Cosmetics are substances and elements that are used to improve or modify the appearance of the face, fragrance and texture of the body. Most cosmetics products are created and designed for application on the outer surface such as; face, hair and body. Cosmetics applied to the face to improve facial looks are called makeup. The most common cosmetic make ups are; lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, foundation. However, other common cosmetic products include; shampoo, skin cleansers, body lotions, conditioners, hair styling products, perfume, cologne etc.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the body responsible for regulating cosmetics in the United States, cosmetics is defined as “any substance created for application to the human body to beautify, cleanse, promote attractiveness or alter appearance without affecting the body’s structure or function”.
Some cosmetics treat and prevent disease and these cosmetics can be classified under drugs. Cosmetics products like fluoride toothpaste, dandruff shampoo, antiperspirant deodorant are both cosmetic and drugs because they either help to treat or prevent a disease. One very vital way to determine if the cosmetic you are purchasing or using is also a drug is to check the first ingredient itemized is an “active ingredient”. The active ingredient in any cosmetic product is the chemical or substance that makes the cosmetic product effective. Some cosmetics product can cause allergy reactions. Usually, the first sign of an allergy reaction is redness of skin or skin irritation.
To find out the ingredients used in a cosmetic product, check the label. Manufacturers are required by law to list them. Labels such as natural, organic and hypoallergenic have no official meaning. They are not defined by the FDA and as such companies can use them to mean whatever they want. In addition, cosmetics are not required to have expiration date, they may go bad if not properly stored, but not because of passage of time.