Exposure data for personal care products: hairspray, spray perfume, liquid foundation, shampoo, body wash, and solid antiperspirant

Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Dec;44(12):2008-18. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2006.06.029. Epub 2006 Jul 18.


Reliable exposure information for cosmetic and other personal care products and ingredients is needed in order to conduct safety assessments. Essential information includes both the amount of product applied, and the frequency of use. To obtain current data, studies to assess consumer use practices were undertaken. Six widely used personal care product types were included in the studies. Five of the products were cosmetics (spray perfume, hairspray, liquid foundation, shampoo, body wash) and one product was a cosmetic/over-the-counter drug product (solid antiperspirant). Three hundred and sixty women, ages 19-65 years, who regularly use the products of interest, were recruited at 10 different geographical locations within the US. The number of recruits was chosen to ensure a minimum of three hundred completed responses per product type. Subjects were provided with a new container of the brand of product they normally use and kept diaries and recorded detailed daily usage information over a two week period. Products were weighed at the start and completion of the study in order to determine the total amount of product used. Statistical analyses of the data were conducted to derive summary distributions of use patterns. The geometric mean and median usage per application, respectively, for the six product types were: spray perfume, 0.33 g and 0.23 g; hairspray, 2.58 g and 1.83 g (aerosol); 3.64 g and 2.66 g (pump); liquid foundation, 0.54 g and 0.36 g; shampoo, 11.76 g and 9.56 g; body wash, 11.3g and 9.5 g; and solid antiperspirant, 0.61 g and 0.45 g. The mean and median usage per day for the six product types were: spray perfume, 0.53 g and 0.34 g; hairspray, 3.57 g and 2.71 g (aerosol); 5.18 g and 3.74 g (pump); liquid foundation, 0.67 g and 0.45 g; shampoo, 12.80 g and 10.75 g; body wash, 14.5 g and 12.9 g; and solid antiperspirant, 0.79 g and 0.59 g. The mean number of applications per day for spray perfume, hairspray, liquid foundation, shampoo, body wash, and solid antiperspirant was 1.67, 1.49 (aerosol) and 1.51 (pump), 1.24, 1.11, 1.37, and 1.3, respectively. This study provides current exposure information for commonly used products which will be useful for risk assessment purposes.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Cosmetics / administration & dosage*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin Absorption
  • United States


  • Cosmetics