Cosmetology: Production of Cosmetics with Natural Raw Materials and Medicinal Plants

Cosmetology: Production of Cosmetics with Natural Raw Materials and Medicinal Plants
Cosmetology: Production of Cosmetics with Natural Raw Materials and Medicinal Plants

Nowadays we have become increasingly sceptical towards the cosmetic products we use and the chemicals we expose ourselves to. Since flora biodiversity (or biological diversity) on Earth is enormous, a great number of these aromatic and medicinal plants can be used for cosmetic purposes. People have been using natural products since the dawn of human history. Only toward the end of the 19th century, however, have we started to know something about the chemistry of some of these products. With our increasing knowledge of chemistry and related sciences, we have begun to duplicate some of the natural chemicals and at the same time make modifications in these compounds, or sometimes produce completely new ones. Over the past decade, there has been an increasing interest in the use of natural products, particularly in foods, cosmetics, and complementary medicine, especially after the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994. It is hoped that this program will serve as a handy and useful reference to technical and nontechnical members of the cosmetic industries, to teachers and students of corresponding sciences and related fields, and to the general public who want to know more about natural ingredients in cosmetic science.

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Higher education and professionals with relevant interests and work experience and the general public who want to know more about natural ingredients in cosmetic science.. It should be noted that the program requires basic chemistry knowledge. 

The acceptance or rejection of the application is communicated to the prospective applicants individually by email.

The purpose of the programme is to inform the participant about the aromatic and medicinal plants and how these can be used for the manufacture of cosmetic products. The participant comes into contact with the wonderful world of cosmetology. Cosmetology is the science dealing with cosmetic products, cosmetic research and their applications. Some of the questions tackled here: what is a cosmetic product, what are the conditions of such formulation, how is it different from a medicine.

 In the context of this program participants learn that ever since ancient times, humans could easily and economically manufacture natural cosmetics for the wellness and the grooming of the face and the body, using mainly natural raw materials.

Throughout the modules of the program participants learn about the materials and equipment for a successful and safe manufacture of cosmetics.

Participants become acquainted with the endemic aromatic and medicinal plants of Greece as well as with some widely used plants and essential oils. In-depth analysis of the world of aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is also available.

Through the modules of the program the student learns how to obtain essential oils, the main Aromatic Herbs, their beneficial properties as well as how to cultivate herbs.

An extensive reference is made to the way in which we can extract all the beneficial ingredients from aromatic and medicinal plants and how we can incorporate these ingredients in cosmetic products.

Thus, the educational material provided, apart from the theoretical knowledge and definitions, also includes tested recipes and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare cosmetics using these natural ingredients (soaps, face and body creams, shampoos and shower gels, special oils etc).

The program is aimed at higher education graduates, such as Biologists, Agronomists, Doctors, Pharmacists, Physicists, Chemists, Aestheticians, Physiotherapists, Dieticians-Nutritionists, and other professionals from related disciplines with professional experience and to the general public who want to know more about natural ingredients in cosmetic science.

Module 1. Introduction to Cosmetology


In this lesson, after a brief historical review, will be presented the basic definitions of cosmetology; for example, what is a cosmetic product as well as the rules that pertain to it. The basic elements of the anatomy of the human skin and the categories to which it belongs will then be described. A detailed description of the internal moisturising mechanism of the skin as well as of the natural moisturising factor (NMF), which plays a crucial role in the entire process and constitutes an object of study in the cosmetics research, will also be presented. A discussion of concepts relevant to the formation of cosmetic products and to the related role of surfactants will finally follow.


This Lesson includes a brief overview of the main categories of cosmetic products with emphasis on the expected properties of every cosmetic product of a given category as well as on the needs it is called to cater for. A brief history is dedicated to the most important discoveries of each of these categories, which will be covered thoroughly.


Subject of this Lesson is the analysis of products included in the most popular categories of cosmetics. Aim is the presentation of the subcategories into which each one may be subdivided as well as becoming aware of their properties. Furthermore, their application is being discussed as well the results thereupon. 


In this Lesson reference is made to the basic quality controls necessary prior to the trade of cosmetic products, which quality controls differ only slightly from those applied on pharmaceutical products for local application, so that these are safe for use. There will also be presented the most important and most common contaminations from microorganisms as well as their effects on the quality and safety of the final product. Finally there will be presented in detail the microbiological as well as the toxicological tests conducted in order to assure the safe profile of the cosmetic product.

