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Basic Concepts of Cosmetic Formulas

 
We have put together basic concepts of formulas and methods for making personal care products and color cosmetics. The ingredients are indicated as functional categories only and the percentages reflect ranges that are typically used.
 
Bath Oil
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Plant Oils 75-95% Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Almond Oil
Emollients 3-10% Triglyceride, Mineral Oil
Antioxidants 1-3% Vitamin E Tocopherol
     
Optional Ingredients    
Surfactants/Emulsifiers 1-3% Polyglyceryl Oleate
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0% Tea Tree Essential Oil
     
Method: Combine all ingredients in a glass beaker and stir to make a homogenous solution. Add then preservatives and fragrances.
 
 
Face Cream
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Distilled Water 55-75% Water Mixed with Botanical Extracts
Emulsifiers 2-6% CreamMaker Blend, Polysorbates
Emollients 10-35% Plant Oils, Natural Butters
Thickeners 0.1-2% Natural Waxes, Stearyl Palmitate
     
Optional Ingredients    
Active Ingredients 1-10% Anti-Aging Ingredients, Skin-Whitening Ingredients
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0% Benzylalcohol-DHA
     
Method: Water phase: Thickener is dispersed in cold or warm water at 75-80C (depending on type of thickener) under stirring until a homogeneous gel is formed. Combine then with separately mixed oil phase that contains emulsifiers and emollients which have also been melted and heated to the same temperature. Mix under intensive stirring until emulsion is formed. Then mix gently while emulsion is being cooled. Sensitive components like active ingredients, fragrances and preservatives are added after the mixture has been cooled (40-30C) to keep their properties intact.
 
 
Hair Shampoo
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Distilled Water 60-80% Water Mixed with Botanical Extracts
Surfactants 15-30% Alkyl Sulfonate, Coco Betaine
Foam Stabilizers 1-4% EDTA
Thickeners 0.1-5% Xanthan Gum, Acrylate Copolymer
     
Optional Ingredients    
Humectants 1-5% Glycerin, Plant Oils
Hair Protective Ingredients 1-5% Proteins, Provitamin B5
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0%  
     
Method: Disperse hydrophilic thickener(s) in water under intensive stirring until a homogeneous gel is formed. Then add the surfactants and the other ingredients and mix gently until the product becomes homogeneous. Oil-soluble ingredients (e.g plant oils) should be added by pre-mixing them with a small amount of surfactants.
 
 
Hair Conditioner
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Distilled Water 60-80% Water Mixed with Botanical Extracts
Surfactants 2-5% Sulfosuccinate, Coco Betaine
Conditioning Surfactants (Quats) 5-10% Polyquaternium-10, Behentrimonium
Thickeners 0.1-5% Xanthan Gum, Acrylate Copolymer
     
Optional Ingredients    
Pearlizers 1-3% Glycol Stearate IP
Hair Protective Ingredients 1-8% Proteins, Provitamin B5
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0%  
     
Method: Combine water and thickeners in a glass beaker and mix thoroughly with a hand mixer to make a gel-like solution. Add then the surfactants and the other ingredients. Mix again gently until it becomes homogenous.
 
 
Shaving Cream
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Distilled Water 50-70% Water Mixed with Botanical Extracts
Surfactants/Emulsifiers 5-20% Coco Glucose, Polysorbates
Humectants 2-10% EDTA
Thickeners 3-8% Stearic Acid
Neutralizing Agents Q.S. Triethanolamine
     
Optional Ingredients    
Film Formers 1-2% Proteins
Emollients 2-5% Plant Oils, Lanolin Derivatives
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0%  
     
Method: Dissolve neutralizing agents in water and heat the water to 80C. Heat surfactants and consistency agents to 80C. Mix slowly with water phase. Keep under slow stirring during saponification ( during 60 minutes). Remove from heat. Active and sensitive ingredients should be added after the mixture have been cooled (40C) in order to keep their properties intact.
 
