What is in a Lipstick?

  • DOI: 10.1002/chemv.201900035
  • Author: ChemViews Magazine
  • Published Date: 02 April 2019
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: What is in a Lipstick?

The picture shows which ingredients are in a lipstick and why they are added.

Depending on the current fashion trends, the ideal lipstick can be glossy, matte, transparent, highly opaque, or color-intensive. The perfect lipstick has a high melting point of about 55 to 65 °C so that it does not run even at warm temperatures and is so stable that it does not break off during application. At the same time, it is soft to allow easy application to the lips, and so that it spreads evenly and forms a smooth film. It should only melt when applied to the lips and not before. All of this is achieved by the right mixture.

To prevent lipsticks from leaving traces on glasses, for example, the oil content is often reduced and replaced by synthetic resins and silicone oils or paraffins. The long-lasting effect occurs because the substances have a low melting point, which means that they become liquid when applied to the skin. They stabilize the color film after. However, this non-breathable layer on the lips my wash out body-own fat and make the lips dryer. Phenyl-modified silicones and special silicone resins provide gloss.


What is in a Lipstick? ChemistryViews


Lip gloss has the same ingredients as lipsticks in different proportions: It has usually less wax and more oil. Usually it comes in containers because of the different texture.


Impurities such as aluminum, manganese, or heavy metals (lead, chromium, cadmium) may also be found in lipsticks. As they are not intentionally added, they do not appear at the ingredient list. Instead they get into the lipstick accidentally with other ingredients as they are naturally occurring, for example, in mineral dyes, soil, and groundwater.


How is a lipstick made? ChemistryViews


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Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH