profitable business for most manufacturers of cosmetic products. By cosmetic products, we understand anything that is intended for personal care such as skin lotions or sun lotions, makeup and other such products meant to emphasize one's look. Given the technological development and the improvement of the manufacturing process of cosmetics and not least due to the constantly increasing demand of such products, this industry reported an important growth in terms of profit.

The cosmetic industry has not only grown only in the United States, but also in various parts of the world which have become famous for their cosmetic precuts. Some of these include France, Germany, Italy and Japan. It has been estimated that in Germany, the cosmetic industry generated sales of EUR 12.6 billion at retail sales, in 2008 [29] which made of German cosmetic industry the 3rd in the world, after Japan and the United States. Also, it has been shown that in the same country, this industry has grown with nearly 5 percent in one year, from 2007 to 2008. The exports of Germany in this industry reached in 2008 EUR 5.8 billion whereas the imports of cosmetics totaled EUR 3 billion.[29] The main countries that export cosmetics to Germany are France, Switzerland, the United States and Italy and they mainly consist of makeup and fragrances or perfumes for women.

After the United States, Japan is the second largest market for cosmetics in the world, a market worth about JPY 1.4 trillion per year.[30]

The worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates an estimated annual turnover of US$170 billion (according to Eurostaf - May 2007). Europe is the leading market, representing approximately €63 billion, while sales in France reached €6.5 billion in 2006, according to FIPAR (Fédération des Industries de la Parfumerie - the French federation for the perfume industry).[31] France is another country in which the cosmetic industry plays an important role, both nationally and internationally. Most products on whose label it is stated "Made in France" are valued on the international market. According to data from 2008, the cosmetic industry has risen constantly in France, for 40 consecutive years. In 2006, this industrial sector reached a record level of EUR 6.5 billion. Famous cosmetic brands produced in France include Vichy, Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Rocher and many others.

The Italian cosmetic industry is also an important player in the European cosmetic market. Although not as large as in other European countries, the cosmetic industry in Italy was estimated to reach EUR 9 billion in 2007.[32] The Italian cosmetic industry is however dominated by hair and body products and not makeup as in many other European countries. In Italy, hair and body products make up approximately 30% of the cosmetic market. Makeup and facial care however are the first cosmetic products to be exported in the United States.

Due to the popularity of cosmetics, especially fragrances and perfumes, many designers who are not necessarily involved in the cosmetic industry came up with different perfumes carrying their names. Moreover, some actors and singers have their own perfume line (such as Celine Dion). The designer perfumes are, like any other designer products, the most expensive in the industry as the consumer pays not only for the product but also for the brand. Famous Italian fragrances are produced by Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana and so on.

Recently,Procter & Gamble, which sells CoverGirl and Dolce & Gabbana makeup, funded a study[33] concluding that makeup makes women seem more competent.[34] Due to the source of funding, the quality of this Boston University study comes into question.

The European Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the two bodies making legislation in what concerns cosmetic industry and its various aspects within the European Union, respectively in the United States. In the European Union, the circulation of cosmetic products and their safety are law subjects since 1976. One of the newest amendments of the directive concerning cosmetic industry comes as a result of the attempt to ban animal testing. Therefore, testing cosmetic products on animals is illegal in the European Union from September 2004 and testing separate ingredients of such products on animals is also prohibited by law starting with March 2009.[35]

The FDA joined with thirteen other Federal agencies in forming the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) in 1997 which is an attempt to ban animal testing and find other methods to test the cosmetic products.[36]

The cosmetic industry worldwide seems to be continuously developing, now more than ever with the advent of the Internet companies. Many famous companies sell their cosmetic products online also in countries in which they do not have representatives.

Cosmetic careers

A professional make-up artist servicing a client

An account executive is responsible for visiting all department and specialty store counter sales and doors. They explain new products and "gifts with purchase" (free items given out upon purchase of a certain cosmetics item that costs more than a set amount).

A beauty adviser provides product advice based on the client's skin care and makeup requirements. Beauty advisers can become certified through the Anti-Aging Beauty Institute.

Model Alek Wek receiving make-up from a professional.

A cosmetician is a professional who provides facial and body treatments for clients. The term cosmetologist is sometimes used interchangeably with this term, but most commonly refers to a certified professional. A freelance makeup artist provides clients with beauty advice and cosmetics assistance—usually paid by the cosmetic company by the hour.

Professionals in cosmetics marketing careers manage research focus groups, promote the desired brand image, and provide other marketing services (sales forecasting, allocation to different retailers, etc.).

Those involved in cosmetics product development design, create and refine cosmetics products. Some positions that fall under this category include chemists, quality assurance and packaging people.

Many involved within the cosmetics industry often specialize in a certain area of cosmetics such as special effects makeup or makeup techniques specific to the film, media and fashion sectors.

See also

References

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  2. ^ κόσμος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
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  21. ^ Towards Beautiful Eyes – Solutions for Thinning Lashes and Dark Patches, Kamau Austin.
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The cost of natural skin care Is natural skin care more expensive

Further reading

  • Winter, Ruth (2005) [2005] (in English). A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients: Complete Information About the Harmful and Desirable Ingredients in Cosmetics (Paperback). USA: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 1400052335. 
  • Begoun, Paula (2003) [2003] (in English). Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me(Paperback). USA: Beginning Press. ISBN 1877988308. 
  • Carrasco, Francisco (2009) [2009] (in Spanish). Diccionario de Ingredientes Cosmeticos(Paperback). Spain: www.imagenpersonal.net. ISBN 9788461349791. 



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