Makeup Science Additional Information

Recommended Web sites:Learn about the chemistry of cosmetics at (Australian Academy of Science).

Health information about cosmetics can be found at (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Roman face cream reproduced

University of Bristol

You can learn more about ancient Egyptian beauty aids at

(Minnesota State University, Mankato).

Information about clothing and cosmetics in ancient Greece can be found at (Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center).

For information about excavations of Roman remains in London, see

(Museum of London).

Information about Roman cosmetics is available at Pointer).

Goho, Alexandra. 2004. Recipe for a Roman cosmetic revealed. Science News 166(Dec. 11):382. Available at

LabZone Projects and Activities:


Active Metals in Cosmetic Products

Making Your Own Perfume

A Perfume’s Changing Aroma

Tips for doing science projects involving cosmetics safely can be found at (Somerset Cosmetic Company).

Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:

[book] The Secret Life of Cosmetics: A Science Experiment Book — Vicki Cobb

Published by HarperCollins, 1985.

A powder that caused lead poisoning, a hairstyle full of small insects, and tiny wax balls that made a person’s face fatter. These are just some of the ways throughout history that people have tried to make themselves more attractive. Today, we’re more careful about what we use on our bodies. Vicki Cobb explores how various modern cosmetic products work. The book includes many experiments for making your own cosmetics and for testing their properties. The cartoon-filled book considers the science and history behind soap and toothpaste, lotions and creams, fragrances, hair treatments, and makeup.

[book] Body Talk: The Straight Facts on Fitness, Nutrition, and Feeling Great About Yourself — Ann Douglas

Published by Maple Tree Press, 2002.

“By the time you start high school you will be exposed to 350,000 television and print advertisements, over 50 percent of which stress being beautiful and thin. Talk about being brainwashed!” This girl-oriented book about body image provides some suggestions on how to fight against the influences of the beauty, fashion, and weight-loss industries, and “dare to be yourself.” Learn about how fashion ideals have changed throughout time, discover the truth about how your body changes during puberty, and find out what’s up with cosmetic surgery and fad diets. Eating disorders, proper nutrition and exercise, and tips for healthier skin are all included, as well as recipes for making your own lip balm and facial masks. With humor and colorful illustrations, this book will encourage you to find your own beauty, inside and out.

Return to article

Power Words

emulsion A mixture of two liquids in which tiny droplets of the first liquid are mixed throughout the second. Oils can be mixed with water to form emulsions like paint.

silicone Any of a class of chemical compounds consisting of long chains of organic radicals that are attached to silicon and oxygen atoms. Silicones are used to make adhesives, lubricants, and synthetic rubber.

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Return to article