Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 20

Chemistry of Consumer Products

The skin and hair applications we commonly refer to as cosmetics, which include everything
from shampoos and soaps to moisturizers and makeup, are products of chemistry. Selecting
from more than 5,000 different ingredients, each with its own essential function, cosmetic
chemists combine water, oils, color, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, and fragrances
in different ways to produce formulations, or mixtures, designed to alter or protect users'
appearance or scent.

The process a chemist follows is an orderly description of each task that must be
accomplished to make the product. This is akin to a recipe for baking. If the chemist does
not follow the directions and use the ingredients in prescribed quantities, the final product
may not turn out as planned.
Ingredient selection is a critical step in cosmetic manufacturing because the ingredients
determine the properties and effectiveness of the final product. Most cosmetic products
are mixtures of two or more liquids (e.g., perfumes), two or more solids (e.g., powders), or
a combination of liquids and solids (e.g., lipsticks). Mixing ingredients together does not, by
itself, create a new substance or substances, so no chemical change is said to occur.
Because the original ingredients retain their chemical properties, they remain present in a
mixture and can be separated by physical means, such as distillation, evaporation, or
Like perfumes and powders, lipsticks and glosses are simple mixtures. The ingredients used
depend on the specific properties they are meant to exhibit, such as shininess, texture,
durability, and color. People frequently lick their lips, so water solubility is an important
factor in creating lip applications. But because dyed, insoluble wax alone would be too hard
to apply, the wax is combined with ingredients to produce a substance that is stiff but still
spreadable. Most lip applications are mixtures of natural or petroleum-based wax, oily
materials, and pigments. Once the ingredients have been determined, they are melted,
stirred together, and cast into molds.
While waxes, oils, and pigments are commonly recognized ingredients of most cosmetics,
others, such as emulsifiers, might need some explaining. A colloid is a mixture in which
particles of one phase (solid, liquid, or gas) are distributed within and throughout another.
For example, an emulsion is a type of colloid in which both phases are liquids. Creams and
lotions are all emulsions of water and oily materials. Because water and oil do not readily
mix, ingredients called emulsifiers are added to make the formulation work. Emulsifiers
change the surface tension between two otherwise unmixable materials, thereby
preventing their separation. Emulsifiers, then, are what enable a product to be applied to
the skin with an even texture.

A cosmetic product is defined as ‘a substance or preparation intended for placement in
contact with any external part of the human body' (this includes the mouth and teeth). We use
cosmetics to cleanse, perfume, protect and change the appearance of our bodies or to alter
its odours. Products that claim to ‘modify a bodily process or prevent, diagnose, cure or
alleviate any disease, ailment or defect’ are called therapeutics
Products classified as cometics
• Lips makeup-lipstick, lip gloss,lip pencil, lip balm, lip plumper, lip conditioner, lip
• Eye makeup-eyebrow pencil, eye liner, eyebrow enhancer, mascara, eye
• Face makeup-foundation, powder, concealer, blush
• Soap, cleanser, toner, shampoo, condiitioner
• Toothpaste, mouthwash
• Deodorant

Products classified as therapeutics

• antiperspirant
• anti-dandruff shampoo

Household products
• Detergents

• Foundation, used to smooth out the face and cover spots or uneven skin
coloration. Usually a liquid, cream, or powder.
• Powder, used to set the foundation, giving a matte finish, and also to
conceal small flaws or blemishes.
• Rouge, blush or blusher, cheek coloring used to bring out the color in the
cheeks and make the cheekbones appear more defined. This comes in
powder, cream, and liquid forms.
• Bronzer, used to give skin a bit of color by adding a golden or bronze glow.
• Mascara is used to darken, lengthen, and thicken the eyelashes. It is
available in natural colors such as brown and black, but also comes in bolder
colors such as blue, pink, or purple. There are many different formulas,
including waterproof for those of us prone to allergies or sudden tears.
• Eye liner, eye shadow, eye shimmer, and glitter eye pencils as well as
different color pencils used to color and emphasize the eyelids (larger eyes
give a more youthful appearance).
• Eyebrow pencils, creams, waxes, gels and powders are used to color and
define the brows.
• Nail polish, used to color the fingernails and toenails.
• Concealer, Makeup used to cover any imperfections of the skin.
Also included in the general category of cosmetics are skin care products. These
include creams and lotions to moisturize the face and body, sunscreens to protect
the skin from damaging UV radiation, and treatment products to repair or hide
skin imperfections (acne, wrinkles, dark circles under eyes, etc.). Cosmetics can
also be described by the form of the product, as well as the area for application.
Cosmetics can be liquid or cream emulsions; powders, both pressed and loose;
dispersions; and anhydrous creams or sticks.

Lipstick consists of a suspension of coloring agents (pigments) in high molecular weight

hydrocarbons, waxes, and/or fats, and emollients. An ingredients list may be: dye (4-8%);
castor oil, paraffin, or fats to dissolve dye (50%); lanolin (25%); carnauba and/or beeswax as
a stiffening agent (36%); perfume (1.5%).

Lipstick is made up of different waxes,and oils. The wax is used for the shape and ease of
application. One wax used is beeswax, which is made of esters of straight-chain monohydric
alcohols with even-numbered carbon chains from C24 to C36 and straight-chain acids also
having even numbers of carbon atoms up to C36. There is also carnauba wax, an exudate
from the pores of Brazilian wax palm tree leaves, and candelilla wax, coming from the
candelilla plant produced in Mexico. This is made by placing the plants in boiling water mixed
with sulfuric acid that skims off the wax that goes to the surface.

