Exposure data for cosmetic products: facial cleanser, hair conditioner, and eye shadow

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 May;46(5):1516-24. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.12.011. Epub 2007 Dec 23.


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, a study to assess consumer use practices was undertaken. Three widely used types of cosmetic products - facial cleanser, hair conditioner, and eye shadow - were included in the study. Three hundred and sixty women, ages 18-69 years, who regularly use the products of interest, were recruited nationwide within the US. 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 mean and median usage per application, respectively, for the three product types were: facial cleanser, 2.57 g and 2.11 g; hair conditioner, 13.13 g and 10.21 g; and eye shadow, 0.03 g and 0.009 g. The mean and median usage per day for the three product types was: facial cleanser, 4.06 g and 3.25 g; hair conditioner, 13.77 g and 10.62 g; and eye shadow, 0.04 g and 0.010 g. The mean number of applications per day for facial cleanser, hair conditioner, and eye shadow was 1.6, 1.1, and 1.2, respectively. This study provides an estimate of current exposure information for commonly used products which will be useful for risk assessment purposes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cosmetics*
  • Data Collection
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Face
  • Female
  • Hair / anatomy & histology
  • Hair / physiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Soaps*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Cosmetics
  • Soaps