European Commission - Growth

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List of Functions

Name Description
ABRASIVE Removing unwanted tissue or foreign materials from various body surfaces, including mechanical tooth cleaning and/or gloss improvement.
ABSORBENT Taking up water- and/or oil-soluble (dissolved or finely dispersed) substances.
ADHESIVE Tending to unite/bind/bond surfaces together.
ANTI-SEBORRHEIC Preventing or relieving the symptoms of seborrhea and/or seborrheic dermatitis, including dandruff.
ANTI-SEBUM Helping control sebum production.
ANTICAKING Preventing agglomeration of particulate solids into lumps or hard masses (cohesive cake), thus allowing free flow of particles.
ANTICORROSIVE Preventing and or inhibiting the corrosion of the packaging material.
ANTIFOAMING Suppressing foam during manufacturing or reducing the tendency of finished products to generate foam.
ANTIMICROBIAL Preventing and/or slowing down microbial growth.
ANTIOXIDANT Inhibiting reactions promoted by oxygen, thus avoiding oxidation and rancidity.
ANTIPERSPIRANT Reducing perspiration.
ANTIPLAQUE Helping protect against plaque.
ANTISTATIC Preventing and/or reducing static electricity by neutralising electrical charge on surfaces.
ASTRINGENT Contracting and/or tightening the skin.
BINDING Providing adhesive properties during and after compression in cosmetic tablets and/or cakes.
BLEACHING Bleaching or lightening the shade of hair and/or skin.
BUFFERING Stabilising the pH of an aqueous medium in a narrow range even if an acid or base is added. Altering and/or maintaining a cosmetic product's pH at the desired level.
BULKING Non-reactive (chemically inert), solid ingredients that dilute other solids and/or increase the volume of cosmetic products.
CHELATING Forming complexes with metal ions which could affect the stability and/or appearance of cosmetics.
CLEANSING Helping to keep the body surface clean.
COLORANT Exclusively or mainly intended to colour the cosmetic product, the body as a whole or certain parts thereof, by absorption or reflection of visible light; (precursors of oxidative hair colorants shall be deemed colorants). All authorised colorants are substances in the positive list of Annex IV to the Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009.
DENATURANT Rendering cosmetics unpalatable. Mostly added to cosmetics containing ethyl alcohol to make it unsuitable for ingestion.
DEODORANT Reducing and/or eluminating unpleasant odour. Contributing against the formation of malodour on body surfaces.
DEPILATORY Breaking down the the mechanical strength of hair fibers so that they can be removed by mild scraping/rubbing.
DETANGLING Reducing or eliminating hair intertwining due to hair surface alteration or damage and, thus, helping combing.
DISPERSING NON-SURFACTANT Facilitating the dispersion of solids in liquids. They function primarily by coating the solid through the process of adsorption, thus changing the surface characteristic of the suspended solid.
EMULSION STABILISING Helping the process of emulsification and improving emulsion stability and shelf-life.
EPILATING Applied to the skin, and stripped off quickly to remove hair. With epilation the entire hair is removed from the follicle, whereas with depilation the hair is removed only to the surface of the skin.
EXFOLIATING Initiating and/or accelerating removal of the layers of dead skin cells from the skin surface.
EYELASH CONDITIONING Conditioning and enhancing the appearance of eyelashes. Improving the gloss or sheen of eyelashes, coating the eyelash hair to increase the appearance of its diameter and length, or helping with the separation of the eyelash hair.
FILM FORMING Producing (upon application) a continuous film on the skin, hair or nails.
FLAVOURING Imparting taste and/or flavour to a cosmetic product.
FOAMING Traping numerous small bubbles of air or other gas within a small volume of liquid by modifying the surface tension of the liquid.
FRAGRANCE Imparting an odour or taste. Creating a perceivable pleasant smell and/or masking a bad smell.
GEL FORMING Giving the consistency of a gel (a semi-solid preparation with some elasticity) to a liquid preparation.
HAIR CONDITIONING Enhancing the appearance and feel of hair. Leaving the hair easy to comb, supple, soft and shiny and/or imparting volume, lightness, gloss, texture, etc.
HAIR DYEING Imparting color to hair. Hair dyeing preparations may be temporary, semi-permanent, permanent, depending on the length of time the colorant remains on the hair.
HAIR FIXING Permitting physical control of hair style.
HAIR WAVING OR STRAIGHTENING Modifying the chemical structure of the hair, allowing it to be set in the style required (permanent waves or hair straightening).
HUMECTANT Retaining and/or preserving the moisture in a product during use.
