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A Short Primer on Body Care

[Woman] Woman putting on make-up

Skin cleansing products

The essential foundation of thorough care is the cleansing of the skin. Only this way will it be able to retain its health and attractiveness permanently. There are different products serving this purpose, depending on the part of the body:

From a chemical perspective, soaps are alkali salts of fatty acids, generally of animal or vegetable origin. Different amounts of various additives are used to provide the soap with specific desired properties.
Bathing products
Put simply, the main ingredients are a substance base (surfactant), additives and special active ingredients. Liquid bathing products can be bath oils, cream baths, foaming baths and shower gels. Solid bath products are available in the form of bathing powders, bathing tablets and bathing salts.
contain chemically synthesized washing active substances as foaming and cleansing components. They generate foam at any water hardness level, leave no lime soap stains and their pH value can be adjusted - for example to match the natural pH value of the skin.
Peeling compounds
usually contain small natural or synthetic granules with rounded edges that act as gentle abrasives. They are available in the form of creams, emulsions, gels or masks.
Facial toners
are refreshing and remove the last traces of the cleansing agent. Toners are available with and without alcohol. Oil in water (O/W) emulsifiers serve a cleansing function.
Two-in-one products
ombine a cleansing and a moisturising action in one product. In many cases, the moisturising effect dispenses with the need to apply additional body lotion.

(Source: “Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)

Skin care products

The environment and the weather can be very stressful for the skin. This is the reason why it needs to be nurtured and protected so carefully - every skin type in its own individual way. Skin care products fall into the following categories:

contain both water or water-soluble substances and oils or oil-soluble substances. In the formation of an oil-in-water emulsion (O/W emulsion for short), the oil is the inner phase and the water the outer phase. These emulsions are particularly easy to spread on the skin and are quickly absorbed.
But: In a water-in-oil emulsion (W/O emulsion for short), water is the inner layer and oil the outer. This emulsion leaves a protective film behind on the skin which, amongst other effects, promotes the moisture-enrichment of the outer skin layers.
Besides the respective lipid and water phase, select raw materials determine whether the emulsion will be a cream or a lotion.
are one of the oldest forms of skin care product. Their skin care properties derive from the lipid-soluble (fat-soluble) raw materials they exclusively consist of.
are semi-solid, transparent products consisting of at least two components - a solid, finely-distributed substance and a liquid (generally water) as dispersing agent. The solid substance forms a 3-dimensional network in the fluid. Different types of gels are oleo-gels (water-free), hydro-gels (oil-free) and oil/water gels.
Creams and lotions are the most important skin care products. They can be categorised according to their function: general use creams, day and night creams, moisturising creams, moisturising lotions, re-moisturising lotions, and hand lotions.

(Source: “Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)

Dental care products

Dental care products are an excellent example for the manner in which personal hygiene products can not only serve the enhancement of the external appearance, but also keep the body healthy. Thorough dental care consists of the right toothbrush, the right cleaning method and effective tooth cleaning products.

consist of pasty suspensions or gels. They contain cleansing and flavouring agents and are formulated for broadly specific applications such as cavity prevention, the prevention of periodontosis, to supply a fresh taste in the mouth or brighten the teeth in appearance. Special toothpastes formulations for children are adjusted to care for teeth while they are still growing, for instance through the addition of fluorides.
Two-in-one products
are relatively recent, semi-solid product versions comprising both toothpaste and mouthwash.
Dental chewing gum
is used to clean the teeth between meals when there is no opportunity to brush them.
Denture adhesives
are available in powder, cream, foil or liquid form - they physically improve the adhesion of dentures and protect the mouth's mucus membranes from pressure points.
Denture cleaning products
The cleaning action of denture cleaning products is supported by their effervescent properties. They are available in the form of tablets or granules.

