For Key Stage 3 Science and Key Stage 4 D&T and Business Studies students

Bare Facts explores the application of science, design, manufacturing and marketing to the real world of the cosmetics and toiletry industry.

The site is intended for use at:

Key Stage 3
  • Science.
Key Stage 4
  • Design and Technology (Graphics Products) GCSE
  • Design and Technology (Resistant Materials) GCSE
  • Business Studies GCSE.

Bare Facts is also relevant for areas of:

  • Hair and Beauty Studies BTEC
  • Health and Social Care BTEC
  • Engineering GCSE
  • Applied Science GCSE
  • Media Studies GCSE
  • Manufacturing GCSE.

In the Key Stage 3 Science section we look at the science behind some popular cosmetics and toiletry products – why we use them, what they are made from, and how they work.

In the Key Stage 4 Design and Technology (Graphics Products/ Resistant Materials) GCSE Business Studies section we encourage students to consider the design, manufacture and marketing of cosmetic products and toiletries.

Bare Facts enables students to work at their own pace, either online or by downloading information from the site. There are downloadable fact sheets and worksheets for use in class, for revision or as homework.

For each section, we have also included some fun practical activities that can be performed in the classroom. These are also ideal for a science club, science fairs or open days.

The recipes in the classroom activities provide hands-on learning and experience of making cosmetic products.

These recipes are not representative of commercially-made products. Those must comply with stringent quality control requirements and mostly will contain preservatives or display a ‘best before’ date.

Please ensure students do not ingest the ingredients and ask that all mixes are disposed of after the lesson. They should not be kept for more than 24 hours or taken home for personal use.

Ask students to perform their own risk assessment on the activity sessions rather than providing them with risk information.


Your students may ask you about animal testing of cosmetics. Reassure them that cosmetics sold in Europe are not tested on animals. Students can research the EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics using the following useful pages: