How Are Cosmetics Made


Before putting it on your face, it is important to ask how cosmetics are made. This article will share with you the basic ingredients found in most makeup, along with a list of brands that manufacture their cosmetics in a positive way!

So How Are Cosmetics Made Anyway?

Cosmetics are currently manufactured internationally in a niche market of companies that tend to dominate the scene. While most of these corporations were founded at the beginning of the 20th century, distributors and storefronts selling these cosmetics continue to expand and grow in number.

Cosmetics are made with a diverse array of ingredients including oils, dyes, and other forms of pigmentation. While most makeup is strongly regulated upon, the amount of safety and concern that goes into cosmetics manufacturing widely depends upon the nation where you are purchasing it.

The United States Food and Drug Administration is in charge of regulating cosmetics imports into this country, and they categorize safe cosmetics as its intent to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, and/or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or function.

So what exactly does that mean? What ingredients are used to keep makeup safe to use? How are cosmetics made from start to finish?


Lipstick contains a wide variety of ingredients; however the main components are wax, alcohol, oil, and pigment. Usually, the wax is a combination of a few different types, which helps it to be easy to mold into its familiar tube shape. After the wax and oil are melted down and then blended together, a solvent solution is added along with the color pigment chosen. Pigmentation ingredients vary and depend upon the preference of the manufacturer, as well as what sort of lipstick is being made. A glossy balm will have a different sort of pigment than a deep, red matte lipstick.

After everything is initially blended, a machine typically mixes the formulation for several hours. After given a chance to set, it is poured into its familiar tube molding and then cooled down to help it maintain its shape. Lastly, brand labels and special packaging is added, and the product is ready to be approved and shipped to your local makeup counter.


While some countries use coal or tar to get the deep black color of most mascaras, this is prohibited in the United States. For this reason, carbon black is what typically makes up the pigmentation of mascara. Iron oxides can be used for brown, and a few other inorganic pigments are commonly used to achieve the more unconventional colors, such as purple and blue.

While there are a few different ways to create mascara, the most economical for companies is the emulsion method. Through this, water and special thickeners are blended together to form a sort of cream base.

Waxes are melted down in a separate container, and the pigments are added to this. After both solutions have been created, they are mixed together at a rapid pace, which helps to break down the oils and waxes into extremely small particles. This process is continued until the mixture has cooled.

The ingredients are then placed in a machine to be poured into bottles and they are then put through one final test for clarity and purity. Since mascara is so close to the eyes, it is vital manufacturers ensure there are no irritants found in any container before it is shipped to stores.

Powders, Foundations, Blush

Like lipstick and mascara, these other types of cosmetics find their bases in oils and pigments. Some also have perfumes added to them, since the odor of base ingredients alone can end up being something less than desired.

As organic makeup becomes even more popular, companies are turning to more natural and earth friendly ingredients to formulate their face makeup. Many powders and foundations are created with a great consideration for sensitive skin, so you can purchase items without having to dissect the ingredients' list beforehand. Lastly, animal testing has become a concern of late, compelling cosmetics corporations to find other ways to ensure their products' quality and safety.

Buying Smart

If you want to make sure you are supporting cosmetics made in a safe and friendly way, the following list of manufacturers can help you get started:

For a complete list of companies that know how cosmetics can be made without compromising the integrity of animals, visit The Caring Consumer.


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How Are Cosmetics Made