Anatomy of cosmetics, or what we put on our skin

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 15.05.2018

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The proportion of biologically active components in cosmetics is several percent (and sometimes even a fraction of a percent). Therefore, opening the jar with cosmetic means, we see above all the basis, and it lies on our skin. The fatty components of the base penetrate through the stratum corneum, while the water-soluble active additives can remain on the surface of the skin without reaching their target. This alone serves as a sufficient reason to be interested in what constitutes the basis of cosmetic products and how it interacts with the skin.

Creams can be fat (ointment) and emulsion. Ointments are prepared by fusing fat components with different degrees of hardness. When applied to the skin ointments poorly absorbed leave a greasy shine and a sense of stickiness, so the cosmetic industry has virtually abandoned their use. Emulsion creams contain an aqueous and oil phase. In oil-in-water emulsions, oil droplets are suspended in an aqueous solution, and in water-oil type emulsions on the contrary, droplets of water are surrounded by an oil phase. The most common type of emulsion is "oil-in-water", on the basis of which a wide range of cosmetic products is created, from nutritious creams to light milk or day cream.

The oily phase of the emulsion cream contains fats (saturated and / or unsaturated), hydrophobic emollients (skin softeners), fat-soluble active additives, and preservative and water-soluble compounds in the aqueous phase. Emulsifiers are an essential component of the emulsion system. In addition, the emulsion may contain thickeners, colorants, UV filters, light-reflecting pigments (mother-of-pearl), fragrances.

A special group consists of gels that do not contain fat. They are prepared on the basis of special substances (high-molecular polymers), which when mixed with water form a viscous mass or solidify, like gelatin in the preparation of a jellied.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]

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