Cosmetic Chemistry

Cosmetic Chemistry


Classifications of Cosmetics

Powders – uniform mixtures of insoluble substances that are perfumed, blended and tinted to produce a cosmetic. Light airy texture


Suspensions – combines two types of matter that separate upon standing still. Containers will always say shake well before using.


Ointments/sticks/pastes – semi-solid mixtures softened and blended, poured into molds then cooled. Often made without water. They have a thick waxy consistency.


Solutions – An evenly mixed solute and solvent solution. When a solid or multiple solids are dissolved into a liquid. They do not separate upon standing still. Thickeners are added to create cosmetic products in most applications.

Dilute – small amount of solute dissolved into larger amount of solvent. Examples: Brush Cleaner, Toner, Make-up Remover, Astringent, Hair Spray, etc.

Concentrate – large amount of solute in a small amount of solvent. Examples: liquid foundation, Moisturizers, Hair Gel, Mascara, Facial Cleansers, etc.

Saturate – Dissolved solute and solvent mixture is at capacity of retention at the mixing temperature. Examples: Facial Scrubs, Face Masques, Heavy Night Creams, Hair Wax, Cream Eyeshadow, Gel Eyeliners, Deep Conditioners.

Emulsions – Contain two or more non-mixable materials that are combined with the addition of a binding agent. This creates a stable mixture that can contain up to 90% water. The resulting products can be creams, liquids, or semi-solid in texture.

Soaps – mixture of superheated fats and is then purified my distillation. Glycerin is the cleansing byproduct distilled from the steam of the heated mixture. Sodium Hydroxide is added to create hard soaps, like beauty bar soap and laundry powder. Potassium Hydroxide creates soft soaps like shampoos and liquid hand soaps.