What are the most common ingredients in makeup?

Reducing imperfections, toning the skin tone or lengthening the eyelashes are some of the benefits of the most common ingredients in makeup. Nevertheless, there are products that work more than others, which is due to their composition.

With the boom that this industry has had, different types of makeup have emerged, from those that contain 100% natural ingredients to those that use chemical substances in their entirety. Likewise, production is currently more regulated, so the risks of suffering a skin condition are less and less.

And although there is a wide variety of cosmetics on the market, basically the most common ingredients in makeup are emulsifiers, preservatives, water, perfume, thickeners, moisturizers and pigments.

Common ingredients in makeup

Let's see, then, which ingredients are the most common in most makeup. The order that we will follow is not linked to the proportion in which they are.


Its main function is to make the product spread easily all over the skin. It also serves as an emulsifier, that is, it allows the other substances in the cosmetic to mix with each other.


This is one of the ingredients in makeup that adds softness and shine to the formula. The most common oils are lanolin and petrolatum. On the natural side we find olive, castor, coconut butter, macadamia oil and shea butter.

It should be noted that, in this regard, oils of natural, ecological or organic origin are those that are taking the most strength in the cosmetic composition. For example, jojoba oil is a greasy ingredient that acts as a moisturizer and cell renewal.

Natural ingredients are gaining strength in the cosmetic industry, to the point of being preferred among customers.


This ingredient allows to hide the aroma of some chemical substances. Nevertheless, It is one of the most allergies and irritations to the skin, which is why many cosmetics that carry the hypoallergenic seal do not have it present.

Fragrances can appear on a cosmetic label under the name isoeugenol, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, or hydroxycitronellal.

Keep reading: The 10 most common skin allergies


Parabens and benzoyl peroxide are chemicals that help preserve makeup ingredients, preventing fungi or bacteria from growing.

Because these products are linked to breast cancer and mimic estrogen, they have been discontinued in several countries. A study published in 2005 in Critical Reviews in Toxicology determined that this component may pose risks to human health if exposure is daily.

Titanium dioxide

It is a natural mineral that absorbs and blocks exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This sunscreen has generated a diverse debate, because the nanoparticles of the ingredient can penetrate the skin deeply.


Beeswax, candellila and carnauba They are used in lipsticks as texturizers. They also work as barrier agents in makeup.

Discover: 6 natural remedies for chapped lips


Hyaluronic acid is one of the most sought after ingredients; This is because it slows down dermal aging and deeply hydrates. To this list is added glycerin, which has the ability to absorb moisture and keep it on the skin.


Tocopherol or vitamin E is a compound that protects the skin from free radicals and it is an antioxidant. For its part, vitamin A or retinol minimizes fine lines, while smoothing the face.

Other essential vitamins are C, which is a powerful antioxidant that rebuilds collagen fibers, and B5, or panthenol, a very useful moisturizer.

Composition of each cosmetic

We already know the list of the most common ingredients in cosmetics, but it remains for us to know how they are usually presented in the different commercial forms. Let's see some.

Makeup bases

Foundations can be cream, liquid or lotion. They are ideal for reducing wrinkles and improving the appearance of the skin.. Its main ingredient is water and silicone compounds, which can also include emollients, vitamins or sunscreens.

The water ones work very well for people with normal or oily complexions, since they contain between 50-60% water. On the other hand, the oil bases contain more oily substance, which makes them ideal for those with dry skin.


As it was mentioned already, wax is the ingredient that gives lipstick its shape and consistency. This product may include alcohol, oil, color pigments, and moisturizers in its formula.

The makeup is made up of natural and artificial elements. Knowing how to identify them is key for people with a tendency to allergies.


The mica or talc gives softness to this cosmetic product. Color, shine, and tints are other key components when creating shadows.


Created based on water, waxes and silicones, the mascara can contain polymers and, in some cases, fibers that cause the lengthening effect. The black or brown color usually comes from iron oxides.

Consumers Guide Ingredient Use in Industry

The composition of each cosmetic product may vary from one brand to another.. To this are added the market trends; the cruelty free to say that it is not tested on animals, makeup that uses raw materials of natural origin or hypoallergenic, which are less likely to cause allergies or irritation.

Some compounds are attracting the attention of consumers more than others. Especially since people demand more quality and healthier ingredients every day.