The 10 types of cosmetic formulas available today are solutions, lotions, creams, ointments, suspensions, powders, gels, tablets, aerosols and sticks. Each formula has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Solutions are used for shampoo and body wash products. Most solutions are homogeneous mixtures of soluble ingredients diluted with water. Lotions are thinner than creams and are used for moisturizing cleansers and facial moisturizers. Creams, also called emulsions, are used for hair conditioners, makeup and hand moisturizers.
Ointments are thick products used for medicated skin products and treatments. They usually contain no water and can be sticky and greasy. Suspensions are usually clear and used for shampoos and sunscreens. Powders are commonly used for cosmetics. They are often made with talc or starch.
Gels are usually clear and used in shaving products and toothpaste. They are typically made with an acrylic polymer or a cellulosic thickener. Tablets are used in makeup and can be made in almost any color. Sticks, such as lipstick and deodorant, are made to be solids that must be applied using a rubbing action. An aerosol is created when a product is placed in a pressurized can and, due to their effect on the environment, are less popular than in years past.