Though there are a large number of differing cosmetics used for a variety of different purposes, all cosmetics are typically intended to be applied externally. These products can be applied to the face (on the skin, lips, eyebrows and eyes), to the body (on the skin, in particular the hands and nails), and to the hair. These products may be intended for use as skincare, personal care or to alter the appearance, with the subset of cosmetics known as makeup primarily referring to products containing colour pigments intended for the purpose of altering the wearer's appearance; some manufacturers will distinguish only between "decorative" cosmetics intended to alter the appearance and "care" cosmetics designed for skincare and personal care.
Cleansing is a standard step in skin care routines. Skin cleansing includes some or all of these steps or cosmetics:
In addition to brushes, a makeup sponge is a popular applicator. Makeup sponges can be used to apply foundation, blend concealer, and apply powder or highlighter.
Porous minerals is a subcategory of mineral makeup ingredients where the porosity of the mineral particles enables extraordinary absorption capacity compared to non-porous mineral materials. This feature improves sebum control, long-lasting mattifying effect or gives a matte texture when used in makeup. Porous minerals can also act as carriers, absorbing a wide range of substances into its porous network.
Most Brazilian regulations are optimized, harmonized, or adapted in order to be applicable and extended to the entire Mercosur economic zone.
In July 2012, since microbial contamination is one of the greatest concerns regarding the quality of cosmetic products, the ISO has introduced a new standard for evaluating the antimicrobial protection of a cosmetic product by preservation efficacy testing and microbiological risk assessment.