The basic mass of lipsticks includes oils or fats and waxes. The more oil a stick contains, the softer and caring it is. In castor oil, which is used in many lipsticks, the colour pigments can be well wetted and distributed. Waxes, eg carnauba wax, candelilla wax and paraffin waxes ensure the desired consistency. LANOLIN has a caring effect provides the lipstick with a good adherence. An evenly high covering power is provided by the colourants and pigments (eg TITANIUM DIOXIDE). The colourants used are insoluble, organic colour pigments and iron oxides as well as partly pearlescent pigments. Fragrances (PARFUM) provide the sticks with a pleasant odour. Lipsticks have a skin flossing effect, prevent desiccation or moisture loss and ensure that the lips remain supple. Often UV filters provide additional protection against the UV radiation of the sun (eg OCTOCRYLENE). Most lipsticks are produced without preservatives. Lipsticks are offered in a large variety of colours, as well covering, transparent glossy or silky matt variants. For particularly adhesive lipsticks (kiss-proof lipsticks) the oil share has been reduced and replaced by waxes (eg CANDELILLA CERA), vegetable and synthetic resins or volatile silicone oils or isoparaffins.

Understanding your cosmetics

How are cosmetics kept safe in Europe?

Strict laws make sure that cosmetics and personal care products sold in the European Union are safe for people to use. Companies, national and European regulatory authorities share the responsibility of keeping cosmetic products safe.

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What should I know about endocrine disruptors?

Some ingredients used in cosmetic products have been claimed to be ‘endocrine disruptors’ because they have the potential to mimic some of the properties of our hormones. Just because something has the potential to mimic a hormone does not mean it will disrupt our endocrine system. Many substances, including natural ones, mimic hormones but very few, and these are mostly potent medicines, have ever been shown to cause disruption of the endocrine system. The rigorous product safety assessments by qualified, scientific experts that companies are legally obliged to carry out cover all potential risks, including potential endocrine disruption.

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Are cosmetics tested on animals? No!

In the European Union, testing cosmetics on animals has been fully banned since 2013. Over the last 30 years, long before a ban was in place, the cosmetics and personal care industry has invested in research and development to pioneer alternatives to animal testing tools to assess the safety of cosmetics ingredients and products.

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What about allergens in cosmetics?

Many substances, natural or man-made, have the potential to cause an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances that are harmless to most people. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen. Cosmetics and personal care products may contain ingredients that can be allergenic for some people. This does not mean that the product is not safe for others to use.

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Cosmetics matter to people and play an important role in our everyday life. On average European consumers use over seven different cosmetics daily. You too? It’s only natural that you want to know more about the ingredients in those products.

In the digital world we live in, there’s a deluge of information on cosmetics. However, it can be difficult to know which sources are reliable. COSMILE Europe is a European cosmetic ingredient database that offers reliable, verified and scientifically supported information on almost 30,000 ingredients used in cosmetics.

This database will help you understand why certain ingredients are in your cosmetic products; which properties they have and much more. The database is currently available in fourteen languages with more to come.

Search the Database