Functional cosmetics: what are its principles


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There cosmetics is a real science that has its roots inAncient Egypt, where women and men used to take care of their image with oils and substances of natural origin. The Egyptians sprinkled the body with ointments, lengthened the shape of the eyes with kajal and painted the lips with copper and iron oxide.

Over the centuries, cosmetics have established themselves as a beauty ally aimed at taking care of the face, body and hair. It was subsequently divided into subgroups based on the purposes and fields of application. One of these is the functional cosmetics.

Functional cosmetics: what does it mean?

There functional cosmetics it is thus defined as its function is to make use of a series of cosmetics aimed at keep the skin in good condition, perfume the body and reduce blemishes. This category includes products to cleanse and moisturize the face (such as serums, creams, tonics) and to care for the beauty of body and hair (such as shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, heat protector for hair, etc. ..).

There purpose of functional cosmetics is to protect the skin by carrying out a preventive and non-curative action. This means that the products that make up functional cosmetics do not have therapeutic properties: for example, functional cosmetics can reduce the imperfection of orange peel skin, but they cannot cure cellulite, as this is a real pathology for the which is necessary to undergo drug treatment.

A simple one anti-aging face cream it is a typical example of a functional cosmetic, as it contains a series of nutrients and substances that together prevent skin aging, but cannot solve the problem of aging.

The principles of functional cosmetics

functional cosmeticsCastor oil among the functional substances. Source: Pinterest @ abiby

THE active principles, or functional substances, of functional cosmetics are substances with a certain biological activity, and are used to improve the appearance of the surface on which they are applied.

A functional substance is, therefore, that ingredient that performs a specific function and that is formulated together with other substances to improve the surface on which it is applied. The active ingredients of functional cosmetics can be of mineral origin or extracted from the vegetable kingdom (where we find oils and butters) and from the animal kingdom where we find honey, pollen and propolis.

The cosmetic action of functional substances

Functional substances possess different cosmetic actions and each of them is aimed at performing a function and acting for the improvement of the skin. Here are some of them:

  • action bronzer, that is able to accelerate the melanin synthesis process, favoring a rapid and intense tan;
  • action abrasive, which reduces the roughness of the skin and acts mechanically on the epidermis, eliminating dead cells;
  • action acidifier, maintains or restores the physiological acidity of the skin, protecting the natural hydro-lipid mantle;
  • action softener and emollient, which thanks to the presence of hydrophilic substances limits the drying of the skin and the consequent desquamation;
  • action wrinkle, which keeps the skin smooth by preventing and reducing the onset of wrinkles;
  • action anti-solar, which absorbs part of the ultra violet radiation (UVA-UVE), protecting the skin from prolonged sun exposure that causes erythema and skin aging;
  • action softening, which reduces irritations of various kinds;
  • action anti-sweat, which locally decreases the extent of sweating;
  • action decorative, aimed at face make-up;
  • action deodorant, which prevents and inhibits the degradation of sebaceous and sweat secretions, preventing the formation of unpleasant odors;
  • action depilating, to temporarily remove unwanted hair;
  • action moisturizing, able to bring the natural principles present in the skin to the stratum corneum, favoring the maintenance of the optimal moisture content of the epidermal cells;
  • action protective, which protects the epidermis from damage caused by environmental factors;
  • action lightening: gives hair a lighter appearance or improves the appearance of pigment spots on the skin;
  • action sebum-regulating, which normalizes the skin in case of excessive sebum production;
  • action invigorating, which gives tone and firmness to the epidermis.

Decorative cosmetics: because it differs from the functional one

functional cosmeticsDecorative cosmetics. Source: Pinterest @ thefashionspot

There decorative cosmetics is that branch of cosmetics that uses products aimed at beautifying and decorating the face, such as make-up. Through specific techniques, decorative cosmetics helps to cover skin defects and imperfections, enhancing eyes, lips, face and complexion.

Make-up carries out a corrective action through the momentary application of products designed ad hoc to meet different needs. Homogenize the skin tone using the foundation, illuminate the eyes thanks to the eyeshadow, thicken the lashes through the mascara, are just some of the functions performed by decorative cosmetics which, unlike functional cosmetics, do not correct or prevent skin blemishes and defects.


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