List of Functions

Name Description
ABRASIVE Removes materials from various body surfaces or aids mechanical tooth cleaning or improves gloss
ABSORBENT Takes up water- and/or oil-soluble dissolved or finely dispersed substances
ANTICAKING Allows free flow of solid particles and thus avoids agglomeration of powdered cosmetics into lumps or hard masses
ANTICORROSIVE Prevents corrosion of the packaging
ANTIDANDRUFF Helps control dandruff
ANTIFOAMING Suppresses foam during manufacturing or reduces the tendency of finished products to generate foam
ANTIMICROBIAL Helps control the growth of micro-organisms on the skin
ANTIOXIDANT Inhibits reactions promoted by oxygen, thus avoiding oxidation and rancidity
ANTIPERSPIRANT Reduces perspiration
ANTIPLAQUE Helps protect against plaque
ANTISEBORRHOEIC Helps control sebum production
ANTISTATIC Reduces static electricity by neutralising electrical charge on a surface
ASTRINGENT Contracts the skin
BINDING Provides cohesion in cosmetics
BLEACHING Lightens the shade of hair or skin
BUFFERING Stabilises the pH of cosmetics
BULKING Reduces bulk density of cosmetics
CHELATING Reacts and forms complexes with metal ions which could affect the stability and/or appearance of cosmetics
CLEANSING Helps to keep the body surface clean
COSMETIC COLORANT Colours cosmetics and/or imparts colour to the skin and/or its appendages. All colours listed are substances on the positive list of colorants (Annex IV of the Cosmetics Directive)
DENATURANT Renders cosmetics unpalatable. Mostly added to cosmetics containing ethyl alcohol
DEODORANT Reduces or masks unpleasant body odours
DEPILATORY Removes unwanted body hair
DETANGLING Reduces or eliminates hair intertwining due to hair surface alteration or damage and, thus, helps combing
EMOLLIENT Softens and smooths the skin
EMULSIFYING Promotes the formation of intimate mixtures of non-miscible liquids by altering the interfacial tension
EMULSION STABILISING Helps the process of emulsification and improves emulsion stability and shelf-life
FILM FORMING Produces, upon application, a continuous film on skin, hair or nails
FLAVOURING Gives flavour to the cosmetic product
FOAM BOOSTING Improves the quality of the foam produced by a system by increasing one or more of the following properties: volume, texture and/or stability
FOAMING Traps numerous small bubbles of air or other gas within a small volume of liquid by modifying the surface tension of the liquid
GEL FORMING Gives the consistency of a gel (a semi-solid preparation with some elasticity) to a liquid preparation
HAIR CONDITIONING Leaves the hair easy to comb, supple, soft and shiny and/or imparts volume, lightness, gloss, etc.
HAIR DYEING Colours hair
HAIR FIXING Permits physical control of hair style
HAIR WAVING OR STRAIGHTENING Modifies the chemical structure of the hair, allowing it to be set in the style required
HUMECTANT Holds and retains moisture
HYDROTROPE Enhances the solubility of substance which is only slightly soluble in water
KERATOLYTIC Helps eliminate the dead cells of the stratum corneum
MASKING Reduces or inhibits the basic odour or taste of the product
MOISTURISING Increases the water content of the skin and helps keep it soft and smooth
NAIL CONDITIONING Improves the cosmetic characteristics of the nail
OPACIFYING Reduces transparency or translucency of cosmetics
ORAL CARE Provides cosmetic effects to the oral cavity, e.g. cleansing, deodorising, protecting
OXIDISING Changes the chemical nature of another substance by adding oxygen or removing hydrogen
PEARLESCENT Imparts a nacreous appearance to cosmetics
PERFUMING Used for perfume and aromatic raw materials (Section II)
PLASTICISER Softens and makes supple another substance that otherwise could not be easily deformed, spread or worked out
PRESERVATIVE Inhibits primarily the development of micro-organisms in cosmetics. All preservatives listed are substances on the positive list of preservatives (Annex VI of the Cosmetics Directive)
PROPELLANT Generates pressure in an aerosol pack, expelling contents when the valve is opened. Some liquefied propellants can act as solvents
REDUCING Changes the chemical nature of another substance by adding hydrogen or removing oxygen
REFATTING Replenishes the lipids of the hair or of the top layers of the skin
REFRESHING Imparts a pleasant freshness to the skin
SKIN CONDITIONING Maintains the skin in good condition
SKIN PROTECTING Helps to avoid harmful effects to the skin from external factors
SMOOTHING Seeks to achieve an even skin surface by decreasing roughness or irregularities
SOLVENT Dissolves other substances
SOOTHING Helps lightening discomfort of the skin or of the scalp
STABILISING Improves ingredients or formulation stability and shelf-life
SURFACTANT Lowers the surface tension of cosmetics as well as aids the even distribution of the product when used
TANNING Darkens the skin with or without exposure to UV
TONIC Produces a feeling of well-being on skin and hair
UV ABSORBER Protects the cosmetic product from the effects of UV-light
UV FILTER Filters certain UV rays in order to protect the skin or the hair from harmful effects of these rays. All UV filters listed are substances on the positive list of UV filters (Annex VII of the Cosmetics Directive)
VISCOSITY CONTROLLING Increases or decreases the viscosity of cosmetics