The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar business. People happily spend thousands, even millions, on anti-aging creams or lipsticks to liposuction and facelifts in the never-ending quest to look and feel good. Worldwide, revenue from beauty and personal care products for 2022 amounts to $564.40 billion. People spent over $56 billion that same year on various cosmetic surgeries.

The industry faces numerous challenges, though. The manufacture of many cosmetic products can be dangerous to workers given the toxicity of much of the raw materials. Surgery always carries risks whether regular or cosmetic. And like many industries today, cosmetic companies are under increased scrutiny and pressure by regulators and even customers to be more environmentally-friendly. We’ll be discussing these three issues and how rugged industrial panel PCs and medical grade computers can be part of the solution. 

Containing Contamination in Cosmetic Manufacturing

A huge number of items fall under “cosmetic products.” Some are for use in daily grooming, such as soaps, shampoos, and toothpastes. Others like perfumes and deodorants help users smell nice. And of course there is makeup, which is used to enhance looks.

A cosmetic manufacturer may produce all these products or focus on just a few. Most share similar manufacturing processes:

  • Weighing – employees measure out specific amounts of ingredients
  • Mixing/melting – where the ingredients are mixed together (for powder-based cosmetic products) or melted (for liquid and oil-based ones) 
  • Product testing – to make sure the product has all the right properties like color shade to thickness and pH level.
  • Packaging and labeling – the final product is put into the appropriate container which is then sealed, boxed and labeled for shipping

An R&D lab is located on-site for many companies. There, cosmetic chemists develop future products. They look for chemical reactions among ingredients, concentrations of materials, possible side-effects, and costs.

Contamination is a big concern. Employees in cosmetic manufacturing must be attired in proper protective garb. Standard attire includes sterile gowns, masks, and gloves. Cleanrooms are common in plants. These measures help both prevent contamination of the ingredients and shield employees from the harmful side effects. Depending on the products being produced, employees can expect to be dealing with:

  • Cadmium and chromium – Both have carcinogenic properties. Found in eyeshadow and lip gloss. 
  • Formaldehyde – Can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Used in a variety of products from blush to nail polish. 
  • Phenacetin – Can cause anemia and breast cancer. Found in hair color and women’s depilatories. 

Employees must also deal with nanomaterials. These engineered substances are incredibly tiny, measuring approximately 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of human hair. In the cosmetic industry, they have a variety of purposes from better penetration of the skin by the product (liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles) to increasing shelf life (nanoemulsions). Unfortunately, nanoparticles are easily inhaled where they can settle deep into lung tissue. The nanomaterial titanium dioxide, which is used in the manufacturing of sunscreen, has already been shown to cause cancer in mice

Computers used throughout the cosmetic manufacturing process should be designed in minimizing contamination as much as possible. This includes those used in R&D. Any rugged mini PCs controlling the weighing equipment or mixers, for example, should be fanless. This will prevent the circulation of free-floating ingredients or nanoparticles in the air. A medical tablet should be used because of its antimicrobial properties, when organic matter is one (or more!) of the ingredients used in production. This helps prevent bacteria from getting a foothold in the facility.

Get Best Results from Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic medical clinicians, besides performing invasive cosmetic procedures like the ever popular breast augmentation, also do many minimally invasive ones. Topping that list are botox and filler injections. These are then followed by (non-surgical nose jobs), facial tightening, chemical and body peels, and the use of polydioxanone (PDO) threads as an alternative to a standard facelift

4 Must Have Features for Clean Environment Computer nicely details many of the benefits of medical panel PCs for a plastic surgeon’s office and operating room. Antimicrobial properties infused in the computer’s housing help prevent the growth of bacteria on its surface. A fanless cooling system prevents blowing about harmful germs in the air, while an IP65-rating allows staff to properly clean the machine using hospital-strength cleaners without fear of damaging internal components. 

Cosmetic surgeons should also consider two more features for their PCs. First, they should verify the machines are medical grade. This means it’s IEC 60601-1 certified, which allows it to work with nearby life-sustaining or saving medical devices like an anesthesia machine. The second is to consider investing in high-definition medical grade monitors. These have all the features mentioned earlier plus far greater image resolution and display like 4K. This can be useful especially during more risky surgeries like the Brazilian buttlift. That extra clarity can give surgeons better visibility and control as they nip and tuck their patients to perfection. 

Being Both Beautiful and Sustainable

A major trend in the beauty industry is the rise of highly customer-centric brands. The Internet, especially, has had a big influence as consumers turn to online resources like digital storefronts and influencers. On the positive side, such growth has led to more innovative product breakthroughs, created more jobs, and easier entry by entrepreneurs (especially women). 

This growth has a negative side, namely, its impact on the environment. Consider the following:

  • Worldwide, over 120 billion units of packaging are used each year by the cosmetic industry. This packaging can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. As they do so, any leftover product within spews toxins into the surrounding soil and waterways. 
  • Palm oil is a popular ingredient especially in “natural” cosmetics. It is found in over 70 percent of such products. Unfortunately, it’s so popular that processing of palm oil trees has led to the loss of over 5 percent of the world’s tropical forests.
  • Oxybenzone, which is used in sunscreen, has been shown in labs to be contributing to the bleaching of the coral reefs. 

Cosmetic manufacturers, from the biggest companies to startups, have noticed and acknowledged their role in this lack of sustainability. 

Responses have varied. XO Balm, for example, has developed a multiple purpose product which is composed of few natural ingredients. Packaging has been built around sustainability from the use of a metal tin instead of plastic to wooden spoons to scoop products. Other companies are turning away from natural products to avoid affecting the environment. Instead, they are using biotechnology like the company C16 which aims to mass-produce a sustainable version of the above palm oil in the lab. 

Best Practices for Manufacturers When Going Green provides some guidelines for companies looking to be more sustainable. A cosmetic manufacturer or plastic surgeon’s office could start by verifying the supplier of their computers has a webpage dedicated to sustainability of its products. 

Closing Thoughts

The beauty industry makes billions each year helping customers look and feel good. While doing so, companies face many challenges from protecting the employees manufacturing the products to being more sustainable to help the world. 

Contact an expert at Cybernet if you’re interested in getting more details on any of the above methods for your sector in the beauty industry.Join the conversation and connect with us on this and other relevant topics – Follow us Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.