Food-grade or Cosmetic-grade? – The Truth Behind Cosmetic Products

Women usually use cosmetic products to present themselves better. But, have you tried reading the ingredients on your lipstick or other cosmetic products? These products touch our lips. Are you not worried about whether they are safe to ingest?

Well, we did not mean eating cosmetic products though. But, there are moments when we accidentally taste the makeup. Thus, we should be aware of the ingredients of cosmetic products.

Purity Grades of Lipsticks and Cosmetic Products

The lipsticks and cosmetic products that we use have purity standards to determine the quality of their chemical ingredients. The standards are set by the American Society of the International Association for Testing and Materials, or the American Chemical Society. 

Purity grades used in cosmetic products can be ungraded, food-grade, or other technical grades. However, among the purity grades used primarily in chemical analysis and physical testing, there is no such thing as cosmetic grade.

Since cosmetic grade is not found in the purity grade for making lipstick and cosmetic products, let us focus on food-grade purity.  Ingredients with food-grade purity have met the stability specifications and the highest limit of impurity indicated in the Food Chemicals Codex. Food-grade chemicals or ingredients are suitable for cosmetic products. 

Truth About Food-Grade Ingredients 

Cosmetic products are generally used to cleanse, shape, or maintain the appearance and odor of our skin. With this, the regulations for cosmetic ingredients should not be the standard in producing products for ingestion. However, foods and cosmetics have a relevant relationship. 

It is actually an advantage for manufacturers who distributes food-grade cosmetic products. These manufacturers inspire a new breed of lipstick and cosmetic products. Most people put great effort into ensuring what they ingest or put in their body is healthy, clean, and free from any radicals.

Fortunately, there are food-grade cosmetic products that emphasize and ensure the consumers what they apply to their skin are of quality and safety. Yes, it is possible to create food-grade cosmetics and lipsticks with lipstick making machines.

Food-grade cosmetics came from the idea of the organic movement. These cosmetic products have encouraged people to take care of themselves and the environment more. 

Relationship Between Food and Cosmetics

Is it possible to cultivate food on cosmetics? There are skincare and cosmetic products that are made from all-natural ingredients. Yes, it has made possible to use edible flowers and herbs to skincare and cosmetic products. These products are not necessarily for ingestion, but it is defined to be safe enough for consumption. 

Appropriate Preservatives

May it be food or cosmetic products, they need preservatives to maintain their shelf life. Food products have specific preservatives, but some of them are not suitable for cosmetic products. However, there are still food-grade cosmetic preservatives available. The pH level in preserving cosmetic products must be regulated at 5.5 pH or above.

Although some of the cosmetic products may not use food-grade preservatives, it does not mean it is unsafe. Preservatives are generally considered suitable and safe when used within a regulated limit. 

Other Food-Grade Ingredients

Not all food-grade ingredients are natural, some synthetic cosmetic chemicals are still edible. Some of the common synthetic ingredients that can be ingested are propylene glycol, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). These ingredients are considered food-grade and safe for personal care and food use.

Other common synthetic ingredients that you may see in lipsticks and lip balms are petroleum jelly and microcrystalline wax. Moreover, synthetic colorants are also authorized for use in food and cosmetic products.

Some Exceptions in Food-Grade Ingredients

Not all food ingredients are great to use for cosmetic products. Unfortunately, some all-natural ingredients do not make sense when you apply it to the skin. 


  • Water: It may be helpful to keep our body hydrated, but it does not do much when applied to our skin. Water is an important solvent during skincare, but it does not provide the same hydrating benefits as it is when ingested.
  • Spicy foods: Avoid mixing spicy foods with cosmetic products, especially on lip balms or lipsticks. Spicy foods are potential irritants that may lead to an inflammatory reaction. 
  • Essential oils: Essential oils may be edible and common to enhance flavor foods. But, using essential oils in cosmetic products may cause irritation. The worst-case scenario is it will make the skin hypersensitive to UV light which an exposed skin may get blisters.


Some food-grade ingredients or food ingredients are an exemption. If you are making your own cosmetic products, it is better to research its effects on our skin.


The use of food-grade cosmetic products has gradually become a global phenomenon. It has reached an unfathomable level of cosmetic craze. There are several benefits when using food-grade cosmetics, it aims not to harm the environment and cultivate sustainable ingredients. Nonetheless, it is best to beautifully present ourselves, yet also promote a healthy and sustainable environment.

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