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Water is used in the formulation of virtually every type of cosmetic and personal care product. It can be found in lotions, creams, bath products, cleansing products, deodorants, makeup, moisturizers, oral hygiene products, personal cleanliness products, skin care products, shampoo, hair conditioners, shaving products, and suntan products.
Water is primarily used as a solvent in cosmetics and personal care products in which it dissolves many of the ingredients that impart skin benefits, such as conditioning agents and cleansing agents. Water also forms emulsions in which the oil and water components of the product are combined to form creams and lotions. These are sometimes referred to as oil-in-water emulsions or as water-in-oil depending on the ratios of the oil phase and water phase.
Only Water that is free of toxins, pollutants and microbes is used in the formulation of cosmetics and personal care products. Water used for this purpose is also referred to as distilled water, purified water and aqua, the name used in the European Union.
The quality of water used in the production of cosmetics and personal care products, called process water, is monitored according to Good Manufacturing Practices outlined in FDA's Guidance on Cosmetic Manufacturing Practice Guidelines, and in international guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practices known as ISO 22716. Some companies may also comply with the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) standards for the purity of water used in drugs, devices and diagnostics published in the Purified Water monograph. USP Purified Water is prepared from water complying with the regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with respect to drinking water. It contains no intentionally added substances.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) information sheet on Water for Pharmaceutical Use
Search the Code of Federal Regulations
EU Cosmetics Inventory
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