Wax Alcohol Fatty Acid

Carnauba CH3(CH2)28CH2-OH CH3(CH2)24COOH

Beeswax CH3(CH2)28CH2-OH CH3(CH2)14COOH

Spermacetic CH3(CH2)14CH2-OH CH3(CH2)14COOH

The oils and fats are olive oil, mineral oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, lanolin, and petroleum.
More than fifty percent of lipsticks made in the United states contain large amounts of castor
oil. It makes a strong, shiny film when it dries up after use. But, when large amounts of castor
oil are consumed, it causes the need to urinate.[Castor oil and its derivatives have
applications in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints,
dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and
perfumes. The castor seed contains ricin, a toxic protein removed by cold pressing and
filtering. However, harvesting castor beans is not without risk. Allergenic compounds found on
the plant surface can cause permanent nerve damage, making the harvest of castor beans a
human health risk (wikipedia)]. However, other moisturizers like vitamin E, aloe vera,
collagen, amino acids, and sun screen are put in lipstick. This keeps the lips soft, moisturized,
and protected.

The color usually comes from a dye precipitated by a metal ion such as Fe (III), Ni(II), or
Co(II) ions.

No. 27 and insoluble dyes known as lakes, such as D&C Red No. 34, Calcium lake, and D&C
Orange No. 17. Pink shades are made by mixing titanium dioxide with various shades of red.

The lipstick is made by first dispersing the dye in the castor oil. Then the other waxes and
lanolin are added as the mixture is heated and stirred. The molten waxes are then cast in
suitable forms to harden.
Making lipstick is similar to making crayons--a lot of heating and mixing and stirring goes on.
Simply put, the mixture is finely ground, and the waxes are added for texture and to maintain
stiffness. Oils and lanolin are added for specific formula requirements. The hot liquid is then
poured into cold metal molds where it solidifies and is further chilled. The formed lipstick is put
through a flame for about half a second to create a smooth and glossy finish and to remove
From the oven to the store comes a variety of lipsticks: frosted, mattes, sheers, stains, and
long-lasting color. Frosted lipsticks include a pearlizing agent--often a bismuth compound--
that adds luster to the color. Bismuth oxychloride, which is synthetic pearl, imparts a frost or
shine. Bismuth subcarbonate is used as a skin protective. Most bismuth compounds used in
cosmetics have low toxicity when ingested, but they may cause allergic reactions when
applied to skin.
Matte lipsticks are heavy in wax and pigment but lighter in emollients. They have more
texture than shine. Cremes are a balance of shine and texture. Glosses have a high shine
and low color. Sheers and stains contain a lot of oil and a medium amount of wax with a tad of
color. Shimmers have extra glimmer, which comes from mica or silica particles. Long-lasting
color lipsticks contain silicone oil, which seals the color to your lips. Lip gloss usually comes
in jars and contains different proportions of the same ingredients as lipstick but usually has
less wax and more oil to make the lips shinier.

complete article : http://pubs.acs.org/cen/whatstuff/stuff/7728scit2.html

Lip plumper
Lip plumper is a cosmetics product used to make lips appear fuller. In
appearance, it ranges from translucent to opaque and tinted. A lip plumper can be
formulated to be worn alone as alip gloss. Sheerer versions can be applied under
Lip plumpers are used by those with thinner lips when full, "pouty" lips are
desired. These products typically work by irritating the thin, delicate skin of the
lips with ingredients like menthol or camphor. This makes the lips swell slightly,
which may also diminish the appearance of fine lines in that area. Other perceived
benefits include stimulating collagen production and moisturizing. A lip plumper's
effects are temporary, so it must be reapplied throughout the day to maintain the

Mood/magic Lipsticks
You can easily demonstrate that the lipstick's color change has nothing to do with the wearer's
mood. Apply the lipstick to some strips of filter paper. Soak one strip in a dish of vinegar, and
another strip in a dish of baking soda solution. You should see a color change that resembles
the one you get when the lipstick is applied to skin.
The lipstick is made with weak acid pigments that have a conjugate base form with a strikingly
different color (that is, with acid/base indicators).
The pigment is a rather complex molecule with electrons that move freely over most of the
molecular framework. The pigment has the particular color it has because this cloud of
electrons selectively absorbs only certain wavelengths of light. Those wavelengths happen to
be light in the visible range, 400 to 700 nm.
When the pigment undergoes an neutralization reaction on the surface of the skin, there's a
sharp change in the structure of the electron cloud. This sharply changes the wavelengths of
light that the pigment absorbs, and the color of the lipstick changes.
The pH of your skin is dependent on a number of factors, including such things as diet, stress,
physical activity level, and monthly cycle. These factors and the tremendous variety of natural
skin colors probably cause some variation in the color from application to application.

Lip balm or lip salve is a form of make-up topically applied to the lips of the
mouth to relieve chapped or dry lips, angular cheilitis or stomatitis, and cold
sores. Lip gloss is similar in the fact that it is topically applied to the lips of the
mouth, but generally has only cosmetic properties. The balm is usually
manufactured from beeswax, petroleum jelly, menthol, camphor, scented oils, and
various other ingredients. Some manufacturers also add vitamins, alum, salicylic
acid, or aspirin. Some lip balms also contain octinoxate, avobenzone, or other
sunscreens to minimize sun damage.
The primary purpose of lip balm is to provide an occlusive layer on the lip surface
to seal moisture in lips and protect them from external exposure. Dry air, cold
temperatures and wind all have a drying effect on skin by drawing moisture away
from the body. Lips are particularly vulnerable because the skin is so thin, and
thus they are often the first to present signs of dryness. Occlusive materials like
waxes and petroleum jelly prevent moisture loss and maintain lip comfort while
flavorants, colorants, sunscreens and various medicaments can provide
additional, specific benefits.
Lip balm usually comes in tiny containers; either one in which a finger is used to
apply it to the lips, or in 'stick' form (similar to lipstick) which is applied directly to
the lips.
The first lip balm was actually made out of earwax. It was functional, but the taste
was undesirable. However, its popularity has grown in recent years. A small but
growing fan base, committed to the use of all-natural products, touts its use as a
superior organic alternative to other varieties of lip balm.


