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In America was estimated that $1,780 is the number that an average woman spends on lipstick during her life. Putting color on your lips apparently comes at a price and it is $1,780. Making lipstick involves pigment milling, melting of waxes, mixing of ingredients like oils and alcohol, molding and last but not least filling and packaging. Besides ingredients, what lipstick making equipment do you need?

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Formulation of lipstick for color, fragrance, and moisturizing effect

Each ingredient that makes up the lipstick has a job to do. Waxes, the base for its solid structure, are mixed with oils that help the lipstick last longer – did you know that oils are actually the ingredient that differentiates lipstick from crayons?

Then it is made of preservatives and antioxidants that work to inhibit oxidation and prolong its shelf life and emollients provide that moisturizing effect when applied to the lips.

Lipstick making equipment to get the right mixture

When making lipstick, ingredients are melted in separate vessels – one for waxes, one for oils, and one for the solvents. Lipstick making equipment involves first a roll mill to create the pigment mass by grinding together oils and solvents with the combination of pigments of your choice. To mix the pigment mass with the base wax you can use a steam-jacketed kettle with an agitator to remove air bubbles until you get uniform color and texture.

Once preservatives and fragrances are added, you can shape the lipstick mixture in a vertical mold at a temperature of 35 °C. After being cooled down and taken out of the mold, sticks are flamed to give the lipstick a shiny appearance before capping it and ready for packaging. Think that the cylindrical shape has existed since 1915 since Maurice Levy invented the cylindrical container while in 1923, the first swivel-up tube was patented.

Stability in organic and inorganic pigments

It’s not what you think. In this case, the term organic refers to the chemical structure of pigments and not any positive meaning related to healthy food or products. Organic pigment are based on carbon chains and carbon rings, so it means that they contain carbon atoms. They are made up of dyes and lakes. These carbon-based particles are smaller than those of inorganic pigments. This makes them more unstable and they can move around on the skin. Inorganic pigments are not carbon-based and are made up of mineral compounds such as iron oxides or titanium dioxide. The difference in the particle size is also the reason why most organic pigments are considered transparent and most inorganic pigments are considered opaque.

Inorganic pigments offer better UV protection and coverage due to their larger particle sizes. To help with stability, an inorganic pigment is usually added to the organic formulation. Pigments banned from lipstick and cosmetics, in general, are very different across the countries. For example, the EU has banned 1328 chemicals while US only 30. Several coal tar dyes are prohibited in Europe and also in Canada, but the US still allows the use of coal tar in cosmetic products and lipstick is one of them.

Where does the red lipstick color come from? Bugs. Say what?

We can’t deny that red lipstick will always be the color, even with the millions of available shades. It might surprise you that back in the 19th century, the red color used in lipstick was made from carmine dye. This natural red dye is extracted from a cochineal insect that produces carminic acid, the bright red color used in lipstick. Of course, to get the color out of the bug, you have to kill the insect, the pregnant female precisely. To produce 500g of dye, the number of cochineals you need is 70,000. This natural dye has recently reappeared as a natural alternative to other carcinogenic synthetic red dyes and is considered FDA-approved for safe use. In lipsticks that use this natural dye, it is labeled in the ingredients as “cochineal extract” or “natural red 4”.

Processing steps involved in lipstick making

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