Editorial Feature

What Raw Materials are Used in Cosmetics?

As per a recent report published by Statista, the global cosmetics market is estimated at around 511 billion dollars. The range of types of cosmetics products, such as skin care, make-up items, hair styling items, etc., is possible owing to the use of various types of molecular formulations. The production of effective and aesthetically appealing cosmetic products is achieved due to the manufacturers' careful selection of suitable raw materials. This article highlights major raw materials which are utilized during the production of cosmetic products worldwide.

What Raw Materials are Used in Cosmetic

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There are several raw materials for producing cosmetics ingredients, such as functional and structural ingredients. Functional ingredients ensure the basic functionality of the products. These include water, surfactants, emollients, etc. Emollients are conditioners and softening agents for the epidermis. They create a barrier on the epidermis that prevents moisture depletion. In cleaning products, surfactants are incorporated to generate lather. In addition, they facilitate the emulsification of oil- and water-based substances.

To enhance stability, cosmetic formulations include stabilizing ingredients. They help preserve a product's integrity and prevent it from degrading. Preservatives are employed in cosmetics to inhibit the development of bacteria and fungi while also extending the expiration life of the product.

Raw Materials Commonly Used in Skin Care Products

In the world of skin care goods, different raw materials are used. Jojoba seed oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter are a few of the natural moisturizers that are employed. Polymeric oils are a type of synthetic lubricant. Humectants also play a very important part and are extensively utilized. Their main job is to hold and draw moisture to the human skin.

As per an article published in the journal Molecules, Epilobium angustifolium L. (EA), commonly utilized as a topical agent, is a major raw material for skincare cosmetics products. It comprises antioxidative substances that regulate oxidative damage and may prevent various dermatological conditions. Additionally, EA's elevated antioxidant activity promotes wound recovery. Historically, EA-dried herb was used to manufacture anti-inflammatory products. Due to its beneficial structure and substantial biological activity, the EA plant is a potent anti-aging ingredient. The aqueous EA extract suppresses elastases by 82%, whereas the water-ethanol extract inhibits elastases by 48%.

The secondary metabolites of the EA plant are crucial in the struggle against bacterial cutaneous infections. These are the underlying causes for the use of EA plant extracts in cosmetics.

Which Raw Materials Are Used for Make-Up Products?

The make-up sector is considered the backbone of the cosmetics sector. For makeup products, fillers are utilized to enhance the consistency and feel of cosmetics. Talc, mica particles, and silica are frequently used as particle fillers. Pigments are used in cosmetics to impart hue while improving appearance. Iron oxides, titanium dioxide, and various organic dyes are common pigments utilized in cosmetics. In addition, preservatives are used to preserve the strength and durability of cosmetics.

Incorporating nanotechnology into cosmetic products is regarded as the newest and most cutting-edge technology available. An article published in Frontiers in Chemistry reveals that the developers of cosmetic makeup use nanoscale-sized additives to enhance UV protection, skin absorption, durability, color intensity, and finish quality, among other benefits.

Taking into account the protective characteristics of human skin structure, lipid nanoparticle-based preparation is one of the most appropriate approaches for an effective dermal route of administration of active ingredients in cosmetics.

 Consequently, the formation of lipid-loaded micellar nanoparticles through the use of a nano-emulsion system in the nanoscale domain is applicable and is utilized in makeup production.

Natural Cosmetics and Their Raw Materials

In recent years, the cosmetics industry has decided to focus on the reemergence of organic and natural components while minimizing the influence of chemistry on the development of beauty products. Numerous cosmetic products contain mineral oils as a foundation, whereas biological products employ natural oils or water. The former contains traces of oil but is filtered to minimize potential issues.

Numerous types of naturally produced antioxidants can be found in natural organic products, including coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, and certain types of vitamins C and E. Instead of chemicals, natural products use substances such as Glyceryl Stearate Citrate or beeswax that induce emulsification.

