The science of cosmetics

The production of high quality cosmetics is made possible by nature and science – and more specifically chemistry. Many ingredients can constitute cosmetic products, but water and chemicals serve as fundamental ingredients in most of them. Chemists that make the products often use a number of organic and inorganic ingredients in the process. An example of the former can be natural oils and fats, whereas the latter can be various minerals. Usually, mixtures of oil and water along with compressed minerals are used to produce cosmetic products, but some even consist predominantly of mineral powders. These cosmetics include a range of facial cosmetics; foundations being a prime example where synthetic components are not needed to create high quality. However, liquid cosmetics typically need to contain preservative substances to ensure that quality is maintained. Therefore, it may be healthier to use this so-called mineral makeup, according to scientists.

Minerals can be found in nature, in a variety of places within the crust of the earth. However, there are unexpected exceptions where one can find some of the most precious minerals. Seashells are fine examples that can contain not only beautiful pearls, but also plenty of minerals. The outer substance of the pearls – called nacre – is used in cosmetics for many reasons. For example, it can be used in foundations and eye makeup to generate the effect of shine. It can also be used for the purpose of making products that treat aging signs on the skin, as amino acids are found in the nacre of pearls. These acids are equivalent to the ones that exist in the human body and they can therefore repair our cells. To me, this is a fun and interesting fact to know and it is truly amazing what science and scientists are able to achieve with this knowledge. I only hope this is a sustainable way of producing high quality cosmetics, without hurting natural ecosystems.

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