The chemistry of lipstick


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The chemistry of lipstick

  1. 1. Monsor 1The Chemistry of LipstickKatie Monsor29 April 2013
  2. 2. Monsor 2SummaryFrom Egyptians, to movie stars and pop singers, and now to everyone lipstick has beenan invention that has lasted over centuries. Women have been using lip-coloring forenhancement and beauty assistance. Cosmetic chemists have been working hard in trying toimprove lip-coloring. They must produce a lipstick that costumers will be satisfied with. Thismeans chemists have many requirements to meet. They have to consider the melting, sweating,and long-lasting stay of lipstick.Lipstick must be insoluble in water to create the perfect texture. The insolubility willkeep the lipstick from smearing (Lipstick 9). Lipstick is usually made by mixing a dye that iswater-insoluble and an oil. Chemists usually use castor oil combined with beeswax. Thistechnique will help create a strong lipstick that will easily spread (Good Face). Some chemistsuse dyes that mix with the amino acids in your skin to create the accurate dye. Some tubes oflipstick seem to be a different color than you want, but when you put it on the correct colorshows up (Good Face).ChemistryIn lipstick, there are three different processes these chemists have to add in to theequation. These processes are the foundation, coloring agents, and additives. Oil is the mostcommon used liquid in lip-coloring since it does not mix with water. Castor oil is generally themain oil used in lipstick. This is because there is no odor and there is no taste. Also, castor oil isthick and will last longer (Lipstick 9).If it is hot outside your chap stick melts and may spill out of the container. Cosmeticchemists have taken that into perspective while creating lipstick. In order for lipstick to no melt
  3. 3. Monsor 3they use Carnauba wax. This is found in Brazilian palm trees and has a melting point of 85degrees Celsius. This helps avoid the lipstick from melting (Lipstick 10).Waxes tend to be a sticky substance which is not pleasant when applied to lips. Chemistscreated an idea that will improve the stickiness of waxes. They mix the waxes with isopropylmyristate and other esters. These esters mix with the waxes and oils well because they are slick(Lipstick 10).To come up with the correct colors chemists add many different dyes together. However,many dyes that are essential are soluble in water. This would be a problem with the saliva issueand also the mixing together of the oils. The best way for the chemists to create a perfect dye isto make the dye insoluble in oil and water (Lipstick 10).“A water-soluble dye can become a satisfactory lipstick ingredient if it is combined withcertain other compounds that are colorless and insoluble. The resulting combination is called alake and insoluble in both oil and water” (Lipstick 10). The most common compound the dyesare combined with is metal oxides. The dyes become a deep red when they are mixed with theamino acids in our lips (Chemical Composition). Other dyes are mixed with white aluminumoxide which has the same effect. There are more dyes that are dissolved in water. Then they aremixed with solutions that create a precipitate. The equation for this process is:Soluble Dye + Precipitate→Insoluble LakeThe insoluble lake is then mixed with castor oil. After being ground and mixed for a longtime the lake and castor oil mixture forms a suspension which is then combined with the othermany ingredients in the lipstick. With the lake method the color of the lipstick lasts much longerand is a much deeper, stronger color (Lipstick 11).
  4. 4. Monsor 4ImplicationsLearning about the chemistry of lipstick is only one of the many ways we can seechemistry in everyday life. Students usually say that most of what they learn in school will notapply to their life in the future. This research paper has showed me that that statement is false.Chemistry is found in so many things in everyday life. I had no idea that chemistry was found inthe process of lipstick. This paper has helped me become interested in wanting to discover wherechemistry will show up in other things. I think everyone should be interested in learning how toamply what we have learned in school to what we do and use outside of school.
  5. 5. Monsor 5Works CitedNova. "Putting on a Good Face." Australian Academy of Science. Nova, n.d. Web. 2010.<>.Senese, Fred. "What is the chemical composition of lipstick?" Chemistry of Everyday Life: n.pag. General Chemistry Online. Web. 2010.<>.Sibley, Lynn. "Lipstick" ["Agyptishes Museum and Papyrussamming"]. Agyptishes Museum andPapyrussamming: 8-11. Print.