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

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, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and gels, deodorants, 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 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[1] 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.[2]

Contents

History

The first archaeological evidence of cosmetics usage is found in Egypt around 3500 BC during the Ancient Egypt times with some of the royalty having make up such as Nefertiti, Nefertari, mask of Tutankhamun, etc. The Ancient Greeks and Romans[citation needed] also used cosmetics. 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 bloodletting.

Cosmetic use was frowned upon at many points in Western history. For example, in the 1800s, make-up was used primarily by prostitutes, and Queen Victoria publicly declared makeup improper, vulgar, and acceptable only for use by actors.[3] 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 emphasised their delicacy and femininity. They aimed always to look pale and interesting. Paleness could be induced by drinking vinegar and avoiding fresh air. Sometimes ladies discreetly used a little rouge on the cheeks, but 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 1900s.

The worldwide annual expenditures for cosmetics today is estimated at U.S. $19 billion.[4] 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%, with the remaining 46% are publicly traded). 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[5], 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.

Criticism and controversy

Woman wearing cosmetics

During the 20th century, the popularity of cosmetics increased rapidly.[citation needed] Especially in the United States, cosmetics are used by girls at an increasingly young age[citation needed]. Many companies 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 feminists, 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.[6]

Numerous published reports have raised concern over the safety of a few surfactants. SLS causes a number of skin issues including dermatitis.[7][8][9][10][11]

Parabens can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis in individuals with paraben allergies, a small percentage of the general population.[12] Animal experiments have shown that parabens have a weak estrogenic activity, acting as xenoestrogens.[13]

Prolonged use of makeup has also been linked to thinning eyelashes.[14]

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.[15]

Cosmetics companies have been criticised for making pseudoscientific claims about their products which are misleading or not backed by science.[16][17]

Makeup types

  • Lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, lip balm, lip conditioner, lip primer, and lip boosters.[1]
  • Foundation, used to smooth out the face and cover spots or uneven skin coloration. Usually a liquid, cream, or powder.[1] Foundation primer is often applied before.
  • 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.[1]
  • Bronzer, used to give skin a bit of color by adding a golden or bronze glow.[1]
  • 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.[1]
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 as the thickest makeup applied for any artform.

Also included in the general category of cosmetics are skin care products. These include creams and lotions to moisturize the face and body, sunscreens to protect the skin from damaging UV radiation, and treatment products to repair or hide skin imperfections (acne, wrinkles, dark circles under eyes, etc.). Cosmetics can also be described by the form of the product, as well as the area for application. Cosmetics can be liquid or cream emulsions; powders, both pressed and loose; dispersions; and anhydrous creams or sticks.

Lip stain is a cosmetic product that contains either water or a gel base. To help the product stay on the lips, many stains may contain alcohol. These lip coloring products are available in a variety of formulas, colors, and application types. The idea behind lip stains is to temporarily saturate the lips with color with a dye, rather than applying a colored wax to the lips to color them. A lip stain is usually designed to be waterproof so that the color will be long lasting, and once the stain dries, it should not smear, stain, wear unevenly, or transfer to the teeth. A lip stain may come in a bottle with an applicator which is used to brush the stain onto the lips, and it can also come in a small jar, with users applying the stain with a finger or a cosmetic brush.

Make-up remover is the product used to remove the make-up products applied on the skin. It is used for cleaning the skin for other procedure, like applying any type of lotion at evening before the person go to sleep.

Special effects

In addition to over-the-counter cosmetic products, recent years have seen an increasing market for prescription or surgical cosmetic procedures. These range from temporary enhancements, such as cosmetic colored contact lenses, to major cosmetic surgery. To temporary fashionable enhancement belongs application of false eyelashes or eyelash extensions, in order to enhance the natural eyelashes and make eye appearance more attractive.

Many techniques, such as microdermabrasion and physical or chemical peels, remove the oldest, top layers of skin cells. The younger layers of skin left behind appear more plump, youthful, and soft. Permanent application of pigments (tattooing) is also used cosmetically.

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 is due to come 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.[18] 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."[19][20]

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

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.

