Today cosmetics are seen as an essential product. Our daily life is full of toiletries and beauty. And beauty care is not an exact science, but if the correct sequence of cosmetic application is followed closely, there can be great chances of maximizing the effect of the products. For this you need to understand how they are classified and their applications.

Cosmetics are substances, blends or formulations used to enhance or protect the appearance or odor of the human body. In Brazil, they are usually treated within a broad class, called hygiene and personal care products.

The National Sanitary Vigilance Agency – ANVISA, through Resolution RDC No. 211 (Brazil, 2005), defines that Personal Hygiene, Perfumes and Cosmetics (HPPC) products are preparations consisting of natural or synthetic substances, of external use in the various parts of the human body, skin, capillary system, nails, lips, external genitals, teeth and mucous membranes of the oral cavity, with the sole or main purpose of cleaning, perfuming, altering their appearance and / or correcting body odors and / or protect them or keep them in good condition.

The classification of these products and others of identical nature and purpose are based on Law 6,360 / 76 and articles 3, 49 and 50 of Decree 79094/77 and on RDC 211/05. Product groups fall into four categories and are classified according to the degree of risk they offer, given their purpose of use for technical analysis purposes, and their application for registration, being:

  1. Categories:
  • Hygiene Product;
  • Cosmetic;
  • Perfume;
  • Child Use Product;
  1. b) Degree of Risk:

The criteria for this classification were defined according to the purpose of use of the product, areas of the body covered, how to use and care to be observed, when used.

  • Grade 1: Products with minimal risk, ie personal hygiene products, cosmetics and perfumes whose formulation is characterized by having basic or basic properties, the evidence of which is not initially necessary and does not require detailed information on how to use it and restrictions due to the intrinsic characteristics of the product.

Table 1: Examples of grade 1 products.

  • Grade 2: Products with potential risk, ie personal hygiene products, cosmetics and perfumes whose formulation has specific indications, the characteristics of which require proof of safety and / or efficacy, as well as information and care, mode and restrictions of use.

Table 2: Examples of grade 2 products.

By criterion of shape and / or texture, the classification of cosmetics can be:

  • Cream: its shape is consistent, emulsified. Depending on the substances used in its formulation, it is intended for cleansing, moisturizing or nutrition.
  • Cre Creamy milk or lotion: it is a fluid emulsion, usually O / W (oil in water). There are also the so-called “hydrophilic oils”, A / O emulsion, used mainly as de-inking agents for any skin type.
  • Lotion: it is a solution consisting of the mixture of chemical substances, and may be transparent or opaque, colorless or colored. The vehicle may consist of water, alcohol / water, water / propylene glycol. According to the action they are intended, they are called tonic, astringent, antiseptic, soothing, moisturizing lotions, etc.
  • Gel: its cosmetic form is viscous, mucilaginous, obtained by protective colloids, transparent or not, which, when they dry, leave an invisible film on the skin. Because it contains no fatty material, it is suitable for lipid skins.
  • Suspension: are heterogeneous mixtures that have a liquid phase in which another solid (easily sedimented) is dispersed. Examples: colony milk, water paste, etc.
  • Powder: a mixture of substances which are in the dry state, finely divided and intimately mixed. Sometimes there is addition of a liquid (perfume, for example), which is soon absorbed. Examples: perfumed talc, compact powder.

Another classification of cosmetic products is based on their functions and applications, which can be:

  • Sanitize: remove from the skin surface impurities from secretions, cellular waste and the environment, improving its appearance and facilitating its functions. They should not remain on the skin and mucous membranes beyond the time required to perform their cleaning action. Examples: shampoos, soaps, abrasives, toothpastes.

  • Keep / protect: keep the skin in good condition, protecting it and preserving the characteristics that define the perfect balance of all its functions, ie, maintain the skin eudermia. Examples: sunscreen and moisturizer;

Figure 4: Most popular and used sunscreen brands.

  • Repair / Correct: act on imperfections of the skin caused by organic or functional changes, which usually originate from external causes. Examples of imperfections: melasmas, ephelides, senile stains, acne, wrinkles;
  • Make / embellish: enhance beauty and lip mucous by applying various colored products. Besides this function, they can correct or conceal imperfections. Examples: lipsticks, blush, illuminator, eye shadows, among others.

With such classifications and applications, cosmetics have become a key part of every day life. The personal appearance is now a requirement of great importance in all segments, leading the current population to give greater value to their appearance, and seek in the cosmetics the tools for this achievement. Today we can benefit from the product that colors and treats the skin, cleans, perfumes and protects the hair, as never before in the history of mankind.

How many products with these applications do we use in a whole day? Have you ever stopped to think that we are always using something that benefits us, improves or modifies our skin? Every day we look for changes in various areas of our lives and this would not be different with our look and well-being.

All these features, classifications and applications cited here, make these products increasingly important and consumed worldwide. Brazil, for example, is the third country in the world to use cosmetics, behind only the United States and Japan.

The importance of using these products becomes greater each day and this is directly linked to the primary elements for their development and production steps. In this way, it is necessary to know which raw materials and processes are used to obtain such good and desired products. Want to know more about how cosmetics are made and their production process? So be sure to follow the next episode.


Classificação de produtos cosméticos

Classificação dos cosméticos conforme a Anvisa 

O verdadeiro papel dos cosméticos 

To read the other texts of the Cosmetics Series, access the links below: