Document Type : Review Article


1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Environment Health Department Health Faculty, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.

2 Social Determinants of Health (SDH) Research Center, and Department of Environment Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

3 Department of Industrial Engineering, Naghshejahan Higher Education Institute, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Background: Using cosmetics is common in different groups, especially women in Iran. Considering the importance of the usage rate and the possibility of confronting its unsought effects, the cosmetics usage rate by women is studied as the aim of this review.
Methods: This is a non-systematic review study. Data were collected from international databases including Web of Science, Google Scholar, Elsevier, and Pub Med, and local databases including Civilica, Medline Iran Medex, SID, and Scirus, without language and time limitations and by using keywords. In the initial search, 187 articles were retrieved. Then, after omitting the irrelevant and unrelated articles, 51 articles were chosen for the final review.
Results: The highest rate of permanent use of cosmetics is observed in women aged 20-29 year, while the lowest rate belongs to the age group of 50 years and older. Media are very effective in the rate of using cosmetics. The permanent use of cosmetics is related to social, economic, and cultural factors. Using cosmetics causes allergy in 1/3 of women.
Conclusion: Age, economic-social status, education, and social media are effective factors in the use of cosmetics. Enhancing beauty and being seen are the major reasons for using cosmetics among women. Skin allergies are the unsought effects of drug development and cosmetics.


Main Subjects


    1. Bocca B, Pino A, Alimonti A, Forte G. Toxic metals contained in cosmetics: a status report. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2014;68(3):447-67.
    2. Volpe M, Nazzaro M, Coppola R, Rapuano F, Aquino R. Determination and assessments of selected heavy metals in eye shadow cosmetics from China, Italy, and USA. Microchemical Journal. 2012;101:65-9.
    3. Dehghani R, Talaee R, Sehat M, Ghamsari NN, Mesgari L. Surveying the rate of using cosmetics among the Kashan's women. J Biol Today's World. 2017;6:27-32.
    4. Warshaw EM, Buchholz HJ, Belsito DV, Maibach HI, Fowler Jr JF, Rietschel RL, et al. Allergic patch test reactions associated with cosmetics: retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2001-2004. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2009;60(1):23-38.
    5. Antignac E, Nohynek GJ, Re T, Clouzeau J, Toutain H. Safety of botanical ingredients in personal care products/cosmetics. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2011;49(2):324-41.
    6. Grimes PE. Skin and hair cosmetic issues in women of color. Dermatologic clinics. 2000;18(4):659-65.
    7. Babamiri M, Ghasemi D, Zare R, Abasi M. Psychological and sociological factors influencing cosmetics use by female university students. Dermatology & Cosmetic. 2011;2(4).
    8. Kiani M, Mugouei F. Socio-economic factors influencing cosmetic products use by females under 20 years old in Yazdanshahr Najafabad. Dermatology & Cosmetic. 2013;4(1).
    9. Morse LJ, Williams HL, Grenn Jr FP, Eldridge EE, Rotta JR. Septicemia due to Klebsiella pneumoniae originating from a hand-cream dispenser. New England Journal of Medicine. 1967;277(9):472-3.
    10. Morse LJ, Schonbeck LE. Hand lotions—a potential nosocomial hazard. New England Journal of Medicine. 1968;278(7):376-8.
    11. BAIRD RM. Bacteriological contamination of products used for skin care in babies. International journal of cosmetic science. 1984;6(2):85-90.
    12. Dehghani R, Mesgari L, Fathi Moghadam M, Rezaian F, Nasudian F, Sudayfian E, et al. Studying the environmental health status of beauty salons of Kashan. Epidemiology and Health System Journal. 2017;4(1):24-30.
    13. Anderson D, Ayers M. Microbiological profile of selected cosmetic products with and without preservatives after use. 1972.
    14. Marinovich M, Boraso MS, Testai E, Galli CL. Metals in cosmetics: An a posteriori safety evaluation. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2014;69(3):416-24.
    15. Shimbo S, Zhang Z-W, Watanabe T, Nakatsuka H, Matsuda-Inoguchi N, Higashikawa K, et al. Cadmium and lead contents in rice and other cereal products in Japan in 1998–2000. Science of the total environment. 2001;281(1-3):165-75.
    16. Jablonski NG, Chaplin G. Epidermal pigmentation in the human lineage is an adaptation to ultraviolet radiation. J Hum Evol. 2013;65(5):671-5.
    17. Draelos ZD. Cosmetics and skin care products: A historical perspective. Dermatologic clinics. 2000;18(4):557-9.
    18. Manová E, Von Goetz N, Keller C, Siegrist M, Hungerbühler K. Use patterns of leave-on personal care products among Swiss-German children, adolescents, and adults. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2013;10(7):2778-98.
    19. Loretz L, Api A, Barraj L, Burdick J, Dressler W, Gettings S, et al. Exposure data for cosmetic products: lipstick, body lotion, and face cream. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2005;43(2):279-91.
    20. Loretz L, Api A, Babcock L, Barraj L, Burdick J, Cater K, et al. Exposure data for cosmetic products: facial cleanser, hair conditioner, and eye shadow. Food and chemical Toxicology. 2008;46(5):1516-24.
    21. Ficheux A, Morisset T, Chevillotte G, Postic C, Roudot A. Probabilistic assessment of exposure to nail cosmetics in French consumers. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2014;66:36-43.
    23. Rezaie A, Inalu M, Fekri M. Body management and its relation to social factors among Mazandaran University students. Women's Strategic Studies. 2009;47(12):1-23.
    24. Agner T. Susceptibility of atopic dermatitis patients to irritant dermatitis caused by sodium lauryl sulphate. Acta dermato-venereologica. 1991;71(4):296-300.
    25. Dehghani R, Talaee R, Sehat M, Ghamsari NN, Mesgari L. Investigating the influence of mass media on cosmetics usage among women in Kashan during 2015. Iranian Journal of Health, Safety and Environment. 2017;4(1):695-8.
    26. Nash R, Fieldman G, Hussey T, Lévêque JL, Pineau P. Cosmetics: They influence more than Caucasian female facial attractiveness. Journal of applied Social Psychology. 2006;36(2):493-504.
    27. Dehghani¹ R, Moosavi SG, Esalmi H, Mohammadi M, Jalali Z, Zamini N. Surveying of pesticides commonly on the markets of Iran in 2009. Journal of Environmental Protection. 2011;2:1113-7.
    28. Mohammadzadeh M, Mirzaei N, Mostafaii G, Atoof F, Miranzadeh MB, Dehghani R. Determination of potentially toxic metals in depilatory products in the Iranian markets: human health risk assessment. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2022:1-10.
    29. Schlichte MJ, Karimkhani C, Jones T, Trikha R, Dellavalle RP. Patient use of social media to evaluate cosmetic treatments and procedures. Dermatology online journal. 2015;21(4).
    30. Fouts G, Burggraf K. Television situation comedies: Female body images and verbal reinforcements. Sex roles. 1999;40(5-6):473-81.
    31. Dehghani R, Takhtfiroozeh M, Kanani F, Aslani S. Case report of Stomoxys calcitrans bites in residential area of Kashan, Iran. Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences. 2014;23(110):257-61.
    32. Berberick SN. The objectification of women in mass media: Female self-image in misogynist culture. The New York Sociologist. 2010;5(2):1-15.
    33. Mahe A, Ly F, Aymard G, Dangou JM. Skin diseases associated with the cosmetic use of bleaching products in women from Dakar, Senegal. British journal of dermatology. 2003;148(3):493-500.
    34. Olumide YM, Akinkugbe AO, Altraide D, Mohammed T, Ahamefule N, Ayanlowo S, et al. Complications of chronic use of skin lightening cosmetics. International journal of dermatology. 2008;47(4):344-53.
    35. Raynaud E, Cellier C, Perret J, editors. Depigmentation for cosmetic purposes: prevalence and side-effects in a female population in Senegal. Annales de Dermatologie et de Venereologie; 2001.
    36. Morand J, Ly F, Lightburn E, Mahé A. Complications of cosmetic skin bleaching in Africa. Medecine tropicale: revue du Corps de sante colonial. 2007;67(6):627-34.
    37. Dehghani R, Kassiri H, RezvanTalaee MS, Mesgari L, Chimehi E, Dehghani A. Studying Women’s Allergy Rate to Cosmetics in Kashan, Central Iran. Entomol appl sci lett. 2018;6(1):45-50.
    38. Ghazvini K, Safdari H. Bacterial contamination of eye cosmetics before and after use in Iran. Research in Medicine. 2007;31(2):159-62.
    39. de Groot AC, Bruynzeel DP, Bos JD, van der Meeren HL, van Joost T, Jagtman BA, et al. The allergens in cosmetics. Archives of dermatology. 1988;124(10):1525-9.
    40. Thyssen JP, White JM, Dermatitis ESoC. Epidemiological data on consumer allergy to p‐phenylenediamine. Contact Dermatitis. 2008;59(6):327-43.
    41. Safety SCoC. Opinion on fragrance allergens in cosmetic products. Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. 2012;1459(11):2-334.
    42. de Groot AC. Contact allergy to cosmetics: causative ingredients. Contact dermatitis. 1987;17(1):26-34.
    43. Nielsen NH, Linneberg A, Menné T, Madsen F, Frølund L, Dirksen A, et al. Allergic contact sensitization in an adult Danish population: two cross-sectional surveys eight years apart (the Copenhagen Allergy Study). Acta Derm Venereol. 2001;81(1):31-4.
    44. Darbre PD. Underarm antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2009;11 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):S5.
    45. Warshaw EM, Buchholz HJ, Belsito DV, Maibach HI, Fowler JF, Jr., Rietschel RL, et al. Allergic patch test reactions associated with cosmetics: retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2001-2004. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009;60(1):23-38.