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Varsha et al. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

SJIF Impact Factor 6.041

Volume 6, Issue 1, 327-343 Review Article ISSN 2278 – 4357


Varsha Jadhav*, Swati Dhande and Vilasrao Kadam

Department of Pharmacology, University of Mumbai, Bharati Vidyapeeth‟ College of

Pharmacy Sector- 8, C. B. D. Belapur, Navi Mumbai, India.

Article Received on ABSTRACT

11 Nov. 2016,
Cosmetics include the skin care and other decorative products(like
Revised on 01 Dec. 2016,
Accepted on 21 Dec. 2016 lipstick, compact etc, eye cosmetics, nail cosmetics etc.) and toiletries
DOI: 10.20959/wjpps20171-8291 (like soap, shampoo, bath-foam, and toothpaste) which are used by
nearly everyone. These products may cause side effects in some
*Corresponding Author consumers. Serious adverse reactions from cosmetics will not cause
Varsha Jadhav regularly butmild and unwanted effects are experienced by over 10%
Department of
of the population. Cosmetics products are containing many chemicals
Pharmacology, University
of Mumbai, Bharati
which may be harmful to the some population may cause contact
Vidyapeeth‟ College of dermatitis photo allergic reactions and long term use of the cosmetics
Pharmacy Sector- 8, C. B. may also leads to carcinogenicity and some systemic disease. Use of
D. Belapur, Navi Mumbai, cosmetics should be limited and people should be aware about the
composition and use of cosmetics to reduce the risk.
KEYWORDS: Cosmetics, allergy, heavy metals, adverse effects.

Cosmetics are used to enhance the appearance or odour of the human body. Today, cosmetic
industry is a 20 billion dollar global industry. Over 10,000 ingredients are used in personal
care products. Some of these chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects,developmental and
reproductive harm, and other health problems that are on the rise. The US FDA bans 9
ingredients fromcosmetics while the EU has banned over 1,000 ingredients due to health
concerns. The list below shows a sample of ingredients contained incosmetics sold and
associated health impacts. Toxic ingredients and hazardous chemicals are being used beyond
acceptable limits. Carcinogenic ingredients in bubble baths, heavy metals in lipsticks,
paraben in sunscreens, and phthalates in perfumes and coal tar in shampoos are few of the
truths of cosmetics. Cosmetics have not only seeped into the fashion world but are also

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playing a prominent role in one‟s day-to-day life. Thus, it becomes necessary to unveil the
hidden truth of cosmetics and to make people aware of its ill-effects.[1]

Recent study found that an average adult uses nine cosmetic products daily. More than 25%
of womenuse 15 or more.[2] Cosmetics, toiletry preparations, and skin-care products,
including sunscreens, quite frequently cause adverse reactions,[3] and are common single
reason for hospital referrals with allergic contact dermatitis.[4] It is estimated that 1.3% of the
population are allergic to a cosmetic or cosmetic ingredient.[5]

Health Impact of some common ingredients used in Cosmetics:-

The list below shows a sample of ingredients contained in cosmetics sold and associated
health impacts:-

Coal Tar Colors:-It is used inmake-up and hair-dye. Some FD&C colors are carcinogenic or
contain impurities that have been shows carcinogenicity when applied to the skin. It acts as
allergens and irritants.

Diethanolamine (DEA):- It iswidely used in shampoo and it is a hormone disruptor, with

littlecarcinogenic property, its compounds and its derivatives include triethanolamine(TEA),
which canbe contaminated with nitrosamines shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Formaldehyde and its releasers:- It is one of the common ingredients of eye shadow,
mascara, nail polish, shampoo, blush etc. It is alsocarcinogen, reproductive toxin, shown to
cause or aggravate asthma and other respiratoryailments.

Parabens:- The most common preservatives used in cosmetics. It is widely used in cosmetics
such as shampoo, cream, deodorant, baby product, make-up, shaving cream, etc. parabens
and their other derivatives have shown hormonal activity. It is recently found in tissue
samples from human breast tumors. Propylparaben affects sperm production in juvenile rats.

Phenylenediamine (PPD):- It ismainly used inhairdyes (amino dyes, oxidation dyes, para
dyes, orperoxide dyes) it is mutagenic and expected to be a human carcinogen. It is also
linked with skin irritations, and respiratory disorders.