(Source: “Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)

Hair care products

Hair shampoos
The cleansing action of hair shampoos is due to their washing-active base material, while additives and specific active ingredients lend them additional caring properties. There are different shampoos available for normal, oily, dry and distressed as well as damaged hair, along with anti-dandruff shampoos and special baby products.
Two-in-one Products
Besides their cleansing performance, these articles feature a specific product combination that lends them the smoothing and lustre-supplying properties of a conditioning agent. While washing the hair is just a bare necessity, individuals who truly value it shouldn't neglect providing it with the proper care. Besides shampoos containing one or several conditioning agents, there is also a number of products available which exclusively care for your hair, such as hair treatments, oils, conditioners, products to repair split ends and, of course, the classic hair tonic.
“Hair design”
Hair styling products in particular are gaining in relevance. In addition to the traditional styling products such as setting lotion and hairspray, easily applied setting foams have become more and more important. Hair lacquers, gels and similar products are particularly popular with younger consumers.
Perming and straightening products
These determine the shape of the hair. Depending on its, different formulas featuring various ph-values and proportions of reducing agent are applied. The pH-value of permanent wave products ranges between neutral and alkaline. More recent product developments aim to give the hair a natural looking shape.
Bleaches, colouring agents, and colour sealants
These products determine the hair colour. Besides bleaches, consumers wishing to dye their hair can apply two very different product types: “direct-dying dyes” and “oxidation dyes”
Direct-dyeing dyes/tints
are ready-coloured substances that attach to the surface of the hair like a film.
Oxidation dyes
These dyes permanently colour the hair. Various components are at work here: dye developers and couplers first penetrate the hair, where they are then “bonded” into larger units by an oxidation agent – creating the colour in the process.

(Source: “Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)

Cosmetic products for specific applications

Sun protection products

These protect the skin against excessive UV radiation without suppressing its natural protective reactions, which include pigmentation (tanning of the skin) and a thickening of the horny layer (formation of light callus). Excessive exposure to UV rays can result in acute damages (sunburn) as well as chronic alterations (aging of the skin, skin cancer).

There is a wide range of sun protection products the consumer can choose from: milks, creams, oils, foams, lotions, gels and sticks.

Light filters
These products absorb UV rays. Depending on which UV rays they absorb, they are categorized as UV-B, UV-A and broadband filters. In addition to light filtering agents, pigments and micro-pigments are also applied to simultaneously reflect UV rays.
The sun protection factor (SPF)
This numerical value provides information about the additional time period one can spend in the sun in comparison to unprotected skin without getting sunburned. In Europe, the sun protection factor is determined by a standardised test procedure, the COLIPA method
Sun blocks
These are sun protection products with a SFP of 20 or higher that also contain a strong UV-A protection. These will provide the skin with excellent protection even in cases of intensive sun exposure.
Skin tanning lotions
If evenly distributed, these will provide the skin with a tanned look without any sun. It is advisable to cleanse the skin thoroughly before application (tip: face and body peeling) to prevent fatty residues and dead skin cells impairing the evenness of the tan. The “sunless” tan does not provide any sun protection.
Skin lighteners
These products have the exact opposite effect of sunless skin tanning lotions: they bleach the skin or lighten melanin spots.
These are applied to prevent or reduce body odour. They are available as sticks, roll-ons, lotions, powders, aerosols and pump sprays. "Scented deodorants" are a special product that not only prevents body odour, but also supply a desired fragrance.
In addition to mechanical methods (epilation), hair can also be removed by chemical means. Depilation products, which are available in the form of creams, gels, or foams, break down the hair keratin's peptide bonds (protein bonds). As soon as the hair is curling visibly, it can be removed with a scraper.

Perfumes and colognes

Colognes contain a number of natural scents, primarily from the citrus group and feature an alcohol content of at least 70%. Adjectives like “real” and “original” are indications of origin that only products produced in the German city of Cologne may carry.
Eau de Cologne
The term was originally the French name for the fragrance produced in Cologne, but is nowadays used for almost any light perfume featuring all kinds of fragrances. The scent concentration ranges between three and five percent.
Eau de Toilette
This is a stronger version of cologne with a more intensive fragrance. The scent concentration can be up to 10 percent.
Eau de Perfume or Perfume de Toilette
The scent intensity of these products places them between the Eau de Toilette and a perfume.
Perfumes feature a scent concentration of between 15 and 30 percent, sometimes more. This makes them the most concentrated and as such also the costliest fragrance products.
Perfume oil
Perfume cream
Instead of alcohol, these products contain an oily or waxy-creamy base substance to carry the scent.

