What are the different cosmetic product forms?

And what are they best used for? Our summary table can help you pick the best product form for each type of application.

Balm – lips

A balm specifically for use on the lips – from a soft, semi-solid consistency through to stick like structure, the choice is yours, just use more consistency factors to increase the ‘hardness’

Balm – body

A balm specifically for use on the body (not lips) - from a soft, semi-solid consistency through to stick like structure, the choice is yours, just use more consistency factors to increase the ‘hardness’

Body wash (foaming)

A foaming product for cleansing the skin of the body. Wash off shortly after application and massaging onto the skin.

Body scrub (foaming)

A foaming, exfoliating scrub product for the body. Wash off shortly after applying and massaging onto the skin.

Clay/charcoal mask

A mask product, containing clay or charcoal, for purifying the skin. Apply to face or body, leave on for approx. 15 minutes then wash off thoroughly.

Conditioner

Apply to the hair after shampooing to condition the hair and leave it feeling soft and detangled. Leave on 1-5 minutes then wash off thoroughly.

Crème cleanser

A gentle cleanser ideal for sensitive and dry skin types, apply to the face, massage on to clean and then wash off thoroughly.

Crème cleanser (scrub)

A gentle cleanser ideal for sensitive and dry skin types with exfoliating scrub particles. Apply to the face, massage on to clean and then wash off thoroughly. 

Face wash (foaming)

Deeper foaming cleansing for normal and oily skin types for gentle yet effective cleaning. Massage on, and then wash off thoroughly.

Face scrub (foaming)

Deeper foaming cleansing for normal and oily skin types with exfoliating scrub particles. Massage on, and then wash off thoroughly.

Gel

A clear leave on product for light, non-greasy hydration. Can be used on face or body.

Mist/spray

A product sprayed onto the skin to provide light hydration throughout the day.

O/W body butter

Very viscous and emollient cream-like product for deep hydration and moisturisation. Ideal for all over body use.

O/W cream

Viscous cream to hydrate normal to dry skin types. Ideal for face and body use.

O/W lotion

A lighter lotion product to provide good hydration to the body, it spreads well and easily delivers moisture to arms and legs.

Serum (gel like)

More moisturising and hydrating than a gel but lighter than a lotion and cream. Serums are useful to provide actives in a light product form that can be applied before more intensive moisturising creams.

Serum (lotion like)

More moisturising and hydrating than a light serum or gel, it’s still lighter in feeling than a cream. Serums are useful to provide actives in a light product form that can be applied before more intensive moisturising creams.

Shampoo

High foaming and cleansing for the hair. Apply, massage through then rinse off thoroughly.

Toner

Can be used after cleansing to tighten pores and refresh the skin before applying serums or moisturisers.

W/O cream

Extremely rich and hydrating cream product for very dry and mature skin types. Not suited to oily, young or Asian skin types; this product form is ideal for 50+ female Caucasians.

W/O ointment

Extremely rich and viscous, ointments are more cream like than a balm but very balm like. Ideal for intensive care products where an emollient after feel is desired as they can feel a bit greasy.