Phthalates:- Phthalates and its derivativessuch as DBP[Dibutylpthalate], DMP[butyl

pthalate], and DEP[diethyl pthalate] are used in cosmetics. It is used in fragrance, nail polish,

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perfume,cream, lotion deodorant and varioushair products, etc. It causeskidneyand liver

lesions: reproductive abnormalities, including testicular atrophy, maybe throughendocrine
disruption it alters the development of reproductive tissues and subtle effects on sperm
production, cell line transformations, and cancers, including those of the kidney, liverand
mononuclear cell leukemia and obesity. These effects are generally differingquantitatively.
The developing male reproductive system appears to be the sensitiveorgans.

Glycol Ethers:- It is used indeodorant, nail polish and perfume. It is hazardous to the
reproductive system. Other effects include anemia and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and
throat. The derivatives of the glycol ethers are PGME [propylene glycol monoethyl ether],
EGPE [ethylene glycol propyl ether], EGME [ethylene glycol monoethyl ether],DPGME
[dipropylene glycol methyl ether], EGEE [ethylene glycol ethyl ether], DEGBE [diethylene
glycol butyl ether], and others with "methyl" in their names.

Propylene Glycol:- It iswidely used inshampoos and creams, and it causes respiratory and
immune disorders in children. These disorders include hay fever, eczema, asthma, and
allergies, with increased risk ranging from 50% to 180%.[6]

Chlorphenesine:- It is used as preservatives in cosmetics at concentrations up to0.3 % in

leave-on productsand up to 0.32% in rinse-off products. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review
(CIR) Expert Panel (The Panel) reported that chlorphenesin was very well-absorbed when
applied to the skin of rats. Cosmetic products containing chlorphenesin may be applied to the
skin and hair, or, accidentlymay come incontact with the mucous membranesand eyes.
Chlorphenesin is used in suntan, foot, and hair sprays, and could possibly be inhaled.
Chlorphenesin was used as a weak ocular irritant when instilled into the eyes of rabbits at a
concentration of 1%. In animal studies, the simultaneous administration of antigen with
chlorphenesin resulted in suppression of formation of antibodies in mice and rabbits. When
the immunosuppressive activity of chlorphenesin was studied using a wide variety of in-vitro
assays for cellular immunity in both human and mouse test systems, the results suggested that
it may have a broad spectrum of suppressive effects on both B and T lymphocytes.[7] [8]

Dioxane: - It is used in baby shampoo, children‟s bubble bath and body wash, face washes. It
is a probable human carcinogen, to kidneys, lungs, and the nervous system. It is a human
carcinogen that can appear as a contaminant in products containing sodium lauryl sulfate and
ingredients that include the terms "PEG," "-xynol," "ceteareth," "oleth" and most other

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ethoxylated "eth"ingredients. A survey by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (2007) found
that most children's bath products contain 10 ppm or less content of dioxane , but an earlier
survey by the FDA (2001) found levels in excess of 85 ppm.[9]

Triclosan: - It is used in a toothpaste, soaps, deodarants and skin care products, causes
endocrine effects, developmental and reproductive toxicity, chronic toxicity, and
carcinogenicity, they still registered it as only a pesticide; it could cause a serious problem to
humans, specifically in heart muscles and in skeletal muscle contractions.

Methylisothiazolinone: - It is used in personal care products such as shampoos, hand

creams, lotions and cosmetics and causes Dermatitis and eczema, cause irritation to the eyes,
skin and lungs.

Sodium lauryl sulfate:-It is used in daily cleansing skin care products Soaps, Shampoos,
Toothpaste Shaving cream, Mouthwash, Moisturizers, Dish soap. It is a standard skin irritant,
irritation occurs in 5% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation.” It is able to cause scalp
irritation, skin irritation, irritation of the eyes, and swelling of the hands and arms. It is also
dry out hair follicles and causes damage.

PABA and its esters: - It is used in sunscreens, and causes (Photo) contact allergy.
Lanolin derivatives: - It is used in cosmetic products such as emollients and emulsifiers, and
causes Contact dermatitis in lanolin-sensitive individuals.

Glycerylthioglycolate: -It is used in acid permanent waving products.

