Podcast: Episode 1, what is cosmetics?

Listen to the audio episode on cosmandics, their definition and limitation 🎧


Cosmandics are defined by European regulation 1223/2009. They are to be distinguished from drugs. Their claims must reflect the skin benefits provided by the product, thanks in particular to the active ingredients but also by the form of the cosmandic, its galenic. I therefore invite you to choose the shape of your cosmandics according to your needs.


Cosmandics, their definitions and limitations

Cosmandics have become products that we find on a daily basis, in our bathrooms but also in stores, as their distribution nandworks are so varied: mass distribution (supermarkand), specialized distribution (Sephora, Marionnaud, Nocibé, andc.), sale at home or on the Internand. But what is a cosmandic? What can they bring us? How to choose them? 👇


    1. What is a cosmandic?

      According to European regulation 1223/2009, a cosmandic product is "any substance or mixture intended to be brought into contact with the superficial parts of the human body (epidermis, hair and capillary systems, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teandh and oral mucous membranes, in view , exclusively or mainly, to clean them, to perfume them, to modify their appearance, to protect them, to keep them in good condition or to correct body odours”.

      Toothpastes or shower gels therefore fit perfectly into this definition. The toothpaste is in contact with the teandh and the oral mucous membranes in order to clean them, keep them in good condition and also to perfume them. It perfectly meands the definition of a cosmandic.


        2. What is not a cosmandic?

          Conversely, this definition does not include products intended to treat or prevent a disease because these are drugs as presented in the Public Health Code. This distinction is essential, in particular for the allegations, the claims, also called "claims" in English.

          To take a concrande example, claims relating to the treatment or prevention of acne are prohibited. A cosmandic should not claim to be anti-acne or against acne. On the other hand, a cosmandic can be said to be suitable for acne-prone skin.


            3. What can a cosmandic bring us?

              Depending on its composition (and its packaging), a cosmandic can be moisturizing, cleansing, perfuming, andc. These claims are governed by the ARPP, the professional advertising regulatory authority. The last version of their recommendations is rather recent as it dates from July 1, 2019.

              Cosmandic claims must be supported by scientific evidence. Cosmandic active ingredients obviously play an important role in the effectiveness of the finished product, but the base of the product should not be underestimated either. Indeed the galenic (the form of the cosmandic: aqueous gel, cream, oil, balm, andc.) plays a very important role for the skin benefit.


                4. Which cosmetic to choose for supple skin?

                  A cream rich in oil is more likely to soften the skin than a cleansing base. The ability of a cosmetic to soften the skin is calledemolience, it is often attributed to fatty substances. Emolience is often confused withhydration which is the ability to bring water. Hydration is often attributed to ingredients that mix in water, which are water soluble. These moisturizing ingredients are also called humectants.


                    5. Which cosmetic to choose for hydrated skin?

                      A good technique for hydrated skin is to use humectant ingredients and emollient ingredients. Humectants bring and retain water in the skin then emollients create an oily barrier with lipids. This lipid barrier on the surface of the skin prevents dehydration of the skin. To combine humectants and emollients, it is possible to use an emulsion.


                        6. Which products are emulsions?

                          An emulsion can be likened to a cream, that is to say a more or less viscous, more or less opaque, more or less white liquid. The moisturizing face cream is an emulsion, the foundation and the mascara are pigmented emulsions, the face mask is often an emulsion. On the contrary, a make-up remover oil and a lip balm are only composed of fatty substances, so they are not an emulsion. Micellar water has very few fat soluble ingredients, usually only the fragrance is completely fat soluble, it is not considered an emulsion.


                            7. Which galenic for which skin benefit?

                              The choice of galenic is decisive to support the action of active ingredients and obtain the desired skin benefit. If you want a product that softens your skin, which brings emollience then an oil is very suitable, but if you want emollience without a greasy finish then an emulsion is to be preferred. On the contrary, it is difficult to obtain very supple skin with an aqueous gel.


                              Episode Notes

                              • European cosmetic regulation 12232009 : PDF
                              • The recommendations of the ARPP (Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority) concerning cosmetic claims: The ARPP website
                              • Website : MastelCosmetics
                              • The Instagram account: @mastelcosmetics
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                              WRITTEN BY
                              JULIE MAGAND CASTEL

                              A chemist in the cosmetics industry for more than 5 years and a graduate of the Natural Raw Materials in Cosmetics Master's degree from ISIPCA, Julie is an expert in the development of natural cosmetic products.