Eye Makeup:
Eyebrow pencils are very much like lipstick but contain lamp black (carbon soot) as a black
coloring agent. A different mixture of waxes may be used to give the desired melting point.
Brown pencils are made by adding iron oxide (rust) as a pigment.
A water-resistant mascara has a mixture of waxes, fats, oils, and soap. Other coloring agents
in addition to blacks and browns may be chromic oxide (dark green) and ultramarine (blue
pigment of sodium and aluminum silicate).

The majority of creams and lotions are emulsions. An emulsion can be defined simply as two
immiscible fluids in which one liquid is dispersed as fine droplets in the other. Homogenized
milk is an example of a typical oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion. Milk fat (oil) is dispersed in water
as fine droplets by the homogenization process. The reason the fat does not float to the top
immediately is due to the presence of emulsifiers; in this case, a milk protein called sodium
caseinate as well as several phopholipids. In the case of water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions, water is
dispersed as droplets and suspended in the oil phase. The nondispersed liquid or external
suspending phase is also called the continuous phase. Mayonnaise, vinegar water dispersed
as fine droplets in a continuous phase of soybean oil, is an example of a water-in-oil
emulsion. Lecithin from eggs stabilizes the mayonnaise emulsion.

Most emulsifiers can be considered surfactants or surface-active agents. These materials are
able to reduce the surface tension of water. What makes an emulsifier surface active is
related to its HLB, or hydrophile-lipophile balance. HLB is determined by the size of the
hydrophilic (water-loving or polar) portion of a molecule as compared to the size of the
lipophilic (oilloving or nonpolar) portion. The HLB system was created to rank the relative
polarity of materials. The most polar, water soluble, materials are at the top of the twenty-point
scale with more non-polar, oil soluble, materials closer to zero. The HLB of sodium caseinate
is assigned a value of around fourteen because of it's high solubility in water. Lecithin, being
poorly soluble in water, has an HLB value of about six. Both have polar groups. The polar
group in the milk protein is sodium. Lecithin's surface-active component is a molecule called
phosphotidylcholine or PC (See Figure 1). The polar, or water soluble part of PC is the
phosphate functional group. The emulsifiers' polar groups orient toward the polar water
phase. Their lipophilic, nonpolar groups oriented toward the oil phase to form micelles (see
Figure 2). These spherical structures provide stability to the emulsion through Hydrogen
bonding and weak electrical forces.

Figure 1. Phosphatidylcholine (PC)

Figure 2. Surfactant.
Skin-care emulsifiers can be divided into two groups based on ionic charge (See Figure 3).
Materials that can dissociate into charged species are considered ionic while those that do
not are called nonionic. Ionic emulsifiers can be further classified by type of charge. Anionics
are negatively charged when solvated as in sodium stearate or soap.
When fatty acids are reacted with alkali they form soaps. The process of soap formation is
called saponification. The negatively charged stearic acid group is the main emulsifying unit of
the soap, giving it the anionic classification. Positively charged emulsifiers are called cationic.
Quarternium24's emulsifying unit dissociates into the positively charged ammonium group.
Amphoterics are compounds that express both negative and positive charges.
Nonionic emulsifiers are often used in skin-care emulsion for their safety and low reactivity.
They are generally classified by chemical similarity. Glycerin, commonly added to cosmetic
emulsions for itshumectant properties, is the backbone of a class of emulsifiers called
Glycery esters. Glyceryl monostearate, or GMS, is called a monoester because of its sole
ester linkage (see Figure 4). The diester is prepared by esterifying two molecules of stearic
acid for every molecule of glycerin. Glyceryl mono- and diesters are very effective emulsifiers
because they contain both polar hydroxyl (OH) groups as well as non-polar fatty acids. If all
three of Glycerin's hydroxyl groups are reacted, the resulting triester will have little emulsifying
Stearic acid is called C18 fatty acid. The fatty acids, present in fats and oils, are classified
according to their carbon-chain lengths. Because stearic acid is a major component of many
of the fats and oils used in beauty treatments, stearate-based emulsifiers are particularly
useful. Fatty acids are key components of many cosmetic emulsifiers due their miscibility in a
variety of natural and synthetic oils.

Figure 3. Structures of emulsifiers.

Figure 4. Direct esterification of glycerine.

Esters polyethylene glycol or ethylene glycol are called PEG esters. A PEG ester's solubility is
determined by the number of PEG molecules reacted per molecule of acid. PEG 6 oleate for
instance has six molecules of PEG reacted with one molecule of oleic acid. As the number of
polar, PEG molecules per acid molecule increases the water solubility/HLB is increased; PEG
8 oleate is more soluble than PEG 6 oleate. The cosmetic chemist will often use blends of
glyceryl esters and a PEG ester with high and low HLB values to determine the required
polarity to emulsify various fats and oils. The many types of emulsifiers are too numerous to
list here, however McCutcheon's Emulsifiers and Detergents is an excellent source for a more
complete listing.