Use of GMOs as Raw Materials in the Cosmetics Industry

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are microbes whose mitochondrial genomes have been purposefully tweaked using genetic engineering techniques to develop novel physiological features or modify some existing traits. Lauric acid, which is one of the saturated oils, is an important example of a basic cosmetic material that can be derived from GMOs. It is a common constituent in personal care products (bathing liquids and detergents, cleansers) and 'white cosmetics' for skin care, such as lotions and hydrating treatments, due to its exceptional moisturizing qualities. This substance is obtained from both coconuts and rapeseed.

Vine Grape: An Essential Raw Product for Cosmetic Formulations

Vitis vinifera L. (vine grape) is ideally suited for applications in cosmetics due to its advantageous properties. According to research published in Pharmaceuticals, it is an abundant source of metabolites, especially flavonoids, amino acids, phenolic acids, and vitamins.

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of an aqueous extract of V. vinifera var. Teinturiers prevent infection in human keratinocytes (HaCaT cells) caused by psoriasis-released mediators of inflammation or oxidative stress. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion was demonstrated to be inhibited by the extract, leading to anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, the efficacy of V. vinifera leaf extract for inhibiting tyrosinase activity has been evaluated. The HPLC technique identified the presence of gallic acid and chlorogenic acid in the extracts. It was shown that V. vinifera leaf extract decreased tyrosinase activity, resulting in boosting skin fairness. This ensures their effectiveness for skin whitening products.

Extensive testing has demonstrated the anti-collagenase and anti-elastase properties of phenolic compounds. An article published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology highlights the importance of polyphenols as natural antioxidants in cosmetic products. The antibacterial property of phenolic compounds is due to their ability to interrupt cytoplasmic membrane functionality. They also inhibit the generation of nucleic acids and hinder vital metabolism. They also cause a significant reduction in biofilm generation leading to decreased microbial activity, granting them anti-microbial properties.

In short, natural as well as synthetic substances are utilized as raw materials for the production of cosmetics products. These materials possess several advantageous properties enabling cosmetics products to function properly.

More from AZoM: Analytical Chemistry Applied to Cosmetics

References and Further Reading

Albo Group, 2023. Raw materials used for the production of natural cosmetics, what are they?. [Online] Available at: https://www.albogroupitaly.com/en/news/raw-materials-ingredients-natural-cosmetics/

PCC Group, 2022. GMO raw materials and their application in the cosmetics industry. [Online] Available at: https://www.products.pcc.eu/en/blog/gmo-raw-materials-and-their-application-in-the-cosmetics-industry/

Sophix Natural, 2023. The Different Categories of Cosmetic Raw Materials. [Online] Available at: https://sophixnatural.com/the-different-categories-of-cosmetic-raw-materials/

Aziz et. al. (2019). "Role of nanotechnology for design and development of cosmeceutical: application in makeup and skin care." Frontiers in chemistry 7. 739. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2019.00739

 Nowak A. et. al. (2022). Epilobium angustifolium L. as a Potential Herbal Component of Topical Products for Skin Care and Treatment—A Review. Molecules. 27(11). 3536. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27113536

De Lima C. et. al. (2020). Polyphenols as natural antioxidants in cosmetics applications. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 19(1), 33-37. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13093

Sharafan M. et. al. (2023). Vitis vinifera (Vine Grape) as a Valuable Cosmetic Raw Material. Pharmaceutics. 15(5):1372. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15051372

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Ibtisam Abbasi

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Ibtisam Abbasi

Ibtisam graduated from the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. During his academic career, he has worked on several research projects and has successfully managed several co-curricular events such as the International World Space Week and the International Conference on Aerospace Engineering. Having won an English prose competition during his undergraduate degree, Ibtisam has always been keenly interested in research, writing, and editing. Soon after his graduation, he joined AzoNetwork as a freelancer to sharpen his skills. Ibtisam loves to travel, especially visiting the countryside. He has always been a sports fan and loves to watch tennis, soccer, and cricket. Born in Pakistan, Ibtisam one day hopes to travel all over the world.


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