Personal Care Industry Summary

Personal care products include those manufactured for personal hygiene as well as those for beautification. Beauty care products are marketed to attract our senses of smell, taste, and sight; many consumers are drawn to products with fragrant aromas or enticing colors. Personal hygiene products, on the other hand, generally serve a purpose and consumers expect them to reduce odor, clean or disinfect, or gently abrade.The personal care product supplier Bell Chem has an extensive inventory of cosmetic ingredients for the personal care industry, such as emulsifiers, cleansers, conditioners, and active ingredients.

Personal care products have been around for almost as long as humans have roamed Earth. Ancient Egyptian men and women used kohl to darken their eyelids. Chinese men and women stained their fingernails as far back as 3000 B.C. as a means to announce their social standing. Lastly, early Greek women lightened their skin with poisonous lead carbonate. Indigenous tribes have used ground rocks, clay, and minerals to create body paints in designs ranging from simple to elaborate throughout their histories.

Today, billions of dollars are spent worldwide to create, manufacture, and purchase personal care products. While past marketing promotions were aimed primarily at women, today’s men have a much greater market share, and the number of goods for the aging population of Baby Boomers has increased sharply.

While personal care products contain many of the same basic ingredients – water, emulsifiers, thickeners, emollients, pH stabilizers, fragrances, and preservatives – a smattering of esoteric ingredients can chemically alter a product, changing it from shampoo to a tube of toothpaste. In fact, approximately 12,500 chemical ingredients are marketed in the United States specifically to manufacture personal care products. Most of these products contain 15-50 ingredients in varied combinations. Since consumers use from 9-15 personal care products daily, this leads to 135-750 separate elements being applied daily per person. Many ingredients may be found naturally occurring; however, it is more cost effective to use manufactured products.

The common additives used in the personal care industry include the following:

  • Emulsifiers: To keep products homogenized, emulsifiers such as polysorbates, soy lecithin, magnesium stearate, and glycerol monostearate are used to break water bonds and mix products evenly.

  • Thickeners: Many common foods are more palatable when thickened; therefore, guar, locust, trag, CMC, and xanthan gum; corn starch; and collagen can transform a liquid into a more viscous form.

  • Emollients: Moisture quickly dissipates from the surface of the skin, even when protective lotions are applied. Emollients such as white mineral oil, lanolin, paraffin wax, zinc oxide, and a variety of plant oils including olive, coconut, canola, almond, oat, and peppermint act to retain water and preserve softer, smoother skin.

  • pH stabilizers: Skin has a normal pH of around 4.7, which is acidic. Many products work because they differ from the skin’s pH; if the product’s pH were neutralized, the product would not function as efficiently. Therefore, pH stabilizers such as citric acid, oleic acid, and phosphoric acid keep the pH at a more effective level.

  • Fragrances: Most consumers purchase personal care products by reading the label, then smelling the product. The product with the preferred odor in their category is purchased. Fragrances such as botanical extracts, citric acid, lemon oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus enhance product appeal.  

  • Preservatives: Shelf life is crucial for a product. Preservatives such as citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and Vitamin E prevent spoilage and elongate the opportunity to sell the product.

Call Bell Chem today at 407-339-2355 (BELL) to ask about any of our line of personal care industry products. From sun care to fragrances and oils, Bell Chem can provide your business with the chemicals and products necessary to create the perfect product. Your personal care product supplier in Florida, Bell Chem, can ship products quickly and economically. Read our blogs to learn about many of our personal care products and more. If you do not see the grade or form of a product you desire, contact us.