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What do the ingredients in a cosmetic do?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

The functions of the ingredients in a cosmetic are as follows:

  • They moisturize, using humectant and emollient ingredients.
  • They bind, holding other ingredients together.
  • They emulsify, blending oil and water substances together in a
           smooth formula.
  • They thicken or smooth, making a formula richer or able to glide on
           more easily.
  • They preserve, preventing the product from deteriorating, and
           harboring bacteria.
  • They adjust the pH balance, acting as a buffer to stabilize acids and
           bases.
Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.