Classification of Cosmetics

Classification of Cosmetics: The study of cosmetics is called “Cosmetology”. It is the treatment of skin, hair, nails and includes manicure, pedicure, applying of artificial nails on a special occasion, hair styling,  shampooing hair, body hair removal, chemical hair relaxers, or straighteners, perming, coloring, highlighting of hair, hair extensions, and wig treatments. A person who is licensed in cosmetology is called a Cosmetologist. Products covered under cosmetics range from hair care, oral care, skincare, lipsticks, nail polishes, extenders, deodorants, body powder, and aerosols to quasi-pharmaceutical over-the-counter products such as antiperspirants, dandruff shampoos, antimicrobial soaps, anti-acne, and sunscreen products. Table.1 below classifies the cosmetics based on the site of application and presents the products in each category. 

Table.1: Types of Cosmetics

Facial cosmeticsHair cosmeticsEye CosmeticsDental and Oral Cavity CosmeticsAntiperspirants and deodorantsMiscellaneous Cosmetics
Cleansing  preparationsHair dyeEyelinersToothpasteAntiperspirants:  Liquid  Lotion  Stuck  PowdersBlackhead  removers  
Skin  nourishing  (sunburn,  sunscreen)Hair oilEye glovesMouthwashesDeodorants:  Powder  Liquid  Cream  SticksToilet soaps
Skin tonicHair creamsKajalTeeth  whitening,  Chewing  gum Anti-stress  marks  removers
Shaving  creamHair gelsEyebrow  pencilsToothpowder  
Makeup:  Vanishing  cream,  Powders,  Face mark  removal,  Multipurpose  (sports)Antidandruff  preparationsContact  lens   
 Hair removing  creams    
 Shampoos:  Clear liquid  Liquid cream  Solid cream  Egg/herbal/oil  Dry powder  Aerosol    

Cosmetics are derived from both synthetic and natural sources from ancient times. As of now, we have mostly synthetically derived products. However, naturally, derived products are still competitive with the latest chemically manufactured items because of the safety they offer.  Designing modern cosmetics is based on biological data has improved cosmeceuticals for antiageing, hair growth, and skincare. Demand for cosmetic designers in the above sectors is increasing day by day. FDA and other organizations prefer the utilization of natural cosmetics developed with the help of plant tissue/ cell culture technology.

Herbal Cosmetics 

The history of herbals is the history of humankind, for every culture throughout time has relied upon herbs for its medicines and cosmetics. Some cultures, for instance, India and China have maintained a strong, unbroken tradition of herbalism for several centuries,  while in Europe and North America its popularity has soared and plunged periodically as  Western medicine and cosmetics achieved greater prominence. Today, however, interest in herbal products has increased once again, with an appreciation of its safer, holistic approach.  Probably the first system of herbal products, apart from the almost instinctive use of plants for healing that existed from the dawn of history and is still practiced by remote tribes, was developed in India well over 4,000 years ago. From India, the use of plants probably traveled with migrating people into China. Traditional Chinese medicine has developed a strong philosophical viewpoint on health and disease, with treatments ranging from herbal medicines to acupuncture, moxibustion, and massage techniques. Moxibustion is a traditional  Chinese medicine therapy that consists of burning dried mugwort (Artemisia argyi) on particular points of the body. It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems of  China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Mongolia. 

Ancient scriptures like Abhijnana, Shakuntalam, and Meghadootam of Kalidasa and many mythological epics encompass the reference of cosmetics like Tilak, Kajal, Alita, and Agaru  (Aquilaria agalbeha) that were used as body decorative and to create beauty spots on the chin and cheeks in the era ruled by gods and their deities. The concept of beauty and cosmetics is as old as mankind and civilization. The famous depictions in the Ajanta and  Ellora caves, Khajuraho prove that not only women but men also adorned themselves with jewels and cosmetics. Encrypted in history is the Aryan period that witnessed the use of turmeric- haridra (Curcuma longa, Linn), saffron, alkanet, agaru, chlorophyll green from nettle plants, and indigo for bodily-decorations apart from using Ramachandran (Pterocarpus santalinus Linn), Chandan (Santalum album) for beautification. Using Mehendi (henna) for dyeing hair in different colors and conditioning was also practiced in the olden times. 