Emollients are substances that soften and soothe the skin. They are used to
correct dryness and scaling of the skin. They are a key component in the
manufacture of lipstick, lotions, and other cosmetic products.
The terms "moisturizer" (something that adds moisture) and "emollient"
(something that softens) are sometimes used interchangeably, as they describe
different effects of these agents on the skin. However, the term emollient is most
often used to describe single ingredients, whereas "moisturizer" describes finished
Emollient can also be used to describe a person as soft and soothing

The majority of emollients used in personal care and beauty items are fats and oils, also
called lipids. Animal fat or tallow is composed primarily of stearic and palmitic acids with
carbon chains lengths of 18 and 16 respectively. Many of the major cosmetic companies are
moving away from animal-based materials like tallow to renewable vegetable-based
materials. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are often used. Some of the key characteristics
required in good emollients are good spreading properties, low toxicity/skin irritation and good
oxidative stability. Oleic acid, a major constituent of olive oil has poor oxidative stability due to
the presence of its double bond. Fats and oils are considered saturated if they do not have
double bonds. Unsaturated oils like olive oil have double bonds that can react with oxygen,
especially when heated. The oxidation process can produce off colors and odors in lipids
causing them to go rancid and unusable.
Petroleum-based emollients such as petroleum jelly and mineral oil are found in many
formulations because they do not contain double bonds or reactive functional groups. Silicone
oils such as cyclomethicone, dimethicone are often added to increase slip and emolliency
(See Figure 5).
Oils that contain high levels of essential fatty acids, EFAs, are prized for their ability to
replenish lipids (oils) that are found naturally within the skin layers. Linoleic acid is an
example of an EFA. Long-chain alcohols, also called fatty alcohols, are useful as emollients
and emulsion stabilizers. Their polar hydroxyl groups orient to the water phase with their fatty
chains oriented towards the oil phase. Esters of fatty alcohols and fatty acids make excellent
emollients because of their low reactivity and good stability.
Lanolin, derived from sheep's wool, is often called wool grease. Lanolin has been used for
centuries due to it's unique composition of complex sterols, fatty alcohols, and fatty acids.
Cholesterol, a cyclic molecule called

Figure 5. Dimethicone and cyclomethicone.

a sterol, is a major component. The polar hydroxyl groups of sterols and alcohols enable the
grease to absorb and hold water. Skin is primarily composed of water, countless oils and
emollients are used to nourish and protect it.

The main distinction between moisturizers and emollients is their solubility in water. Healthy
skin requires moisture. Moisturizers are generally polar materials that are hygroscopic in
nature; they hold onto water. An important tool to assess the efficiency of moisturizers is the
high scope. It measurestransepidermal water loss or TEWL. After a moisturizer is applied to
the skin, the moisture level is recorded. After several minutes the moisture level will be
reduced due to the natural tendency of the skin to release moisture over time. Ingredients that
can maintain a high level of moisture in the upper layers of the skin for several hours can
reduce the rate at which water is lost. Glycerin is a very cost-effective ingredient used to help
reduce TEWL. Sorbitol, sucrose, glucose, and other sugars are also commonly used to
hydrate the skin. Aloe, which contains a mixture of polysaccharides, carbohydrates, and
minerals, is an excellent moisturizer. As skin becomes drier in the winter months, it may be
necessary to incorporate materials that better seal the moisture in the skin.

Waxes are composed primarily of long-chain esters that are solid at room temperature.
Anyone who has ever dipped a finger in molten wax has experienced its sealing properties.
Some common waxes used in cosmetics are beeswax, candelilla, carnauba, polyethylene,
and paraffin. The melting points of waxes vary widely depending on their unique composition
and chain lengths. Commonly used in lip balms and sticks, waxes function as structuring
agents, giving the stick enough rigidity to stand up on its own, as well as barrier properties. By
combining waxes with different properties such as high shine, flexibility, and brittleness,
optimal cosmetic performance can be achieved. Often waxes are combined with compatible
oils to achieve the desired softness. Compatibility is generally determined by gauging the
turbidity and degree of separation of two materials mixed together above their melt points.
Waxes are particularly useful in hand creams and mascara emulsions for their thickening and
waterproofing properties.

By incorporating enough wax into a thin lotion, a thick cream can be formed. Many thickeners
are polymers. Cellulose, a fine powder polymer of repeating

Figure 6. Cellulose and carbopol.

D-glucose units, swells in hot water creating a gel network. Carbopol, a polyacrylic acid,
swells when neutralized (See Figure 6). Bentone clays swell when their structure, resembling
a stack of cards, is opened up through mechanical shear. Carrageenan, pectin, and locust
bean gum are all examples of cosmetic thickeners that are also used in some of our favorite
foods such as jellies, salad dressings, and pie fillings.

Active Ingredients
Materials that work physiologically within the skin or aid in protecting the skin from insult are
also called active ingredients. The term "cosmeceuticals" coined by famed dermatologist Dr.
Albert Kligman, refers to a product that is in-between a cosmetic and a drug. Although a
cosmetic, by legal definition, can only serve to beautify and protect the surface of the skin,
many cosmetic products can be shown to penetrate the dermal layers of the skin to exact a
physiological change.
Fruit acids are an example of an active material. Also called alpha hydroxyacids or AHAs,
they have the ability to penetrate the skin, where they can increase the production of
collagen, elastin, and intracellular substances thus improving the appearance of the skin.
Thousands of cosmetic actives are used to affect the skin in a variety of ways. They are used
to lighten, tighten, and firm the skin. They can be used to suppress perspiration as in the case
of aluminum chlorohydrate. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are important ingredients
because of their anti-acne activity (See Figure 7). Some active materials are added to skin
treatments to protect the skin from the environment. Dimethicone and petrolatum are
examples of skin protectants.

Figure 7. Structure of Benzoyl peroxide.

Pigments and dyes are used in products to impart a color. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a white
pigment that is mined. In combination with natural mined and synthetic iron oxides, which
range in color from red, yellow, black and brown, depending upon the degree of oxidation and
hydration, a range of color can be produced that will be suitable for almost every skin tone.
Face powders are produced by blending inorganic oxides and fillers. Fillers are inert,
generally inexpensive materials such as kaolin, talc, silica, and mica that are used to extend
and fully develop colors. Pressed powders like eyeshadows and blushers are prepared by
blending additional binding ingredients such as oils and zinc stearate and pressing the
mixture into pans.
Eyeshadows and lipsticks often contain pearlescent pigments commonly called pearls. Pearls
sparkle and reflect light to produce a multitude of colors. They are prepared by precipitating a
thin layer of color on thin platelets of mica. Varying the thickness of the color deposited
changes the angle of light refracted though the composite, creating different colors.
Organic pigments are used to color lipsticks and eyeshadows. When organics are precipitated
on a substrate they are called lake pigments. The term lake refers to the laking or
precipitating of the organic salt onto a metal substrate such as aluminum, calcium, or barium.
They are called D&C (drug and cosmetic) and FD&C (food, drug and cosmetic) colors. Some
examples are D&C Red#7 calcium lake and FD&C Yellow #5 aluminum lake. Dyes such as
FD&C Blue#1 and D&C Yellow #10 are readily soluble as opposed to pigments, which are
insoluble. Dyes are useful in providing tints for lotions, oils, and shampoos.