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reed, Sandra I. US Department of Health and Human Services. "Cosmetics and Your Health." 2004. May 14, 2007. [1]
  2. ^ Lewis, Carol. FDA. "Clearing up Cosmetic Confusion." The marketing industry is now targeting young girls to wear 'super cool lip gloss' and 'fairy glitter eye shadow', by throwing them in with toys in a box and claiming that 'girls will be girls', are they truly being girls or another plastic? 2000. May 14, 2007. [2]
  3. ^ Pallingston, J (1998). Lipstick: A Celebration of the World's Favorite Cosmetic. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312199147. 
  4. ^ "As Consumerism Spreads, Earth Suffers, Study Says". National Geographic: pp. 2. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/01/0111_040112_consumerism_2.html. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  5. ^ "Lessons from categorising the entire beauty products sector (Part 1)". pp. 1. http://www.beautynow.co.uk/blog/beauty-products-part-1-522.html. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  6. ^ "Signers of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics". Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. http://www.safecosmetics.org/companies/signers.cfm. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  7. ^ Agner T (1991). "Susceptibility of atopic dermatitis patients to irritant dermatitis caused by sodium lauryl sulphate". Acta Derm. Venereol. 71 (4): 296–300. PMID 1681644. 
  8. ^ Nassif A, Chan SC, Storrs FJ, Hanifin JM (November 1994). "Abnormal skin irritancy in atopic dermatitis and in atopy without dermatitis". Arch Dermatol 130 (11): 1402–7. doi:10.1001/archderm.130.11.1402. PMID 7979441. http://www.jem.org/cgi/content/full/195/7/855. 
  9. ^ Marrakchi S, Maibach HI (2006). "Sodium lauryl sulfate-induced irritation in the human face: regional and age-related differences". Skin Pharmacol Physiol 19 (3): 177–80. doi:10.1159/000093112. PMID 16679819. 
  10. ^ CIR publication. Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. Journal of the American College of Toxicology. 1983 Vol. 2 (No. 7) pages 127–181.
  11. ^ Löffler H, Effendy I (May 1999). "Skin susceptibility of atopic individuals". Contact Derm. 40 (5): 239–42. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1999.tb06056.x. PMID 10344477. 
  12. ^ Nagel JE, Fuscaldo JT, Fireman P (April 1977). "Paraben allergy". JAMA 237 (15): 1594–5. doi:10.1001/jama.237.15.1594. PMID 576658. 
  13. ^ Byford JR, Shaw LE, Drew MG, Pope GS, Sauer MJ, Darbre PD (January 2002). "Oestrogenic activity of parabens in MCF7 human breast cancer cells". J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 80 (1): 49–60. doi:10.1016/S0960-0760(01)00174-1. PMID 11867263. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0960076001001741. 
  14. ^ Towards Beautiful Eyes – Solutions for Thinning Lashes and Dark Patches, Kamau Austin.
  15. ^ Frosch PJ, Pilz B, Andersen KE, et al. (November 1995). "Patch testing with fragrances: results of a multicenter study of the European Environmental and Contact Dermatitis Research Group with 48 frequently used constituents of perfumes". Contact Derm. 33 (5): 333–42. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1995.tb02048.x. PMID 8565489. 
  16. ^ http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/-Pseudo-science-can39t-cover.3606975.jp
  17. ^ http://www.badscience.net/category/cosmetics/
  18. ^ http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-206.html
  19. ^ Singer, Natasha. "Natural, Organic Beauty." New York Times. 1 Nov. 2007. 18 Mar. 2008
  20. ^ <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/01/fashion/01skin.html?_r=1&oref=slogin>

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. 

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Various cosmetics]] Cosmetics (also called makeup, make up, or make-up) are products used to make the human body look different. Often cosmetics are used to make someone more attractive to one person, or to a culture or sub-culture. In Western culture, women are the main users of cosmetics. Their use by men is less frequent. All cosmetics are temporary. They need to be renewed after a certain time. Cosmetics include lipstick, powders (e.g. blush, eyeshadow), and lotions as well as other things.

Cosmetics are also widely used in the world of acting.

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