Cocamidopropylbetaine: - It is an amphoteric surfactant, in bath products and shampoos,

such as bath and shower gels and hazardous for hair dressers.[10]

Chlorphenesin:- Cosmetic products containing chlorphenesin may be applied to the skin and
hair, or, incidentally, may come in contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. Products
containing these ingredients may be applied as frequently as several times per day and may
come in contact with the skin or hair for variable periods following application. Daily or
occasional use may extend over many years.
Lead:-It is used inhair dyes (e.g. Grecian formula) and in eye makeup (as a preservative).
Lead damages the nervous system, leading to decreased behavioral deficits and learning
ability. It also acts as a reproductive toxin and Carcinogen.

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Chromium: -Hexavalent chromium (Cr+6) is corrosive and allergic to the skin. Chromium
compounds are reported as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC). Adverse effects of the chromium on the skin may include dermatitis, ulcerations and
allergic skin reactions. Inhalation of chromium compounds can result in respiratory
symptoms may include wheezing, shortness of breathand coughing, and nasal itch, and it can
also cause ulceration and, irritation of the larynx and pharynx, bronchospasms, asthmatic
bronchitisand edema.

Nickel: - It can cause allergic reaction when it comes in contact with the skin. Studies on
animals show that if consumed in high amounts, it affects stomach, liver and kidneys.

Mercury: - It is used in eye makeup and skin lightening cream (as a preservative). Mercury
is toxic to the nervous system, it is a neurotoxin and it is suspected to have harmful effects on
the kidneys, gastrointestinal system and respiratoryand reproductive systems. Mercury is used
in cosmetic products such as skin whitening creams. Mercury has been used by many names
such as mercurous chloride, mercurio, mercury, and calomel or mercuric. The prolonged use
of products containing mercury can lead to inflammation of the kidneys,liverand urinary
tract. Presence of mercury in skin creams has become a global public health problem.
Mercuric compounds are absorbs easily through the skin on topical application and also to
accumulates in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, neurotoxic manifestations or
skin irritation. There is evidence suggesting that mothers who had been exposed to mercuric
compounds in their pregnancy period they all experienced developmental toxicity in their
children. These children were affected with a range of symptoms including sensory problems,
motor difficulties and mental retardation.

Heavy metals can accumulates in the body upon its prolonged use and are known to cause
various health problems, which can include cancer, neurological problems, reproductive
disorders and developmental disorders,mood swings, memory loss,muscle disorders and
nerve joint, skeletal,cardiovascular, blood, immune system and renal problems, headache,
vomiting, diarrhea, nausea,contact dermatitis, lung damage, brittle hair and hair loss. Many
are suspected respiratory toxins and hormone disruptors some like lead, arsenic and there is
no known safe blood level.

In terms of cosmetics, those which applied topically amongst them some may get absorbed
through the skin, especially through broken skin and those which are put on lips may be

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ingested. The four metals of most concern for this testing were cadmium, mercury, lead,
andarsenic. This is because they are banned as intentional ingredients in cosmetics, have draft
limits as potential impurities in cosmetics, and are designated “toxic” in Canada because of
health concerns. The eight metals are banned including the four above as well as beryllium,
nickel, selenium, and thallium. These metals are banned as intentional ingredients in

Skin Cosmetics
Adverse effects of botox cosmetics
Botox cosmetic with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects.Side effects of
botox Cosmetic and botoxinclude eye problems like double vision, blurred vision, dry mouth,
discomfort or pain at the injection site, tiredness, neck pain,headache, decreased eyesight, dry
eyes, drooping eyelids, swelling of your eyelids, and urinary tract infection in people being
treated for urinary tract disease, inability to empty the bladder, allergic reactions, wheezing,
asthma symptoms, itching, rash, red itchy welts, dizziness, feeling faint.[12]

Adverse effects of other skin cosmetics

Irritation: -Burning, stinging, itching, or other skin discomfort without visible, objective signs
of inflammation. It is estimated that between 1 to 10% of all cosmetic users note this
discomfort, primarily on the face. Its signs are usually mild erythema and scaling, but
dermatitis may occur.