Most cosmetic products require the addition of preservative to prevent microbial
contamination and rancidity. Parabens and ester of parabenzoic acid are by far the most
commonly used because of their effectiveness against gram-positive bacteria.
Phenoxyethanol is used to protect against gramnegative strains. The cosmetic chemist will
generally employ a mixture of preservatives to protect against different bacterial strains as
well as yeasts and molds. Antioxidants such as tocopherol (vitamin E) and BHT are also
added to prevent oxidation of sensitive ingredients as well as protect the skin from free-radical

As long as society continues to puts great emphasis on looking young and beautiful cosmetic
chemistry will continue to flourish. A good understanding of the fundamentals of emulsion
chemistry and skin physiology are prerequisites, when formulating personal care products. A
good cosmetic chemist must be able to combine science and art to create products with the
feel and look that consumers desire.
John Castro

Harry, Ralph G. (2000). Harry's Cosmeticology, 8th edition, ed. Martin M. Reiger. Chemical
Publishing Company.
International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, 9th edition. (2002). Washington,
DC: Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association.
Lewis, Peter A. (1988). Pigment Handbook, Volume 1, 2nd edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
Wan, Peter J. (1991). Introduction to Fats and Oils Technology. Champaign, IL: The American
Oil Chemists' Society.



Additional/similar material on:

A wax is a simple lipid which is an ester of a long-chain alcohol and a fatty acid. The alcohol
may contain from 12-32 carbon atoms. Waxes are found in nature as coatings on leaves and
stems. The wax prevents the plant from losing excessive amounts of water. Carnuba wax is
found on the leaves of Brazilian palm trees and is used in floor and automobile waxes.
Lanolin coats lambs, wool. Beeswax is secreted by bees to make cells for honey and eggs.
Spermaceti wax is found in the head cavities and blubber of the sperm whale. Many of the
waxes mentioned are used in ointments, hand creams, and cosmetics (read the ingredients
Paraffin wax, used in some candles, is not based upon the ester functional group, but is a
mixture of high molecular weight alkanes. Ear wax is a mixture of phospholipids and esters of
Ester Synthesis:
Simple esters are made from an organic acid and an alcohol. The
ester functional group is of primary importance in the biochemical group of compounds called
waxes, triglycerides, and phospholipids.The simplified reaction reveals the process of
breaking some bonds and forming the ester and the by product, water. Refer to the graphic on
the left for the synthesis of carnuba wax.

First, the -OH (red) bond on the acid is broken and the -H (red) bond on the alcohol is also
broken. Both join to make HOH, a water molecule.
Secondly, the oxygen of the alcohol forms a bond (green) to the acid at the carbon with the
doublebond oxygen. This forms the ester functional group.
The long carbon chains do not participate in the reaction, but are just part of the final

Sunscreens and Sunblocks

Sunscreens are a class of compounds that protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation.
Wavelengths between 290nm and 400nm are particularly damaging to the skin. Sunscreens'
ability to absorb or reflect these damaging wavelengths are rated by their SPF or sun-
protection factor. For instance a person protected with a factor-15 sunscreen will be able to
stay in the sun fifteen times longer than if unprotected. Octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl
salycilate, titanium dioxide, and avobenzone are some important topical sunscreens. They
can be classified as either UVA or UVB sunscreens depending the wavelengths they absorb.
Benzophenone 4, a water-soluble UV filter, is commonly used to protect the color of cosmetic

Sunscreen combines organic and inorganic chemicals to filter the light from the sun so that
less of it reaches the deeper layers of your skin. Like a screen door, some light penetrates,
but not as much as if the door wasn't present. Sunblock, on the other hand, reflects or
scatters the light away so that it doesn't reach the skin at all.
The reflective particles in sunblocks usually consist of zinc oxide or titanium oxide. In the past,
you could tell who was using a sunblock just by looking, because the sunblock whited out the
skin. Not all modern sunblocks are visible because the oxide particles are smaller, though you
can still find the traditional white zinc oxide. Sunscreens usually include sunblocks as part of
their active ingredients.
What Sunscreens Screen
The portion of the sunlight that is filtered or blocked is ultraviolet radiation. There are three
regions of ultraviolet light.
• UV-A penetrates deeply into the skin and can lead to cancer and premature skin
• UV-B is involved in tanning and burning of your skin.
• UV-C is completely absorbed by the earth's atmosphere.
The organic molecules in sunscreen absorb the ultraviolet radiation and release it as heat.
• PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) absorbs UVB
• Cinnamates absorb UVB
• Benzophenones absorb UVA
• Anthranilates absorb UVA and UVB
• Ecamsules absorb UVA
What SPF Means
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It's a number that you can use to help determine how
long you can stay in the sun before getting a sunburn. Since sunburns are caused by UV-B
radiation, SPF does not indicate protection from UV-A, which can cause cancer and
premature aging of the skin.
Your skin has a natural SPF, partially determined by how much melanin you have, or how
darkly pigmented your skin is. The SPF is a multiplication factor. If you can stay out in the sun
15 minutes before burning, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 10 would allow you to resist the
burn for 10x longer or 150 minutes.
Although the SPF only applies to UV-B, the labels of most products indicate if they offer broad
spectrum protection, which is some indication of whether or not they work against UV-A
radiation. The particles in sunblock reflect both UV-A and UV-B.

