Lipstick and face cream are widely used leave-on cosmetic products, and their continued contact on the skin and mucosa results in greater opportunity for absorption into the skin. Since cosmetic products are composed of chemicals, use of these products results in exposure to chemicals. Fortunately, the skin has a protective barrier but some product components may penetrate this barrier. For this reason, it is important to evaluate the exposure degree of cosmetic products, to know the safety as well as intrinsic hazard of their components.
Data on factors such as exposure conditions, the formulation or vehicle, and characteristics of the skin, which influence the percutaneous absorption of chemicals and exposure of consumer products, was published in 1993 by the European Center for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals,1 and in 1997 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).2 Further, studies regarding the exposure degree of cosmetic products have been made by Loretz et al.,3–5 for U.S. consumers, and by Hall et al.,6 for European consumers, but in Korea, no attempt had been made until now to establish the exposure degree of cosmetic products.