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Cosmetics Industry Overview

Jul 18, 2008
Cosmetics have been around in one shape or form for many years, the earliest documented use of cosmetics is around 4000BC way back in ancient Egypt days where eye decoration and scents became common place. From then to now, very little has changed in the use of cosmetics, they are still used to contour and highlight the skin and features and to mask any body odour, although odour issues are not as big an issue now as it was back in those days.

The word "Cosmetics" is a rather broad term targeted towards many market sectors, its dictionary definition is;

A powder, lotion, lipstick, rouge, or other preparation for beautifying the face, skin, hair, nails, etc.
Cosmetics, superficial measures to make something appear better, more attractive, or more impressive:

A sub category of "Cosmetics" is "Makeup" this encompasses most modern day beauty products and is targeted to Facial cosmetics such as Eye Shadow, Lipstick, Mascara etc.

Today's Cosmetic market place is a huge global economy worth approximately $40 billion, mostly generated in the western countries but it is ever expanding into other global markets and these expand. One of the best known and oldest cosmetic providers is L'Oreal. L'Oreal first started in 1909 specializing in hair colouring products in France, this grew rather rapidly and eventually caught the eye of some now established cosmetics companies in the USA. The year 1910 was when the likes of Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein began their global domination of this now lucrative market. These companies were not joined by any others till Revlon joined in shortly before WWII and Estee Lauder just after WWII.

The cosmetics industry has developed rather rapidly since these early days of limited products as the quest for beauty has become ever more important. Brands are now represented by key celebrities around the world in a bid to increase the market share of this $40 billion industry. The modern Cosmetics range includes: Skincare, Lotions, Powders, Perfumes, Lip Colour, Nail polishes, Eye Makeup, Face Makeup, Hair Colour, Hair Care, Baby products, Bath Products, Party Makeup, Special FX makeup. As with any growing industry using chemicals, the Cosmetics industry has been in resistance with Governing bodies from the word go as it brought into question the chemicals in use with these products. Most countries now have a governing body controlling the quality of allowable ingredients used within cosmetic products; the USA has the FDA (Food & Drug Administration). The FDA is a government Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for the safety regulation of many things including Cosmetics. Because of the involvement of this regulation it has forced many companies to look at the ingredients used and eliminate some of the synthetic ingredients, thus the trend of the new "Good for you" makeup.

Many products now available boast not only a visible benefit to the skin but a nutritional one also. In terms of development cosmetics could be viewed as take a step back in the history timeline to ancient Egypt times. For years synthetic ingredients have replaced natural ones due to their ease to work with and the visible results. With that in mind these governing organizations have benefited the consumer, giving them better products using Natural or Organic materials. Natural products contain mineral and plant ingredients and organic products are made with organic agricultural products. So when on the next makeup shopping spree bear a thought for what is on sale and weight up the price verses the benefits, as Natural Mineral makeup may have more of an impact on the wallet, but will come with the added benefit in protecting and nourishing the skin.
About the Author
Many ranges of Cosmetics are available from the Cosmetics Fairy, along with many articles and Cosmetic Application how to tutorials.
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