Module 2. Cosmetic Raw Materials


Subject of the present Lesson is the analysis of the basic characteristics of raw materials for cosmetic products, the properties cosmetics should have, and the rationale for choosing a particular type of cosmetic each time. Also, for some of these ingredients are given typical concentration percentages in a cosmetic product.


In this Lesson we learn the main ingredients of a cosmetic product as well as the basic properties of said ingredients. Fields like safety in the use of certain ingredients as well as their natural sources will be investigated further.


Aim of this Lesson is to analyse the two main ingredients present in most cosmetic products, as well as the basic properties of these ingredients. We shall also inquire in areas like safety in the use of some ingredients and in their natural sources.


In this Lesson the participant learns about other ingredients contained in a cosmetic product, such as silicone in shampoos, sunscreen filters in sunscreens, and colourants in make-up products.


Module 3. Medicinal Plants and Essential Oils


Aim of this Lesson is to present in detail the method of Aromatherapy, its effects, and its method of application. Further information regarding the use of essential oils and caution to be taken while using them is also presented.


Aim of this Lesson is to present in detail the main – traditional and innovative – methods employed for the obtainment of essential oils from the herbal material. In both cases we will discuss their methodology, the cases where each one is applicable, and their main advantages and disadvantages.


Aim of this Lesson is to equip students with fundamental knowledge on medicinal plants: the most important and known species as well as the main categories of active ingredients contained in these plants) mostly secondary metabolites. This knowledge aims at a better understanding and explanation of the widespread use of pharmaceutical plants in Cosmetology.


This section analyses in detail the main essential oils used in therapeutic, while their most significant ingredients are examined and presented. Lastly, the main therapeutic actions and applications of essential oils are extensively referred to.


Aim of this Lesson is to equip students with fundamental knowledge on the various methods of cultivating aromatic plants. In addition, to inform them on the essential needs of a specialised cultivation such as that of the most significant aromatic, pharmaceutical, and therapeutic plants grown globally and also in Greece.



In each module the participant will have to take and submit electronically the corresponding tests, according to the timetable given by the instructor. The grades of previous modules are communicated to the student before the closing date of the next module’s test. The grading scale ranges from 0% to 100%. Overall, the grade of each module is calculated as the average of the grades achieved in each lesson. 

Online and distance training learning at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens offers a new way of combining innovative learning and training techniques with interaction with your tutor and fellow trainees from around the world.

The e-learning course is implemented via a user-friendly educational platform adjusted to the Distance Learning Principles. Courses are structured as weekly online meetings; interaction with the course tutor and other trainees takes place in a digital learning environment. The courses are designed to fit around your schedule; you access the course whenever it is convenient for you, however within the given deadlines.

The whole world becomes your classroom as e-learning can be done on laptops, tablets and phones as a very mobile method. Learning can be done on the train, on a plane or even during your trip to Greece!

The educational platform is a portal that offers access to electronic educational material based on modern distance learning technologies. The computer based nature of training means new technology is being introduced all the time to help trainees engage and learn in a tailored way that will meet their needs. E-learners have access to the educational platform with their personal code number in order to browse all relevant training material and interact with their instructors.

Moreover, an online communication system through own personal e-mail account is available in order to make the process easier and more interactive. Trainees can contact directly their tutors or the administration office of the course and share any concerns or anxieties related to the course in order to make the most of their experience.

Every week e-learners are provided with the relevant material, delivered either in the form of video-lectures, text notes and relevant presentations or as a combination of them. The educational material of the course is uploaded gradually, per educational unit. During the course, important info for the smooth conduct of the educational process, such as timetables for the submission of the exercises are announced on the Announcement section of the platform.

For successful completion of the course the e-learner should have fulfill her/his academic obligations, meaning should have submitted all corresponding assessment exercises and have achieved at least an average of 50% grade in the corresponding tests for each module. The score scale ranges from 0 to 100%. Finally, if the total score on one or more lessons of the course does not exceed 50%, trainees can ask for reassessment.

During the course trainees will be attending a training experience designed by academics and lecturers from the National University of Athens as well as from other Universities, Research Institutes and Cultural organizations around Greece.

Interactivity, flexibility and our long tradition guarantee that learning with us offers a successful and rewarding experience. Finally, access to a large variety of material and online resources available in each unit aims to excite your curiosity and guide you in exploring further your favourite topic. Part of the online material can be downloaded providing the chance to quickly refresh your memory after the completion of the course.