Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
Category: Health. Last updated June 20, 2023.« Back to Themes
Hair dye, shampoo, lipstick, eye shadow, perfume, and moisturizers… These are all products made possible through the power of chemistry. Learn more about the science of how they’re made and used.
- Acne: Myths and Truths from the American Academy of Dermatology Association
This game is a spin on the traditional version of two truths and a lie.
- Skin Care Quiz: What’s Your Skin Type? from Healthline
A science-backed skin quiz to help you figure out exactly what your unique skin is asking for.
- Science in Schools: Cosmetics from the British Council
Investigate links between science and society while examining cosmetic products.
- Giant Toothpaste from AACT
Observe the production of giant toothpaste using simpler materials than those that are often used in the traditional Elephant’s toothpaste demonstration.
- Diffusion of Particles from AACT
Experience diffusion and model the process of diffusion of perfume or another chosen scent, like microwave popcorn in a room filled with still air.
- Chemicals, Chromatography and Crime! from AACT
First determine if the victim was poisoned through a solubility and crystallization test on an unknown powder. Then, attempt to identify the culprit by using paper chromatography to analyze the lipstick from the potential criminals.
- Investigating Hydrogels in Nappies [Diapers] and Hair Gel from Royal Society of Chemistry
Investigate hydrogels as polymeric smart materials in this series of activities using nappies and cheap hair gel.
- Soap or Fuel from AACT
Transform vegetable oil into a soft soap and into biodiesel fuel. These two reactions emphasize that the products of a chemical reaction are under the control of the chemist.
- Bath Bomb Chemistry from AACT
Investigate how to make a scented, effervescent bath bomb and explore the chemistry needed to create them.
- Scintillating Scents: The Science of Making Perfumes from Science Buddies
Perfumes and the art of making perfume is an art that is thousands of years old. Learn more about one way to make perfume, called enfleurage, and experiment with it to extract your own floral scents.
- Make Your Own Shampoo and Test How it Performs from Science Buddies
Put a variety of shampoos to the test, including your own homemade organic shampoo recipes. Do you think these will perform better than a store-bought product?
- The Rise of Cosmetic Chemists
Recently, scientists making beauty products have taken over TikTok feeds, going viral for busting ingredients myths and nabbing their own influencer-level sponsorship deals along the way. But who, exactly, are these people in lab coats?
- The Battle Against Body Odor
from ChemMatters Magazine
To prevent embarrassing body odor, you can invest in clothing infused with odor-busting silver nanoparticles. Before you buy, however, consider important factors to help you decide whether it’s worth it.
- Brush Up on Toothpaste from ChemMatters
How does toothpaste prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth clean? We look at the main ingredients and explain how they work.
- What’s Sunless Tanner? from ChemMatters Magazine
Interested in a faux glow? Here’s a primer on how tanning products work.
- Clearing the Way to Acne-Free Days from ChemMatters
Between 80% and 90% of teens cope with acne. How does acne form, and what types of products work best in removing it?
- How Safe are Hair Dyes from ChemMatters
Changing hair color has become a popular way for people to express themselves. Research, however, suggests that doing it too often is sometimes related to health problems down the line.
- How Perfume Works from How Stuff Works
What’s your perfume preference? Aldehydic? Lactonic? Phenolic? Learn about the chemistry of scenting your skin.
- How Perfumers Walk the Fine Line Between Natural and Synthetic from C&EN
Consumers are looking for natural scents; fragrance firms just want to be more sustainable.
- Careers in the Chemical Sciences: Personal Care Chemistry from ACS
Personal care chemists help populate your store’s shelves with a wide range of health and beauty products. Learn how they do what they do.
- Straighten Your Hair Without Frying It? Engineers Are on the Case from NPR
Too little heat and it doesn’t work. Too much heat and it burns your hair. Science walks the fine line.
- The Chemistry of Lip Balms
from C&EN and Compound Interest
These balms soothe—which chemicals make it happen?
- Cosmetic Chemistry: Compounds in Red Lipstick Compound Interest
Can you get an even redder red on your lips?
- Chemistry of Moisturizers from Compound Interest
Whether you’re suffering from a sunburn in the summer or dry skin in the winter, moisturizers are on hand to help.
- The Chemistry of Henna from Compound Interest
Lawsone plus keratin equals beautiful designs on your skin that can last up to 6 weeks.
How Does Shampoo Work? from ACS Reactions
Thanks to chemistry, the products we use to clean and style our hair have evolved over decades — even centuries. How do hairsprays protect your hair while keeping it flexible and light? What's the deal with sls? How do shampoos work, and why are some people choosing to dump the lather altogether?
How Does Moisturizer Work? from ACS Reactions
Cold weather can mean dry, cracked skin. Many reach for the moisturizer to keep their skin soft, but how do these products actually work?
Chemically Perfect Perfume from Periodic Videos
Using chemicals to make their "perfect perfume", likely not for human consumption.
Lipstick: Ingredients with George Zaidan from National Geographic
Ground-up bugs? Rust? There might be some unexpected ingredients in your lipstick.
How Does Hair Dye Work? from ACS Reactions
Whether you need a disguise to run from the law or are just trying to emulate *NSYNC-era frosted tips, you may need some chemical assistance to put the hue in your do. But in order to understand how today’s hair salon works, the story of hair color really has its roots in the history of modern chemistry.
Does Shaving Cream Do Anything? From ACS Reactions
Whether you rock sideburns or baby-smooth legs, all shavers share one concern –– the threat of razor-sharp metal. But luckily, shaving cream packs the right chemistry to keep us looking good while protecting our sensitive skin. What is this fantastic foam in a can?
How did 80’s Hair Get so Big? From ACS Reactions
The 80s was a decade full of neon leg warmers, power ballads, and big hair. But how did we get that big hair so bad it’s good? A little bit of teasing and a lot of chemistry.
What’s the Deal with Acne? From ACS Reactions
Breakouts are a pain and can happen well into your 40s. While there's no cure to make acne instantly go away, there are a few science-backed tips (beyond using face wash to get rid of oil) you can use to help minimize the number of pimples that pop up.
Why does Toothpaste Make Orange Juice Taste Bad? From ACS Reactions
It’s happened to many of us: Half asleep in the morning, you finish brushing your teeth and reach for your daily glass of orange juice. After taking a big swig, you spit it back out, making a face like you’ve just chewed on a lemon. Turns out, a specific chemical in your toothpaste is responsible for that nasty taste.