Soaps, Detergents and Cleaning

Fats are isolated from plants and animals. The properties such as solubility relate to their
chemical structures. Fats are heated with a strong base to convert them into soaps. The fat
you use to make soap, reacts with potassium hydroxide to produce a potassium soap, the
potassium salt of the fatty acid. One typical animal fat, stearol, reacts with KOH to form
potassium stearate, a soap. Most naturally occuring fats produce a mixture of different salts of
fatty acids when they are converted to soap.

The potassium soap formed from your fat is converted to a sodium soap by replacing the
potassium ions with sodium ions. A large excess of sodium chloride supplies the sodium ion.
You may also notice that the potassium soap is softer than the sodium soap. In addition there
is a difference in the way the sodium and potassium soaps behave in water.

Both potassium and sodium soaps dissolve in water and are effective as cleaning agents.
Each has a polar end to the molecule identified by the negative charge and an end that is
primarily carbon and hydrogen. The polar end attracts polar water molecules. The other end,
hydrocarbon end, attracts oils and other water insoluble materials like fat or grease. Water is
a polar solvent and dissolves polar and ionic molecules. Gasoline is nonpolar and dissolves
nonpolar materials such as fat or oil. A way to remember this behavior is the simple axiom;
"Like dissolves like."

The nonpolar ends of the molecule associate with the fat, grime or dirt which is also nonpolar,
The polar or ionic end of the molecule attracts the water molecules. A spherical structure with
the polar portions of the molecule on the surface and the nonpolar parts of the molecule in the
center is attracted to the water and carries the non-water-soluble material away with it. This
spherical shaped unit of soap and grime is a micelle.
Magnesium and calcium salts of the same fatty acids that make up potassium and sodium
soaps are not water soluble. When sodium or potassium soaps are put into water containing
calcium and magnesium ions, the cloudyness, scum or curds consist of less soluble calcium
and magnesium soaps. To achieve the same washing or cleaning action, more soap must be

There are other materials that also have cleaning capacity like soaps. The molecules of
detergents also have polar and nonpolar ends. They clean like soaps except that their
calcium and magnesium salts are generally more soluble in water than their soap
counterparts. In recent years many different detergents have been introduced for use in
cleaning. The conversion of one alkyl sulfate into a detergent is shown below.
Another material on soaps can be found by accessing

Fluoride Additives in Toothpaste

FFluoride ions also help maintain the strength of the enamel. Fluorides are
present in toothpastes largely in the form of stannous
fluoride (SnF2, Fluoristan),sodium monofluorophosphate (Na2PO3F),
and sodium fluoride (NaF).
• replacing some of the hydroxyl groups in the enamel's hydroxyapatite,
converting it to a harder mineral, fluoroapatite, which is more resistant to
erosion by acids, and
• suppressing the bacteria's ability to generate acids.
Although not our principal protection against tooth decay,
the surfactants oftoothpaste formulations do not effectively remove loose debris
from the mouth and also gives us the sense of cleanliness. Almost all dentifrices
contain a bit of saccharin and some flavoring or fragrance to leave us with a
sense of sweetness and freshness after brushing. The components of a
typical toothpaste are:
Composition of a Typical Dentifrice
Ingredient Formula Weight (%)

Water H2O 37Solvent and filler.

Glycerol CH2OH-CHOH-CH2OH 32
Humectant, retains moisture.
Dibasic calcium phosphate CaHPO4 27Abrasive.

Sodium N-lauroyl sarcosinate 2Surfactant and

inhibitor of enzymes that produce decay.
Carrageenan (A carbohydrate of seaweed) 1 Thickening agent
and stabilizer.
Fluorides and other additives 1Enamel hardener;
sweeteners and preservatives.


A bleach is a chemical that can remove or lighten color, usually via oxidation.
Types of Bleach
There are several types of bleach. Chlorine bleach usually contains sodium hypochlorite.
Oxygen bleach contains hydrogen peroxide or a peroxide-releasing compound such as
sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate. Bleaching powder is calcium hypochlorite. Other
bleaching agents include sodium persulfate, sodium perphosphate, sodium persilicate, their
ammonium, potassium and lithium analogs, calcium peroxide, zinc peroxide, sodium
peroxide, carbamide peroxide, chlorine dioxide, bromate, and organic peroxides (e.g.,
benzoyl peroxide).
While most bleaches are oxidizing agents, other processes can be used to remove color. For
example, sodium dithionite is a powerful reducing agent that can be used as a bleach.
How Bleach Works
An oxidizing bleach works by breaking the chemical bonds of a chromophore (part of a
molecule that has color). This changes the molecule so that it either has no color or else
reflects color outside the visible spectrum.
A reducing bleach works by changing the double bonds of a chromophore into single bonds.
This alters the optical properties of the molecule, making it colorless.
In addition to chemicals, energy can disrupt chemical bonds to bleach out color. For example,
the high energy photons in sunlight (e.g., ultraviolet rays) can disrupt the bonds in
chromophores to decolorize them.