(Source: “Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)

Shaving products

Shaving products remove facial hair. Shaving can either be done with wet-shave products or using an electric razor.

Dry shaving
In contrast to a wet shave, the facial hair needs to be as upright and dry as possible for a dry shave. Because alcohol solutions have a dehydrating and stiffening effect on hair, pre-shaving products for electric shavers usually contain alcohol and sometimes also ester as a lubricant, along with astringent and aseptic substances.
Wet shave products
These products start foaming during application. They are available in the form of sticks, creams, gels or aerosol foams and predominantly contain soap.
After shave lotions
These products disinfect, refresh and provide a pleasant fragrance. They mainly consist of water, alcohol and perfume oils.
After shave balms/emulsions
On account of their moisturizing ingredients, these products are applied to soothe reddened, irritated skin after a shave. They are absorbed quickly and leave the skin feeling soft and smooth.

(Source: “Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)

Decorative body care productsc

The Latin term for cosmetics, “decoratio” – i.e. emphasising beauty – has informed the modern name for decorative cosmetics. Decorative body care products contain a greater or lesser proportion of dyes which alter the colour of the face, the eyes, the lips, and the nails.

Face make-up
Make-up serves to lend the facial skin a natural look, refresh pale skin, and smooth out skin blemishes. Products containing specific agents can also help to moisturize and protect the skin. Make-up is commercially available in the form of tinted day cream, powder-based cream, loose and pressed face compact, make-up cream and rouge.
Nail polishes
Nail care products
Nail polishes play the most important role in this area. Nail polish and cuticle removers, nail hardeners and nail moisturizing creams round off the product range.
Eye make-up
Eye make-up is applied to highlight the eyes with decorative colour and lend its user a more expressive face. Eye shadows lend colour to the upper eye lids, whereas mascara, eye liner pencils, and liquids are used to colour eyelashes and the upper and lower lids. Eyebrow pencils are applied to underscore or adjust the shape of the eyebrows.
Decorative lip care products
These are used to brighten up pale lips, to adjust the shape of the mouth and lips and to give them a colour that matches the clothing and hair colour. They are made from a mixture of waxes and oils which may contain dyes, pearling substances and sometimes specific agents such as light filters. Apart from lipsticks, which are one of the most commonly used forms of decorative cosmetic product, lip fix, lip gloss and lip contour pencils are also available.

(Source: “Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)

Greater consumer transparency

Throughout Europe: uniform labelling of cosmetic products

The packaging of body care products not only serves to protect the product, but also as the carrier of the "short dialogue" between manufacturer and consumer: the ingredients are listed on it, along with important warnings or application advice.

In order to provide consumers with the appropriate product information, the EU cosmetic directive bindingly requires body care products to list all their ingredients since July 1st, 1998. This regulation is particularly helpful for individuals suffering from allergies as they can now already successfully avoid allergenic substances at the point of purchase. But the pan-European directive also takes the ever growing mobility of people into account: through the use of identical terms for all cosmetic product labels within the European Union, the ingredients are easily identifiable all over the continent.

According to the guidelines, any ingredients used in production and still present in the finished product need to be listed on the label. They are listed in descending order of concentration. The declaration begins with the word “ingredients”. Raw materials constituting less than 1 percent are listed at the end in random order. The label needs to be clearly visible on the external packaging or directly on the product container. If this is not possible on smaller products due to lack of space, the information needs to be included on a package insert. In this case, an abbreviated product information or a special symbol (a hand in an open book) can be found on the packaging.

The new labelling system INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredients) uses a nomenclature jointly developed by American and European cosmetic manufacturers which is being recognized by both governments. The content declaration on cosmetic products is based on an index of raw cosmetic ingredients. This is where all the INCI terms can be looked up. Interested parties in Germany can order the raw ingredients index from the IKW (Industrieverband Körperpflege- und Waschmittel e.V. (German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association), Frankfurt) in the form of a PC disk.

