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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2018 May;28(3):242-250. doi: 10.1038/jes.2017.20.

Socioeconomic factors influencing cosmetic usage patterns.

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Department of Dermatology, Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hwaseong, Korea.
Department of Dermatology, Dankook University Medical Center, Chungnam, Korea.
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Chungnam, Korea.
Department of Mathematics, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Dankook University, Chungnam, Korea.
Department of Dermatology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Despite daily exposure to chemicals in cosmetic products, there are few studies on the exposure levels to cosmetics particularly in Asians. We sought to investigate the usage pattern of cosmetics, including eye makeup products, fragrances, color makeups, and hair and nail care products, in Koreans. An online survey of 1,800 participants (908 males and 892 females, aged 15-59 years) from 5 Metropolitan cities (Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, Daegu, and Busan) in Korea was conducted. For overall types of cosmetics, the proportion of users was 7.1% (range: 0.0-46.3%) in males and 30.7% (range: 1.0-82.8%) in females. The most prevalently used product was perfume (46.3%) in males and lipstick (82.8%) in females. In addition, the mean number of application for overall types of cosmetics was 22.7 (range: 4.6-49.4) times per month in male users and 24.8 (range: 4.2-62.0) in female users. The usage pattern was significantly altered according to demographic and socioeconomic factors, including age group, occupation, and income. This work estimated the prevalences and frequencies of use of a wide collection of cosmetics from a large number of Koreans and found that the usage pattern was significantly associated with demographic and socioeconomic factors.

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