It’s hardly a surprise when we say that cosmetics are a large industry, but have you ever considered how makeup is made? In North America alone, approximately $35 billion per year on foundation, mascara, lipstick and all other types of makeup. Obviously, the art of artifice is good business. However, the popularity of the mercury and lead used in many products is the reason why the US Food and Drug Administration plays a role in the regulation of safety and purity of cosmetics. Nowadays, manufacturers are avoiding mercury and lead by utilising materials that are safe for human contact. The question remains; what constitutes safe makeup?
To begin with, good makeup meets the consumers’ requirement for consistency. For instance, the final swipes of a lipstick tube should look as if they were the first swipes of the colour. Of course, customers will consider various factors when choosing their makeup. Does the makeup run? Is it a brand that lasts the full day or not? Can it look fresh for hours or will it wipe off on anything it contacts? To achieve the goals, manufacturers spend years developing carefully guarded formulas. They have also invested in manufacturing equipment that can produce well-blended and safe cosmetics with correct colour, consistency, stability, scent and combinations of ingredients.
How is Mascara Developed?
To increase the dramatic visibility of one’s eyes, mascara is utilised to add colour, length, thickening and definition to the eyelashes. The most popular colour of mascara is jet black, and certain countries will use tar and coal to achieve this effect – both toxic substances that can harm an individual. Safe manufacturing ingredients include carbon black. Furthermore, to achieve other colours, such as brown, pigmentation can be changed by adding minerals or iron oxide to the mixture.
There are many different methods and formulas to make mascara, but the most common method used by manufacturers is the combination of oils, waxes and pigments with water to form an emulsion. As it is used around the eye, it is essential that mascara does not contain any irritants or contaminants. As all cooks know, blending water and oil can be challenging; however, the modern cosmetic maker uses advanced mixing equipment to create stable emulsions. The mixtures are smooth containing small oil and water particles where one is dispersed within the other, sometimes using different pumps, including drum pumps.
How is Foundation Developed?
Let us begin with foundation. Nowadays, there are several dry, mineral-based versions of the traditional cosmetic; however, liquid foundation is the most commonly used. To create foundation, makeup manufacturers begin with pigments and oils, and then may add some fragrance which needs to be blended well with all ingredients.
The blending element in this procedure involves the use of industrial equipment to manufacture the foundation. To achieve a consistent and smooth texture with the correct colour and other characteristics, it is essential that the ingredients undergo a type of mixing that cannot be achieved using typically household appliances or tools. Indeed, some of today’s makeup products are possible because of the advanced processing. This is a procedure where the constituents are reduced to the size of vanishing particles.
Dependent on the final foundation product, a cosmetics manufacturer tends to rely on highly sophisticated blending machines that can perform challenging tasks, such as the following:
• the production of stable emulsions
• the hydration of suspending and thickening agents
• the dissolution of powders
• the disintegration of solids
• the blending of liquids of various viscosities
• the blending of thickeners, stabilisers and rheology
In addition to these tasks, the procedures need to be conducted under controlled, completely hygienic, and consistently reproducible conditions. After all, the health and safety issues need to be dealt with, and the FDA overseeing the manufacturing.
How To Make Other Makeup Products
Additional popular makeup products, such as lipstick, are manufactured using similar procedures with waxes, pigments, oils, preservatives and antioxidants to avoid spoiling the final item. There is a plethora of FDA-approved pigments one can use ranging from the traditional carmine (a deep red colour generated by cochineal insects) to metallic oxides or plant-based annatto. Due to the fact that lipstick can be ingested, attention needs to be paid to the safety of the cosmetic ingredient.