Functions of cosmetic ingredients

are added to cosmetic agents in order to remove materials in different areas of the body, support the mechanical cleansing of the teeth or make them shinier.
These substances serve to absorb dissolved or finely dispersed water- and/or oil-soluble substances.
are often added in relatively small amounts and are intended to lend the product a desired feature, enhance a desired feature or suppress an undesirable product feature as much as possible.
Anti-caking agents/separating agents
are added to preparations containing powder or talc in order to stop the substance from clumping or agglomerating.
Anti-dandruff agents
in hair care products inhibit the formation of dandruff.
Anti-foaming agents
are added to cosmetic agents either to eliminate foaming during production or to reduce a tendency to foam in finished products.
Antimicrobial substances
These are added to cosmetic products to reduce the activity of micro organisms on the skin and in the mouth.
are intended to prevent reactions caused by exposure to oxygen such as oxidation or rancidity, and to maintain the quality of the product.
reduce sweat production.
Antistatic agents/detanglers
in skin and hair care products reduce the electrostatic charge on the surface of the skin or hair, making the hair a lot easier to comb.
Binding agents
provide cohesion for powder and powder-based cosmetic products.
lighten the colour of the hair or skin.
are generally derived physically from plants. They are added to cosmetic products to supply them with certain properties depending on the effect of the ingredient.
Chelating agents
are added to cosmetic products so they react and form complexes with metal ions which can enhance the stability and/or appearance of the product.
Corrosion inhibitors
are intended to prevent the corrosion of the packaging of cosmetic products.
Cosmetic dyestuffs
are either added to colour the product or, in the case of decorative cosmetics, the skin. The cosmetics directive prescribes the dyestuffs permitted in each type of cosmetic product.
Denaturing agents
are usually added to cosmetics containing ethyl alcohol to make them unpalatable.
inhibit or reduce the production of unpleasant body odours, while masking them and reducing sweat production.
remove unwanted body hair.
have the task of making the skin supple and smooth.
are surfactants that stably disperse fluids in one another which cannot otherwise be mixed, such as oil and water.
Emulsion stabilisers
support the emulsification process and improve the stability and shelf-life of a product.
Film formers
in cosmetic products create a protective and stabilising film on the skin, hair, or nails following application.
Foam stabilisers/foam intensifiers
increase foaming and foam stability or delay the collapse of the foam.
Gelling agents/thickening agents
are additives which increase or stabilise the desired consistency (viscosity) of a cosmetic product.
Hair colorants
are added to cosmetic products in order to effect a permanent or temporary colouration of the hair, depending on the product.
Light filtering substances/UV absorbers
are used to filter certain UV rays and hence protect the skin against premature aging caused by sunlight as well as sunburns. The cosmetics directive lists the light filtering agents permitted for use in cosmetic products.
help restore or preserve moisture in the skin. They counteract skin dehydration.
Mouth care substances
are added to personal hygiene products intended to care for the mouth.
are added to clear or transparent cosmetic products in order to render them less light-permeable for visible light or light-related radiation.
are employed to change the chemical composition of substances by supplying them with oxygen.
pH control agents/buffers
are added to cosmetic products in order to provide them with the desired pH value or to stabilise it.
are added to cosmetics in order to protect them from spoilage by micro organisms (bacteria, fungi, yeasts) and hence preserve their quality. The cosmetics directive bindingly stipulates the preservatives permitted in cosmetic products.
are gaseous substances which are added to cosmetic products in pressurised containers and expel the contents when the pressure is released.
Re-moisturising agents
are used in cosmetic preparatory products. They are absorbed by the skin during cleansing and help prevent or reduce the loss of moisture from and dehydration of the skin.
Reducing agents
change the chemical composition of other substances by adding hydroxide or subtracting oxygen.
Skin care agents
protect and care for the skin, keeping it supple and smooth, whilst minimising moisture loss, and as such provide a pleasant skin feeling.
are used as a base medium for cosmetic preparations and to dissolve certain substances.
are surface-active compounds containing both lipophile and hydrophile groups and hence facilitate the through cleansing of skin and hair.
Viscosity control agents
serve to increase or decrease the viscosity of the finished product.

(Source: “Kosmetika - Inhaltsstoffe - Funktionen”, IKW, Frankfurt
“Körper & Pflege”, IKW Frankfurt)