Cosmetics are a category of health and beauty products that are used to care for the face and body, or used to accentuate or change a person's appearance. Though cosmetics are commonly thought of as only makeup used to alter a person's appearance, cosmetics can also refer to a number of products used to care for the skin and the body, as well as those used to add fragrance to it. There are a large number of cosmetics available under these various categories, each designed for different purposes and featuring different characteristics.
Cosmetics are constituted from a mixture of chemical compounds derived from either natural sources or synthetically created ones. Cosmetics designed for skin care can be used to cleanse, exfoliate and protect the skin, as well as replenishing it, through the use of cleansers, toners, serums, moisturisers, and balms; cosmetics designed for more general personal care, such as shampoo and body wash, can be used to cleanse the body; cosmetics designed to enhance one's appearance (makeup) can be used to conceal blemishes, enhance one's natural features (such as the eyebrows and eyelashes), add colour to a person's face and, in the case of more extreme forms of makeup used for performances, fashion shows and people in costume, can be used to change the appearance of the face entirely to resemble a different person, creature or object. Cosmetics can also be designed to add fragrance to the body.
Though the legal definition of cosmetics in most countries is broader, in some Western countries, cosmetics are commonly taken to mean only makeup products, such as lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, foundation, blush, highlighter, bronzer, and several other product types. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates cosmetics, defines cosmetics as products "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions". This broad definition includes any material intended for use as an ingredient of a cosmetic product, with the FDA specifically excluding pure soap from this category.