A skin toner is a liquid or light lotion that is used in several different applications of skin care.
Of these, the most common is to use a toner, usually with witch hazel or alcohol to clean the
skin and perhaps reduce oil on the skin and preventacne breakouts. These are often called
Another type of skin toner used is called a tonic. They typically contain a smaller amount of
alcohol than do astringents, but they may still have that somewhat prickly or stingy feel you
note when you place alcohol on the face. They also often feel cooler than plain water. They
do help clean the skin, and women or men who have combination type skin, with dry skin on
the cheeks and more oily skin on the forehead and nose (called the T-zone) may prefer a
tonic to an astringent.
Some skin toners contain little to no alcohol. Instead, such a toner might use citric acid,
rosewater, or a variety of other ingredients to simply freshen the skin. This explains the
names used for this type, fresheners or bracers. Using a small amount of acid can help give a
freshening feel to the skin when fresheners or bracers are used.
Often people buy a skin toner as part of a cosmetics line. Companies like Clinique®, typically
sell lines of cleaning and treatment products for the skin. Clinique three-step process, which
includes washing the face with specially formulated soap, using a toner, and then applying a
light moisturizer is very popular. Of course, you don’t have to buy every product in a skin
cleaning line, and some people prefer to use regular soap and a toner, or just a skin toner and
water to cleanse the skin.
Women and men may use skin toner available in local drug stores and even many grocery
stores. In fact, aftershave, with its high alcohol content is a toner of sorts. Common brands in
stores like Neutrogena® and SeaBreeze® come in simple bottles and are not feminized,
which means that teens of either gender are likely to use them, though they’re still used more
often by women.
The common method for applying skin toner is to dab some on a cotton ball and apply it to the
face. A few toners come in spray bottles and you just spritz your face with them. In most
cases, you don’t have to wash off the toner, as it’s meant to be a finishing step in a skin-
cleaning regimen. You should be careful when applying toner, especially any types that
contain alcohol. Typically you should not apply the toner too close to the eyes. Also, if you
have areas of the skin that are badly broken out, you want to dab those areas last, so you
don’t transfer bacteria from one part of the skin to the other, which may possibly result in more

Deodorants and Antiperspirants

Most people put on either deodorant or antiperspirant before leaving the house. There are
some products that perform both functions. These products are used to control sweat and
odor in our underarms. There are two types of glands in our underarms, apocrine and eccrine.
The eccrine glands are by far the most numerous sweat glands and are responsible for
producing most of the sweat in our underarms, as well as in our entire body.
Some people wear deodorants to cover up underarm smells, but if you sweat a lot, you
probably need anantiperspirant to slow down the production of underarm sweat. Our bodies
are constantly producing sweat, but there are certain times when they produce a lot more.
Additional sweat is produced to cool down our bodies when we are exposed to heat, physical
exertion, stress or nervousness. When the sweat gland is stimulated, the cells secrete a fluid
that travels from the coiled portion of the gland up through the straight duct and out onto the
surface of our skin.
Solid antiperspirants are made with several ingredients, including wax, a liquid emollient
and an active-ingredient compound. It's the active ingredient that gives antiperspirants their
sweat-blocking power. All antiperspirants have an aluminum-based compound as their main
ingredient. If you look at the back of an antiperspirant container, the aluminum-based
compound is always the first ingredient listed. Here are a few of the common active
• Aluminum chloride
• Aluminum zirconium tricholorohydrex glycine
• Aluminum chlorohydrate
• Aluminum hydroxybromide
The aluminum ions are taken into the cells that line the eccrine-gland ducts at the opening of
theepidermis, the top layer of the skin, says dermatologist Dr. Eric Hanson of the University of
North Carolina's Department of Dermatology. When the aluminum ions are drawn into the
cells, water passes in with them. As more water flows in, the cells begin to swell, squeezing
the ducts closed so that sweat can't get out.
Each cell can only draw in a certain amount of water, so eventually, the concentrations of
water -- outside and inside the cells -- reach equilibrium. When this happens, the water inside
the cell begins to pass back out of the cell through osmosis, and the cell's swelling goes
down. This is why people have to re-apply antiperspirant. For those who suffer from excessive
sweating, hyperhydrosis, aluminum chloride in high concentrations can prolong the swelling
and may ultimately shrink the sweat gland, decreasing the amount of sweat it can produce.
An average over-the-counter antiperspirant might have an active-ingredient concentration of
anywhere from 10 to 25 percent. The FDA requires that over-the-counter antiperspirants
contain no more than 15 to 25 percent of the active ingredient, depending on what it is. The
FDA also requires that all antiperspirants must decrease the average person's sweat by at
least 20 percent. For those who have excessive underarm sweating, there are prescription
products that contain concentrations higher than those of over-the-counter antiperspirants.

The difference between deodorants and antiperspirants

You stink. But don't worry, all people do. Humans emit a natural body odor: a heady, rank
scent, with which anyone who's ridden the subway in any major metropolitan area is familiar.
It's an ancient odor -- anthropologist Louis Leakey suspected the original function of body
odor was to make humans repellent to animals who sought to eat us [source:Ramirez].

Research into body odor has found that people produce unique scents called odortypes,
based in part on bothgenetics and environmental factors, such as what you eat. One 2006
study found that people who eat a vegetarian diet produce a more attractive and pleasant
body odor than those who eat meat [source:Havlicek and Lenochova]. Studies like these have
been used to counter arguments that different races have characteristic body odors, a theory
that some anthropologists claim propagates racist attitudes [source:Lynn].
Whether body odor is affected by race, diet or some other factor, people typically try to mask
their natural scents -- usually with hefty doses of perfume. It wasn't until the late 1950s,
however, that it became an actual social taboo to smell in most Western societies. The taboo
set in around the time that marketing firms launched advertising campaigns to sell deodorant.
These firms tapped social insecurity among consumers by suggesting they would become
pariahs if they failed to use deodorant to cover their body odor [source: Ramirez]. Despite the
fact that deodorants offer no real health benefits – unlike soap andtoothpaste -- you could say
these marketing campaigns were successful. In 2006, sales of products that combat body
odor and prevent the unpleasant feeling of sweating under the arms reached $2.5 billion in
the United States alone [source: Mintel].
Today, there are shelves of personal hygiene products designed to keep your odor at bay
available at any grocery store or pharmacy. They come in myriad scents with names like
"Touch," "Powder Fresh," and "Scent Killer" (for the deer hunters among us) [source: Wildlife
Research Center]. But if you look closely, you'll find that some sticks, sprays and roll-ons are
deodorants while others are antiperspirants.

The basic difference between antiperspirants and deodorants is that the former keeps you
from sweating while the latter cuts down on what makes you stink when you do sweat. To get
to the nuts and bolts of the difference, though, you'll have to learn a little armpit anatomy.
There are several sources for our natural scent. The most prolific perpetrator is the underarm.
The scent produced here is called axillary body odor (named after the medical term for the
underarm, axilla).
You've got two types of sweat glands all over your skin, and they're both found most highly
concentrated in your underarm. These glands don't generally begin to develop until humans
hit puberty, so most people don't produce body odor until around age 11 or 12
[source:Greenberg]. The eccrine glands act to cool you off when you're hot. These glands
excrete only water and salt and have nothing to do with your troublesome body odor. The
apocrine glands are the culprit behind your terrible smell. These glands carry secretions of
fats and proteins from within your body, along with your sweat, to the exterior surface of your
skin. Here, these fats and proteins react with bacteria to create an odor [source: Lynn].
Deodorants don't have any reinforcements to keep you from sweating -- once you apply
deodorant to your axilla and go play basketball, you're going to perspire. But deodorant does
work to counteract the smell that's produced after the fats and proteins emitted from your cells
migrate to the surface of your skin. Deodorant targets the bacteria that hang around your
armpits. Ingredients like triclosan in deodorants make the skin in your underarm too salty or
acidic to support the indigenous bacteria that are meant to thrive there [source: Truitt].
Without any bacteria to feast on the proteins and fats delivered through your sweat, no smell
is produced.
Antiperspirants cut down on body odor using the exact opposite principle: They actually keep
you from sweating. Without any sweat, the bacteria found in abundance in your underarms
don't have anything to eat. Most antiperspirants have some of the same ingredients found in
deodorants that kill bacteria as a failsafe [source: Unilever]. Their main function, however, is
to keep you from perspiring. They do this through ingredients like aluminum and zirconium,
which plug the sweat glands found in your underarms [source: Ramirez]. When you apply
antiperspirant, it's literally no sweat.
There may be drawbacks to not smelling like you're meant to, however. Some studies have
found a link between breast cancer and antiperspirants. The aluminum found in
antiperspirants has been shown to cause DNA mutation, a requisite for uncontrolled growth of
cells (cancer) [source: Darbre]. Other studies have refuted this claim, and reproducing results
has been hit or miss -- the link remains inconclusive [source:National Cancer Institute].
Equally troubling and mysterious is the warning label found on antiperspirants that suggests
the user consult with a physician before using the product if he or she suffers from kidney
disease [source: CBS News]. Aluminum can prove fatal in large enough doses to people with
impaired kidney function [source: KOMO].
It's a risk many people are willing to take, judging from all the options on the market. Of
course, you could buck the entire system by not wearing deodorant at all.


Hair Conditioners

When considering the question of how hair conditioner works you first need to know about the
structure of hair. Hair, as you may know, is composed of a protein called keratin. This fact is
important because keratin has a high percentage of those amino acids which have negative
charges sticking out, like the hairs on a nettle.
The next thing you need to know is that most hair conditioners contain positively charged
molecules called cationic1 surfactants. Soap, shampoo, and other cleaners contain
surfactants (also called detergents) that are anionic2; that is, negatively charged. These
cleaners are very effective at removing dirt, but they also remove natural oils and positive
charges from the hair.
The positively charged surfactants in hair conditioner are attracted to the negative charges in
your hair, and do not rinse out completely with water. When the hair dries, it is coated with a
thin film, which adds weight, makes the hair easier to comb, and prevents static electricity
from building up and 'frizzing' the hair.
Static buildup, by the way, is what happens when the positive charges are stripped from the
hair. Rubber combs do this very nicely, which is why combing your hair on a dry day makes
the hair 'frizz out'; because the negative charges on your hair are repelling each other!
All surfactants comprise an 'oily part' and a 'watery part'. The watery part - called the
hydrophile - is what sticks to the hair; it contains the positive charge. The oily part - called the
hydrophobe - is what gives the surfactant its conditioning ability, as it smooths the hair and
gives it weight. The cationic surfactants used in conditioners come in several types, and can
be classified by the nature of their hydrophobes.
If the hydrophobe has the structure of a saturated fat, like lard or butter, the surfactant has a
waxy consistency. Oily hydrophobes, with a structure like liquid vegetable oil, give the
surfactant a lighter texture; they may even be liquids. Hydrophobic polymers yield a hard,
plastic-like material.
Hair conditioners come in several different types. 'Pack' conditioners are heavy and creamy in
consistency. They contain high percentages of 'fatty' surfactants, and are used when the hair
is damaged. Such conditioners are left in the hair for a long time, and will virtually 'glue' split
ends and stripped scales into place. 'Leave-in' conditioners are lightweight, and will contain
lighter-weight 'oily' surfactants, which add little weight to the hair. Ordinary conditioners have
a balance between the two. There are also 'hold' conditioners; which are combination
products that provide the benefits of conditioning while also holding the hair in place like a
mousse. This effect is achieved using cationic polymers.
Finally, there are some conditioning ingredients which are not cationic. These do not offer the
best results, but they have benefits of their own. Some anionic surfactants, which carry no
electric charge, will stick to the hair in useful quantities. Unlike cationic surfactants, they can
be mixed with anionic surfactants to produce conditioning shampoos. Other ingredients, like
esters, oils, and polymers, are added to improve lustre, add comb-ability, and assure that the
conditioning ingredients stay mixed in the bottle.

1 Cationic means having a positive electric charge (ie missing one or more
2 Anionic means having a negative electric charge (ie having an additional one or
more electrons). Anionic and cationic surfaces will attract opposites and repel
like-for-like (like magnetic poles).