The evolution of lipstick


*Corresponding author
University of Toledo, Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Toledo, USA


Today, lipstick is part of culture and fashion; the practice of colouring the lips dates back to prehistory. Lipstick has been used for thousands of years, with varying contextual and symbolic applications. Early formulas consisted of ingredients found in nature, such as gems, crushed insects, and vegetable oils and butters, along with ingredients that had negative health effects. Despite the dynamic life of this cosmetic product, the actual formulation of lipstick did not see significant changes until recent decades. Products used today are highly advanced in terms of composition, performance, safety, and packaging, compared to their prehistoric ancestors, and the industry continues to pave the way for future advancements. This article provides a summary of the evolution of lipstick, and it discusses today’s main trends and projections for future innovations.


Lipstick is part of our culture and fashion; it has a major role in satisfying personal desires for self-improvement, self-adornment and grooming for one’s sense of well-being and for the general attention or attraction of others (1). The first lipstick was created thousands of years ago. The purposes of its application in the early ages included beautification, maintenance of a young appearance, and preparation for religious rituals (2). Although many of the ingredients used in early lipstick formulations were highly poisonous, lipstick was very popular in Egypt, the Middle East and Asia. However, when cosmetics started to spread into Europe, there was resistance in some cultures. Colour cosmetics, including lipstick, were considered extravagant, abhorrent and unnecessary by many Western cultures. There were countries in which the use of cosmetics was not allowed, and women were considered beautiful without makeup. With the development of cinema, photography and television, the popularity of makeup, including lipstick, increased among all classes in Western culture.

Today, the cosmetic indu ...