KERATOLYTIC Helping to eliminate the dead cells of the stratum corneum.
LIGHT STABILIZER Protecting the cosmetic product from deterioration effects of light.
LYTIC Helping to break down lipids, proteins, and polysaccharides into smaller components, usually by the action of enzymes.
MOISTURISING Increasing the water content of the skin and keeping it soft and smooth.
NAIL CONDITIONING Improving and/or enhancing the cosmetic characteristics of the nail (moisturizing, increasing sheen, reducing brittleness and flaking, etc.).
NAIL SCULPTING Forming a hard structure that resembles the nail plate.
NOT REPORTED No function currently reported
OCCLUSIVE Preventing and/or slowing down the evaporation of water from the skin surface.
OPACIFYING Reducing transparency or translucency of cosmetics.
ORAL CARE Providing cosmetic effects to the oral cavity, e.g. cleansing, deodorising, protecting.
OXIDISING Changing the chemical nature of another ingredient by adding oxygen (or removing hydrogen).
PEARLESCENT Imparting a nacreous appearance to cosmetics.
PERFUMING Used for perfume and aromatic raw materials.
pH ADJUSTERS Controlling the pH of cosmetic products.
PLASTICISER Softening and making supple synthetic polumers that otherwise could not be easily deformed, spread or worked out.
PRESERVATIVE Exclusively or mainly intended to inhibit the development of micro-organisms in the cosmetic product. All authorised preservatives are substances in the positive list of Annex V to the Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009.
PROPELLANT Generating pressure in an aerosol pack, expelling contents when the valve is opened. Some liquefied propellants can act as solvents.
REDUCING Changing the chemical nature of another ingredient by adding hydrogen (or removing oxygen).
REFATTING Replenishing the lipids of the hair or of the top layers of the skin.
REFRESHING Imparting a pleasant freshness to the skin.
SKIN CONDITIONING Maintaining the skin in good condition.
SKIN CONDITIONING - EMOLLIENT Acting as lubricants on the skin surface providing the skin with a soft and smooth appearance.
SKIN CONDITIONING - HUMECTANT Increasing the water content of the top layers of the skin. Humectants are primarily hygroscopic agents drawing moisture from the surrounding air.
SKIN CONDITIONING - MISCELLANEOUS Enhancing the appearance of dry and/or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness.
SKIN CONDITIONING - OCCLUSIVE Retarding the evaporation of water from the skin surface. Occlusives are generally lipids which tend to remain on the skin surface and thus increase the water content of skin.
SKIN PROTECTING Helping to avoid harmful effects to the skin from external factors.
SLIP MODIFIER Enhancing the flow properties of other ingredients without reacting chemically with them.
SMOOTHING Seeking to achieve an even skin surface by decreasing roughness or irregularities.
SOLVENT Dissolving other components of cosmetics. Solvents are usually liquids (aqueous and nonaqueous).
SOOTHING Lightening discomfort of the skin or of the scalp.
SURFACE MODIFIER Applied to other cosmetic components to make them more hydrophilic or hydrophobic, or to modify their physical/chemical properties (in some cases, surface modifiers may form a covalent bond with substrates).
SURFACTANT Helping other ingredients that normally do not mix to dissolve or disperse in one another. Surfactants are also called a surface active agents as they lower the surface tension of water or reduce the interfacial tension between immiscible components.
SURFACTANT - CLEANSING Wetting body surfaces, emulsifying or solubilizing oils, and suspending soil (generally, such ingredients contribute to the foaming and lathering properties of cleansing products).
SURFACTANT - DISPERSING Helping distribute an insoluble solid in a liquid phase.
SURFACTANT - EMULSIFYING Helping suspensions or dispersions of liquids in a second liquid by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified.
SURFACTANT - FOAM BOOSTING Increasing foaming capacity and/or stabilize foams in general.
SURFACTANT - HYDROTROPE Enhancing the water solubility of another surfactant.
SURFACTANT - SOLUBILIZING Helping another component (solute) to dissolve in a medium in which it is not normally soluble.
TANNING Darkening the skin with or without exposure to UV.
TONIC Producing a feeling of well-being on skin and hair.
UV ABSORBER Protecting the cosmetic product from the effects of UV-light.
UV FILTER Exclusively or mainly intended to protect the skin and/or hair against certain UV radiation by absorbing, reflecting or scattering UV radiation. All authorised UV filters are substances in the positive list of Annex VI to the Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009.
VISCOSITY CONTROLLING Increasing or decreasing the viscosity (thickness) of cosmetics.