Cosmetic products: how to choose them wisely

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Every day we use at least 9 or 10 cosmetic products: facial creams, foundation, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel, intimate wash. The cosmetics have become essential for the men and women of the third millennium.

Definition of cosmetic products

Cosmetics are, according to the law, those substance mixtures that you apply directly on the outer surface of the body (they are the lips, skin or hair), mucous membranes of the mouth, teeth or the external genital area.

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Cosmetic products are substances that are improving, clean, perfume, protect, preserve, amend or change the external appearance of the body.

According to this definition, they can not be considered as cosmetic products: fillers, as injected under the skin and not applied to the body surface, the extension because they are objects and not mixtures, piercings, fake nails, tattoos.

Differences between cosmetics and drugs

Given the assumptions made, a distinction between drugs and cosmetics should be made. In some cases, in fact, the drugs can be applied on the surface of the body or in contact with the mucous membranes of the mouth exactly as cosmetics. What is the difference here?

The elements that distinguish here a drug from a cosmetic reside primarily in their function of use. While cosmetics are used, as mentioned above to improve the appearance, protect and preserve the current state of the epidermis, the drug is used to solve problematic situations related to the health or prevent any disease.

This explains why a nasal spray, an anti-inflammatory cream or ointment can not be considered cosmetic.

What does a cosmetic product?

The cosmetics are made up of substances that perform different functions. The ingredients that you find on the label of a cosmetic raw materials are called and they are:

emulsifiers : present in emulsions, mixtures composed of an aqueous phase and an oily.

surfactants : useful elements to produce tensiolitics, indispensable in cleaning products.

preservatives : allow the product to keep intact over time its composition and its properties. They are not always present.

lipids : present in products with oily base such as lipsticks and emulsions.

antioxidants : preserve the product oxygenation, in particular that of the lipid part.

additives : give the cosmetic product the right consistency and smoothness. Essential in the gel.

dyes and pigments : substances that alter the color of the cosmetic.

Auxiliary : additional ingredients are not essential.

active ingredients : ingredients that enhance the functional properties of the product.

How to choose right cosmetic products?

In the choice of cosmetics it is helpful to read the ingredients list and figure out if what we’re buying is really suited our needs.

If you have problems of sensitivity or skin intolerance, you must be careful to functional substances present and the type of preservative and dye. In these cases it is advisable to rely on product lines for sensitive and intolerant and ask if that type of product may be suitable for us.

In case you have allergies to metals, it is critical to make sure that the cosmetics that you are about to buy has passed the heavy metals test, or better, they are free of nickel.

Even in the case of celiac disease is a good idea to check the label to make sure that the cosmetics that you have to buy gluten. Undoubtedly the best cosmetic brands offer dedicated lines to the individual needs of the consumer and are careful selection of raw materials and ingredients to be used.

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