Cosmetics are composed of a combination of different chemical substances derived either from natural sources, and/or chemically synthesized ones. Cosmetics and beauty products are used by people to enhance their appearance, both for themselves and others, by removing make-up, stains, wrinkles, or scars, and more. There are many types of cosmetics, each having its own specific function or cosmetic ingredient.

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Most common in cosmetics and beauty products are the various chemical compounds known as “NICNAS”, or non-nitrosamines. Such compounds, when applied to the skin, tend to cause the skin to fade more quickly, particularly for people whose skin is sensitive, or who have dry skin, or any other skin condition that makes it more difficult for the chemicals to be absorbed by the skin. The most commonly used artificial cosmetic ingredients that include NICNAS are fragrance ingredients, such as perfume, and deodorants, like certain types of cleaners. The most common of these, and probably the most dangerous, are the chemicals listed above

In addition to these, many other artificial cosmetic ingredients have been discovered recently and are being used in Australia wide cosmetic products. Many of the synthetic ingredients may have serious side effects, and some may even be cancer causing. One of the most widely used and controversial ingredients in cosmetics, which was banned in Australia, was the substance called phthalates. This was a cheap type of glue commonly used to join together pieces of plastic and contained phthalates which were linked to a variety of cancers.

Other common ingredients in cosmetics include emulsifiers (such as silicone dioxide, which keeps water-based cosmetics from separating too much during hot processing), pH stabilizers, thickeners, and thickeners. Emulsifiers are needed to keep two different components, usually oil and liquid, from clumping and running into each other. Common examples include emulsifiers to keep oils from running into soap, and thickeners to make whipped cream or soups smooth and creamy. Commonly, however, these additives are found in cosmetics produced in the U.S. rather than overseas. In addition, many countries have banned the use of emulsifiers and other chemicals as preservatives, so the chemicals are beginning to become rarer.

Other preservatives commonly found in cosmetics include parabens. Preservatives are added to cosmetic products to prevent bacteria, yeast, and fungi from growing. Some of these chemicals have been found to cause allergic reactions, skin rashes, and even cancer. Other types of preservatives that have been banned in Australia and throughout the world are SLSs, phthalates, and phenol carbon. There is no need to buy cosmetics that contain these chemicals, because they can often be replaced by naturally occurring plant-based ingredients.

Some cosmetics are finished with dyes, and some colors can be made using natural pigments, as well as synthetics. Pigments occur naturally in the earth’s crust, but today synthetic pigments are available for any color palette. These pigments are made to appear as though they were taken from an authentic gemstone. Artificial pigments have become increasingly common in makeup products, as people want more variety and a choice for colors.

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