Understanding Cosmetics

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Understanding Cosmetics

Understanding Cosmetics

Commonly, cosmetics means a preparation, such as
powder or a skin cream, designed to beautify the body
by direct application or it may be something superficial
that is used to cover a deficiency or defect.

Cosmetics serve to beautify the body, especially the
face and hair. Cosmetic surgery means to serve to
modify or improve the appearance of a physical feature,
defect, or irregularity. Cosmetics can be used on
objects too other than human beings, which, however
would be decorative rather than functional, example,
cosmetic fenders on cars.

Cosmetics also means lacking depth or significance or
superficial. For instance, anybody can make a few
cosmetic changes to look different in order to hide

A cosmetologist or beautician or beauty specialist use
cosmetic products to a large extent. They specialize in
giving beauty treatments, usually to women. A
cosmetologist is proficient in hair treatments, facials
and other skin treatments and nail treatments.

Some cosmetologists specialize in just one of these
areas. The sub-categories of cosmetologist are hair
stylist, shampooer, manicurist, estheticians and
electrologists. Often cosmetologists specialize in more
than one of these categories.

Cosmetic products are preparations externally applied
to change or enhance the beauty of skin, hair, nails,
lips, and eyes. The use of body paint for ornamental
and religious purposes has been common among
primitive peoples from prehistoric times. Body-marking,
painting, tattooing, or scarification by cutting or burning
of the body for ritual, esthetic, medicinal, magic, or
religious purposes are very common.

Ointments, balms, powders, and hair dyes have also
been used from primitive times. Many cosmetics
originated in Asia, but their ingredients and use are first
documented in Egypt; ancient tombs have yielded kohl
pots or cosmetic jars and applicators or cosmetic
spoons. The Egyptians used kohl to darken their eyes.
A raw paint was used on the face, and palms were
often dyed with henna. Greek women used charcoal
pencils and rouge sticks of alkanet and coated their
faces with powder, which often contained dangerous
lead compounds. Beauty aids reached a peak in
imperial Rome. They used chalk for the face and a
rouge called fucus-and ladies required the services of
slaves adept in their use.

In Asia, specially in India, Ayurvedic preparations are
used instead of the synthetic ones. In Ayurvedic
preparations, mostly the raw material used are from
natural sources like herbs, shrubs, trees or earth
elements and water.

Many cosmetics survived the Middle Ages, and
Crusaders brought back rare Eastern oils and
perfumes. In the Renaissance, cosmetics, usually
white-lead powder and vermilion, were used
profligately. Since the 17th cent, recipes and books on
the toilette abounded. Professional cosmetologists
began to appear, and luxurious prescriptions often
included a bath in wine or milk of various animals. With
the advent of French revolution, the use of cosmetics
virtually disappeared.

The year 1900 saw a revival of their use, accompanied
by the manufacture of beauty aids on a scientific basis
in France. Since then the industry has grown to
tremendous proportions with products manufactured for
every conceivable use. The cosmetics business
flourished throughout the later 20th cent. By the
beginning of the 21st cent. the cosmetics industry was
mostly run by large corporations and had become a
multibillion dollar enterprise.

About the author:
redi choetics is the owner of
RNA Cosmetics
which is a premier resource for cosmetics information.
for more information, go to

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