 
Sun Protection Cream
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Distilled Water 50-70%  
Emulsifiers 3-10% Polysorbates, CreamMaker Mix
Emollients 3-10% Plant Oils, Hydrocarbons (e.g. Isododecane)
Sunscreens 1-10% Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
Sunscreen Solvents 5-10% C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
Thickeners 0.5-2% Stearyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol
     
Optional Ingredients    
Antioxidants 1-2% BHT, Edelweiss Extract
Humectants 2-5% Glycerin, Propylene Glycol
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0% Paraben-DU
     
Method: Sunscreens and UV filters have to be dispersed in suitable solvents (pre-dispersions of mineral sunscreens are often available to facilitate the procedure). Then, emollients, emulsifiers, oli-soluble components are combined and melted at 75-80C. Thickeners are essential to prevent settling of pigments, they are dispersed separately under stirring in water phase until homogeneous gel is formed and heated to 80C. The two mixtures are combined progressively to form the emulsion. Mix under intensive stirring until emulsion is formed. Then mix gently while emulsion is cooled. Sensitive components like active ingredients, fragrances and preservatives should be added after the mixture has been cooled (40-30C) in order to keep their properties intact.
 
 
Foundation Makeup
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Distilled Water 60-80%  
Emulsifiers 1-6% Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Stearate
Emollients 8-20% Mineral Oil, Lanolin Alcohol
Thickeners 0.1-3% Xanthan Gum,
Pigments 2-10% Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
Filling Powders 4-10% Talc, Magnesium Stearate
     
Optional Ingredients    
Antioxidants 0.1-1.0% BHT
Humectants 4-7% Glycerin
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0%  
     
Method: Disperse hydrophilic thickener(s) into warm water under intensive stirring until a homogeneous gel is formed. Add other water-soluble ingredients. Heat this phase to 80C. Pulverize pigments and powders and add them to the water phase under intensive stirring. Emulsifiers, emollients & oli-soluble consistency factors, constituting the oil phase, are mixed and heated to 80C. This third phase is added to the mixture (water phase and pigments) in order to form the emulsion. Sensitive components like active ingredients, special additives and preservatives are added after the mixture has been cooled (40-30C) to keep their properties intact.
 
 
Mineral Makeup
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Pigment Dispersion Agent 2-5% Plant Oils, Mineral Oil
Pigments 20-60% Pigment Blends or Iron Oxides & Titanium Dioxide
Special Pigments 20-30% Micas
Filling Powders 5-20% Bismuth Oxychloride, Talc, Mica Powder
     
Optional Ingredients    
Vitamins 0.1-1.0% Vitamin C L-ascorbic acid
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0%  
     
Method: Pigments and filling powders are thoroughly mixed with some oil in a mortar to a very fine, homogenous powder (pigment particles must be crushed to smaller particles to avoid streaks). Then, vitamins, preservatives and other ingredients are added and mixed again.
 
 
Lipstick
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Consistency Ingredients 20-55% Natural and Synthetic Waxes
Emollients 25-70% Castor Oil, Mineral Oil
Pigments 0.5-10% D&C Reds, Iron Oxides, Micas
Antioxidants 0.1-1% BHT, Vitamin E Tocopherol
     
Optional Ingredients    
Sunscreens 0.1-2.0% OM-Cinnamate
Flavors 0.1-1.0% Flavor Honey-Lemon
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0%  
     
Method: Waxes and emollients are mixed and melted until 80C. Pigments may often have to be premixed separately in liquid emollients mixture. Premixed pigments dispersions should preferably be used, otherwise pigment dispersion must be as homogeneous as possible. The mixture can be added to the first hot phase or once the mix has cooled. Then pour the warm mixture (temperature must be 10C above its melting point) into the appropriate molds. Molds should be placed into the refrigerator.
 
 
Mascara
Must Use Ingredients Typical Use Level Example Ingredients
Distilled Water 10-40%  
Emulsifiers 3-10% Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid
Consistency Ingredients 7-20% Natural and Synthetic Waxes
Thickeners 1-2% HE-Cellulose
Emollients 15-45% Mineral Oil, Hydrocarbons (e.g. Isoeicosane)
Pigments 1-10% Carbon Black, Iron Oxides
     
Optional Ingredients    
Water-Proofing Agents 0.1-2.0% Dimethicone, Acrylate Copolymer
Active Ingredients 0.1-2% Eye Lash Growth Enhancers
Fragrance 0.1-1.0%  
Preservatives 0.1-1.0%  
     
Method: Waxes and emollients are mixed and melted until 80C. Pigments have to be added and dispersed in this oily mixture. Hydrophilic thickeners like gums or synthetic polymers are dispersed in hot water. Some of them require neutralization. This second phase is heated and combined with the oily phase to form the emulsion.