Nutracosmetics are an emerging class of health and beauty aid products that combine the benefits of nutracosmetical ingredients with the elegance, skin feel, and delivery systems of cosmetics. Herbs and spices have been used in maintaining and enhancing human beauty because herbs have many beneficial properties, such as sunscreen, anti-aging, moisturizing,  anti-oxidant, anti-cellulite, and anti-microbial effects. As compared to synthetic cosmetic products, herbal products are mild, biodegradable, and have a low toxicity profile. Numerous chemical toxins, micro-organisms, chemicals, infections present in the atmosphere cause damage to the skin. Cosmetics alone are not sufficient to take care of skin and body parts; they require the association of active ingredients to check the damage and aging of the skin. Herbal cosmetics have now emerged as the appropriate solution to the current problem. The personal care industry is currently more concentrated on herbal cosmetics, as nowadays it is a fast-growing segment with a vast scope of manifold expansion in coming years.

Herbal cosmetics represent cosmetics associated with active bio-ingredients,  nutraceuticals, or pharmaceuticals. The use of bioactive phytochemicals from a variety of botanicals has dual functions: (i) These serve as cosmetics for the care of the body and its parts,  and (ii) the phytoconstituents present therein to influence the biological functions of the skin and provide nutrients necessary for the healthy skin or hair. In general, botanicals provide different vitamins, antioxidants, various oils, essential oils, hydrocolloids, proteins, terpenoids, and other bioactive molecules. Necessary efforts are required to associate modern cosmetology with bioactive ingredients based on the traditional system of medicine leading to the emergence of novel cosmeceuticals for skin and body care. 

Ideal Properties of Cosmetics 

Cosmetics are intended to be applied/ placed in contact with external parts of the human body namely, skin, hairs, nails, lips, teeth, and mucous membranes of the oral cavity.  Because these preparations are in contact with the said parts for a considerable duration of time, the following are the desirable characteristics of cosmetics. 

  1. Cosmetics should be non-toxic, non-irritant, and acceptable to regulatory agencies. 
  2. They should be readily applicable and pleasant in use. 
  3. They should be physically and chemically inert. 
  4. They should be Economical. 
  5. They should have long-lasting property. 
  6. They should have the ability to mask the imperfections of the skin. 
  7. They should be stable and have a good appearance. 
  8. Cosmetics should provide significant cleaning if intended. 
  9. They should be easily removed from the skin when needed.

Classification of Cosmetics 

Cosmetics are classified into four main categories which are as follows- 

  1. According to their use. 
  2. According to their functions. 
  3. According to their physical nature. 
  4. According to their state. 

1. Classification of Cosmetics according to their use

Based on the site of application, cosmetics are classified into main five categories- 

  1. Use for the skin. 
  2. Use for nails. 
  3. Use for teeth and Mouth. 
  4. Use for Hairs. 
  5. Use for eyes. 

(1) For skin: The skin mainly intends to protect human beings against environmental aggressions. The cosmetic products that are poured, rubbed, or applied on skin are known as skin cosmetics. Skin cosmetics are a range of products that support skin integrity including nutrition, avoidance of excessive sun exposure, and appropriate use of emollients that enhance skin tone and beautification. These are also components of wound healing, neonates, the elderly, stomas, radiation treatment, and some medication. Examples are creams, powders, deodorants, lotions, antiperspirants, moisturizers, perfumes, skin toners, etc. 

(2) For nails: The nails, in particular the nails plates of the fingers of hands and feet, have been subjects of decoration in terms of shine or color. The products used include nail lacquers, nail lacquer remover, cuticle removers, manicure, and pedicure preparations. 

(3) For teeth and mouth: Dental care products are meant for keeping the dental structure healthy, strong, and protected against any infection (oral). These are also meant for keeping the enamel on teeth intact. Cosmetic mouthwashes consisting of water, alcohol, flavor (essential oils), and color primarily function to remove or destroy the bacteria in the oral cavity. Examples are dentifrices, mouthwashes, dental powders, lotions, gargles, mouth fresheners. 

(4) For eyes: Since eyes are a very sensitive and important part of our body and also require high lightening during beautification but with utmost care and protection.  Examples are eye creams, eyelashes, eyeliners, mascara, and eye shadow. 

(5) For hairs: Hair cosmetics are the range of products that are used for the hygiene of hairs involving hairs that grows from the human scalp, facial, pubic, and other body hairs. Hair care routines differ according to an individual’s culture and the physical characteristics of one’s hair. Hairs may be colored, trimmed, shaved, plugged, or otherwise removed with treatments such as waxing, threading, etc. The hair care products include shampoo, hair removers, hair dyes, hair sprays, depilatories, hair wave preparation,  depilatories, shaving preparation, etc. 

