Most people in the world use various types of cosmetics on a daily basis. These range from home-made natural cosmetics to products made with advanced nanotechnology or chemical, biochemical technologies, etc. What are cosmetics made of and what are the specific steps in their production? Let’s search for answers!
Cosmetics is a luxury item known since antiquity
Under cosmetics are understood preparations intended for the care of the body, face, hair and nails. These are substances that have moisturizing, regenerating, cosmetic, deodorizing and other properties. They were already known thousands of years ago! In the ancient civilizations of the East and West, cosmetics was a luxury item, which could afford only the wealthiest.
In ancient times, cosmetics were made mainly from plants and minerals. The technology of their manufacture was relatively simple. In past millennia, there were no global or local standards for the production of cosmetics – they were made only according to recipes passed down from generation to generation. First, semi-finished products were collected, and then they were processed, for example, by rubbing, crushing and mixing raw materials. In the final stage, the finished cosmetics were placed in clay vessels, shells and leaves. The finished products were taken to markets and put into the hands of consumers.
Where does the creation of cosmetics begin?
Today, the process of making cosmetics looks very different from the past eras. This is due to the fact that before any product reaches the market and into the hands of consumers, manufacturers must comply with a number of hygiene regulations. In order to launch cosmetic production, one idea is not enough – it is still necessary to develop and repeatedly test the author’s recipe.
The actual process of creating cosmetics begins with laboratory testing and obtaining confirmation of the safety of the product. The manufacturer is obliged to issue the relevant technical documentation and specify the properties of the product, including undesirable effects.
What does the production of own cosmetics look like?
Over the last two decades, interest in natural cosmetics has grown significantly in Poland. More and more people want to produce it at home or in small local productions – read: how to make homemade cosmetics? What does it look like to produce your own cosmetics? The first step is to develop a formulation. This is usually a painstaking process carried out by trial and error and repeated, repeatable testing of the quality and action of the cosmetics.
After the preparation is ready, you can start further work. Then the actual production stage begins – cosmetics packaging and labeling. Depending on the scale of the company, manufacturers use their own or leased production lines. Of course, the premises in which cosmetics are produced must meet cleanliness standards and GMP principles – good manufacturing practice. In addition, special mixing equipment is needed to ensure proper homogenization and mixing of the selected components. The result is a mass with a homogeneous consistency, and the process itself is crucial to the entire production, as it determines compliance with customer expectations and proper standards.
The first stage of cosmetics production is actually finding the necessary raw materials – active ingredients, emollients, preservatives and other ingredients – and planning their supply and packaging (see cosmetics formulation). Unfortunately, it is often the case that the necessary substances are not available on the Polish market, which increases the time required to deliver them to the company. In addition, it is important to carefully check their expiration dates and conditions in order to plan their storage as best as possible in order to maximize the period of their possible use.
The final part of the production process is the packing of the cosmetic mixture into the appropriate packages, their labeling and the packaging of subsequent batches. At this stage, many different devices are used, such as dosing and filling equipment, tube filling machines, sealing and labeling machines. No stage of cosmetics production is simple, not least labeling and packaging. In an age when thousands of products can be found on every store shelf, it is essential to prepare labels and packaging that will please the eye and attract customers.
Step-by-step production of creams
The list of the world’s most popular cosmetics includes various creams with moisturizing, revitalizing, protective and other properties. How are these popular cosmetic products manufactured?
At the first stage of production, investors and manufacturers develop a business project and a recipe for a cream with certain properties. Then there is work on selecting the optimal ingredients for the cream: moisturizers, stabilizers, preservatives, fragrances, etc. Laboratorians scrupulously analyze what should be the ideal proportions and composition of the preparation. Once the final recipe is ready, the production line can be started.
Creams are made in stages, by gradually combining an aqueous solution with substances containing fat. This is the so-called emulsification phase, during which a homogeneous mass of a certain consistency is formed. In subsequent stages, special additives such as aromatic oils, vitamins or minerals are gradually introduced into the cream. The next stage of cream production is the evaluation of its quality and acidity. The finished products are packaged and distributed to wholesalers or other buyers.
Where to get chemical raw materials and ingredients for cosmetics?
Everyone who is going to engage in the production of cosmetics, should know that its quality depends largely on the quality of raw materials from which it is made. Where is the best place to get semi-finished products for the production of cosmetics? Always choose professional chemicals directly from reputable manufacturers such as PCC Group or wholesalers. These are companies with national and international quality certifications and certificates of compliance with proper manufacturing and hygienic conditions.
High quality ingredients for creams, gels or soaps can also be found in online stores. When choosing suppliers online, always check their reliability carefully. Make sure that the raw materials you order have quality certificates, certifications such as Cruelty Free, GMO Free or Not Tested On Animals.
Maybe you are looking to produce natural, organic cosmetics. When looking for suppliers, always make sure that the raw materials offered are biodegradable and made from natural ingredients. Ecolabels and graphic symbols on product safety data sheets can help you determine the quality of raw materials. The INCI and CAS number search engines on the PCC Group website make it much easier to find the substances you are looking for. Increasingly, manufacturers are opting for natural ingredients such as hydrolats, essential oils, herbs, plant waxes, oils, clays, herbal vinegars, plant extracts, acids, natural resins and frankincense. Raw materials of plant or animal origin are extracted through physical processes such as extraction, grinding, filtration, etc.
Cosmetic compound formulation
Due to the growing consumer awareness of cosmetic compound formulations, manufacturers are forced to create more and more new, well-developed formulations. The widespread availability of many new high-quality raw materials requires cosmetic manufacturers to be very careful in their choice of ingredients. Depending on the type of product of interest, formulation may vary somewhat. Most products currently on the market are emulsions. This means that they must contain at least three types of ingredients – an aqueous phase, an oil phase, and an emulsifier. Other types of cosmetics include solutions, such as facial toner or hairspray, and suspensions, such as face foundation. In addition to choosing the right form of cosmetic foundation, selecting the right substances and ingredients for the product is an important aspect. The phase in which the cosmetic appears is designed to effectively transfer the active ingredients to the inside of the skin. There are also visual and olfactory aspects, which in turn are designed to encourage the consumer to choose that particular product. However, there is a limited set of ingredient types that are used in virtually every composition. These include, but are not limited to:
- surfactants, which ensure proper body care and personal hygiene;
- active ingredients, thanks to which the cosmetic has a specific effect on the skin;
- emollients – ingredients that have a softening and moisturizing-elasticizing effect;
- moisturizers, which maintain the moisture of the cosmetic itself, preserving its consistency;
- preservatives, which protect cosmetics from microorganisms that get into them through contact with air or repeated contact with the skin.
Creating the perfect formulation is not easy, but there are many supporting resources that can help, such as the “Formulation Zone” tab on the PCC Group product page. There is a wealth of information on ready-to-use formulations here, as well as tabs with products categorized by the cosmetics they can be used for. This is an extremely useful site that will help both when searching for raw materials with a specific function and for inspiration when developing a new formulation.