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What is makeup made of?

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Quick Answer

The most common ingredients in makeup are water, oil, wax, alcohol, table salt, pigment, thickener and absorbent powder, such as alumina, silica, cornstarch or talc. Mineral powder makeup is made from pure crushed minerals plus natural substances, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

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Full Answer

Mineral makeup benefits people with rosacea and pigmentation problems. Zinc oxide helps reduce redness and calms skin irritation. Lipstick textures have evolved over the years, but most are made from wax, oil, alcohol and colored pigment. Mascara recipes use carbon for black and iron oxide for brown. Foundations, blushes and powders include various organic products.

Makeup bases designed for dry skin are made up of moisturizing agents, such as glyceride and squalane, along with a variety of oils, such as castor, jojoba, avocado, sesame and lanolin. Organic and inorganic pigments are used to create thousands of colors and shades formulated to complement individual skin types. Carmine, one of the most well-known pigments, is a secretion from cochineal insects found in South America, Africa and Europe.

Other interesting ingredients, such as egg whites, pepper spray, shark liver oil, dead algae and fish scales, are used in a variety of beauty and hygiene products, including shampoos, deodorants, hair gels and sprays, shaving creams, sunscreens, toothpastes, body washes, and bubble bath.

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