2. Classification of cosmetics according to their functions 

(a) Curative and therapeutic: Some cosmetic products which are used for beautification are also meant to have curative and therapeutic properties.  e.g. antiperspirants and hair preparations. 

(b) Protective: Some cosmetic products have protective functions which not only protect our skin from external environmental factors but also reduce its intensity to enable the skin to develop its protection against exposure. e.g sunscreens. 

(c) Corrective: The cosmetic products which are applied to correct or improve tone and mask the imperfection either from the face, hairs, heals, nails, teeth, etc. e.g. Crack creams. 

(d) Decorative: Decorative function of the cosmetics gives the person a feeling of confidence, happiness during the occasion. The cosmetic product which provides decorative function highlights different body parts like nails and hairs by different shades of colors and shine etc. e.g. lipsticks, nail lacquer, eyelashes, mascara, etc.

3. Classification of cosmetics according to their physical nature

(a) Aerosols: Aerosols are the pressurized dosage forms containing one or more active ingredients. In aerosols, the product material can be removed without contamination of remaining materials, so that the product can be delivered directly to the affected area.  E.g. Hair perfumes, aftershave lotion, etc.  

(b) Cakes: Cakes are the semi-solid preparations that are formed by applying accurate pressure. A well-formulated cake will come out easily with a sponge and should cover the skin uniformly. E.g. Rouge compact, makeup compact. 

(c) Emulsions: An emulsion is a biphasic liquid dosage form in which two immiscible liquids are made miscible by the addition of a third substance known as an emulgent or emulsifying agent. The cosmetic products covered under this category include vanishing cream, cold cream, cleansing cream, all-purpose cream. 

(d) Oils: An oil is any neutral, nonpolar chemical substance, that is a viscous liquid at ambient temperature and is both hydrophobic and lipophilic. Oils may be of animal,  vegetable, or petrochemical origin. They may be volatile or non-volatile. E.g. Hair oil. 

(e) Pastes: These are semisolid preparations meant for external application to the skin.  Due to the presence of large amounts of solids, they are less attractive cosmetically than ointments. Since pastes are stiff, they do not melt at ordinary temperature, thus forming and holding a protective coating over the areas to which they are applied.  e.g. Toothpaste, deodorant paste. 

(f) Powder: Powders are solid dosage forms that are meant for internal and external use. They are available in crystalline or amorphous form. In cosmetics,  powders are used for face and body care, not only by women but also by men. The body powders are also known as dusting powders. e.g. tooth powder, talcum powder, face powder.  

(g) Solution: Solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances.  The solution assumes characteristics of solvent i.e. its phase. e.g. aftershave lotions,  hand lotions, astringent lotions, etc. 

(f) Soaps: Soap is a salt of fatty acids. Soaps are used for cleaning and are obtained by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with a strong base such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide in an aqueous solution. e.g. shaving soaps, bathing soaps, toilet soaps, and shampoo soaps. 

(g) Sticks: e.g. lipsticks, deodorant sticks. 

4. Classification of cosmetics according to their state 

  • Solid: e.g. Powders. 
  • Liquid: e.g. Lotion, mouthwashes. 
  • Semisolid: e.g. gel, cream.

Regulatory Aspects

Cosmetic products are now considered no less than pharmaceutical products in terms of increasing selection and quality control. The manufacturing of these is required to follow CGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice). For example, schedule M-II of Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1944 & Rules 1945. Validation of processes and equipments labeling requirements, shelf-life testing, and animal testing is now an essential part of cosmetic manufacturing. Certification from standard regulating bodies like BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), ISO (International Organization of Standards) adds to the reputation of the cosmetic manufacturing company. There has been an increasing trend for use of herbal cosmetics & personal care products especially in the skincare segment and it accounts for ₹ 450 crores of the domestic market. Many Indian Pharmaceutical companies like Dabur, Cadila have expanded their product range by starting the production of herbal cosmetics. The cosmetic products have to be formulated and conformed to restrictions imposed by IS 4707 (Part I & Part II), the guidelines of CTFA (Cosmetics, Toiletries & Fragrance Association), and CHIC (Cosmetic Harmonisation and International Cooperation) as revised from time to time. The Bureau of Indian Standards also publishes an Indian Standard Number IS 4011:1997 which describes tests for safety evaluation of cosmetics.

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