The word "cosmetics" arises from a Greek word "kosmeticos" which means to adorn. Since that time any material used for beautification or improvement of appearance is known as cosmetic. The urge to adorn one's own body and look beautiful has been urging in the human race since the tribal days. Earlier both males and females were equal competitors for improvement of appearance. Males decorated themselves with animal parts and the vegetable leaves etc. while women did so by wearing any colored stones or flowers around their neck and the wrists. At a later stage they employed colored earth for faces and bodies and still later colored ointments. If we go through our Egyptian tombs much light has fallen on the ancient practice of beautification. Pharaohian tombs have revealed that colored earths were like malachite green. The copper ore was used as eye shadows. Lamp black was common too for eyes. Myrrh was used for the perfumery purposes.

The cosmetics in general are external preparations and are meant to be applied to external parts of the body. In other words they may be applied to skin, hair and nails for the purposes of covering, coloring, softening, cleansing, nourishing, waving, setting, mollification, preservation, removal and protection. The cosmetic may be classified into 4 main groups namely -

1. Cosmetics for skin
2. Cosmetics for hair
3. Cosmetics for nails
4. Cosmetics for hygiene (Dental, bathing, etc.


Cleansing cream or lotion is required for the removal of facial make-up, surface germ, oil and water and oil soluble soil efficiently, mainly from the face and throat. A good and properly formulated cleansing cream should be able to remove, quickly and efficiently, applied cosmetics as face powder, rouge, foundation bases, cake make-up, and lipstick. The excessive increase in eye make-up also necessities use of cleansing products specially formulated to remove such make-up.


A good cleaning cream should have the following characteristics-

1. It should effectively able to remove oil-soluble and water-soluble soil and surface oil from the skin.
2. As a cosmetic it should be stable and have a good appearance.
3. It should melt or soften on application to the skin.
4. It should spread easily without too much drag.
5. After evaporation of any water, the cream residue should not become viscous.
6. A light emollient film should remain on the skin after use of the cream.


• White, emulsified cold cream
• Translucent, liquefying type cold cream.

General method of preparation:
• Emulsified type of preparation
• Ingredient of oil phase should be taken in the increasing order of the melting point.
• Constant stirring should be done.
• Take separately the ingredients of aqueous phase and mix them and heat to same temperature as the oil phase.
• Emulsifying agent should be added to the specific phase.
• Mix the two phases until they form the smooth cream.
• Preservative should add before making the cream.
• Perfume should be added after the primary cream is formed.


They are called vanishing cream because they disappear when rubbed into the skin. These preparations are stearic acid based and part of stearic acid is saponified with an alkali and rest of the stearic acid is emulsified with this soap in a large quantity of water. After application the cream leaves a dry but tacky residual film which also has a drying effect on the skin.


• Emulsified type preparation
• Oil phase is added by increasing melting point order.
• Component of the aqueous phase should be mixed together and warmed to about same temperature of the oil phase.
• Add perfume after cooling.

Night and massage creams:

Skin nourishment is impartment and required to preserve the normal characters of the skin or as a treatment for the dry skin. To supplement foods for the skin and to treat the dry skin various cream containing different ingredients are used. Though various creams are used, like nutritive, message or emollient cream but they differ very little from one another. They contain high quantity of oily and fatty materials together with emollients such as lanolin and are prepared by emulsification.

Fruit juice creams

Sl. No. Ingredients Quantity (100gm)
A Sunflower oil 5.0 gm
Glycerin 5.0 gm
Orange juice 24.0 gm
Emulsifying agent 16.0 gm
B Water 50.0 gm
Perfume (orange oil) q.s.
Preservative q.s.

Dissolve requisite amount of estrogenic substances in a suitable soluble solvent and use it in "A". heat components of "A" and water separately at 70º C. slowly add water to "A" with moderate but continuous stirring. Add perfume at the cooling time.


These are the most important group of preparations. Sunscreens should either scatter the incident light effectively, or they should absorb the erythemal portion of the sun's radiant energy. Various factors other than duration of exposure are also to be taken into account.

The ideal sunscreen should have following characters:

• Absorb light preferentially over the range of 280 mµ - 320 mµ.
• Stable to heat, light and perspiration.
• Non-toxic and non-irritant
• Not be rapidly absorbed
• Neutral in nature
• Should be readily soluble in soluble vehicles.

General method of manufacturing:-

• Preparation can be aqueous, oily solution
• Mix and dissolve the sunscreen ingredients in suitable vehicle
• Add perfume at the last.

About Author / Additional Info: