Cosmetics: Definition and History

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osmotics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skincare creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, sprays and gels, deodorants, baby products, bath oils, bubble baths, bath salts, butters and many other types of products. A subset of cosmetics is called "make-up," which refers primarily to colored products intended to alter the user’s appearance. Many manufacturers distinguish between decorative cosmetics and care cosmetics.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates cosmetics in the States defines cosmetics as: "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions."

The first archaeological evidence of cosmetics usage was found in Egypt around 3500 BC during the Ancient times with some of the royalty having make up such as Nefertiti, Nefertiti, mask ofTutankhamun, etc. The Romans and Ancient Egyptians used cosmetics containing poisonous mercury and often lead. The ancient kingdom of Israel was influenced by cosmetics as recorded in the Old Testament—2 Kings 9:30 where Jezebel painted her eyelids—approximately 840 BC. The Biblical book of Esther describes various beauty treatments as well.

In the middle Ages, although its use was frowned upon by Church leaders, many women still wore cosmetics. A popular fad for women during the middle Ages was to have a pale-skinned complexion, which was achieved through either applying pastes of lead, chalk, or flour, or by bloodletting. Women would also put white lead pigment that was known as "ceruse" on their faces to appear to have pale skin.

Women in the 19th century liked to be thought of as fragile ladies. They compared themselves to delicate flowers and emphasized their delicacy and...
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