Elder people with good hygiene are particularly susceptible to developing this side effect,
mainly during the winter when humidity is low. Itching usually starts on the arms, hips and

In the humid climate, irritation occurs due to deodorants and antiperspirants. Emulsifiers and
surfactants present in moisturizing or emollient creams may also cause irritation, especially
when applied to facial skin.[13]

Photosensitivity due to sunscreens or lotions

 Photosensitivity accounts only for a small proportion of cosmetic related side effects.
 Nowadays, this may seem, ultraviolet (UV) filters are important causes of photo contact

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 Premature skin aging and cancer caused due to exposure to sunlight has led to extensive
use of UV filters, not only in sunscreen preparations but also in skin-care products
(mainly facial creams); this is the major cause of the recent increase of photo contact
allergic reactions to UV filters. Patients with photo allergic diseases, such as chronic
actinic dermatitis and chronic polymorphic light eruption, people who use sunscreens
regularly, are particularly sensitive to developing photo contact allergy.
 Most cases are caused by the UVA filtering dibenzoylmethanes, benzophenones (notably
oxybenzone) and the (notably butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, isopropyl
 Other photo sensitizers which causes allergy less frequently are octyl dimethyl PABA, p-
amino benzoic acid @„ABA), and ethylhexyl- p-methoxycinnamate.
 When such reactions occur to sunscreens, the resulting photo allergic reaction may be
interpreted by the patientas the failure of the product to adequately protect against the sun
rays rather than as an adverse reactionto the product; medical consultation is then not
 Sunscreen and moisturizers:- Tiny nanoparticles, which may penetrate the skin and
damage brain cells, zincoxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, when they used in
sunscreens to make them transparent then it became mostly problematic.
 shaving preparations :- People are getting allergy like contact dermatitis to shaving
preparation is mainly due to after-shave lotions and perfumes.[15]

Two cases of allergic contact dermatitis due to skin-whitening cosmetics

Case was reported in all allergology Internationaljournal of cosmetics science.
Case: A 76-year-old Japanese woman having a fourmonth history of erythema around the
eyelids. She had begun using cosmetic creams to treat the pigment macules on her face in
September, 2013. The symptoms were appeared in November. The patient discontinued use
of the whitening products in month of December, and visited to the hospital in month of

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January 31, 2014. Clinical examination revealed infiltrative erythema along with slight
pruritus on the face, mostly around the eyelids and cheek, which still persists (Fig. a).
Doctors suspected contact dermatitis due to an allergic response to a cosmetic cream. Patch
tests were conducted and a positive reaction to a cosmetic cream used by the patient was
observed and repeated open application tests resulted in erythema (Fig. b).[16]

Adverse effect of lipstick: -Lipstick generates reactive oxygen species which produces
hemolysis, and causes lipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes when exposed to sunlight.
The lipsticks and creams which were used for testing showed absorption in UV/visible

When a women who wear lipstick or apply it two to 14 times a day and awomenwho are not
only applying lipsticks several times a day, but they are using a lipstick through life time are
also exposing there self to lead and other heavy metals equally to the women who are using
lipstick in several times in a day, which means that exposure to lead and other heavy metals
adds up and can potentially affect their health.[18]

According to the results of the survey which is carried out for leachable heavy metals like
lead, cadmium, in randomly selected lipstick it was proven that it contains the lead metals in
it. Concentration of lead in different colors is different highest in pink color> red> brown>
orange> violet.For cadmium:- brown> red> violet> pink> orange.[19]

Eye Cosmetics
Various ingredients are used in the formulation of the cosmetics. While most of them may be
non-allergic for our skin, there are still some ingredients which can cause possible damage to
the eyes.

Adverse effects
The eyes can be exposed to cosmetic products and their ingredients either through use of
products such as those meant to be used around the eyes (e.g. mascaras, eye Creams).
Approximately 12% of cosmetic reactions occur on the eyelid, mainly due to the eye shadow.
Allergy like irritant contact dermatitis is more common than allergic contact dermatitis.
Mascara is the most commonly used eye cosmetic. The scariest adverse effect of mascaras is
the infection, particularly due to Pseudomonas aeruginosawhich causes corneal infections,
which can permanently destroy visual acuity, due to multiple reuses and reinsertions of

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applicators into the tube between uses. Kajal and surma are made up of carbon compounds,
but surma also contains lead and mercurywhich causes serious health problems.[20]

Most commercially produced formulations likekajal contain high levels of heavy metals like
lead. Studies have revealed that kajal comprises of, minium (Pb3O4),galena (PbS), amorphous
carbon, magnetite (Fe3O4), and zincite (ZnO). Prolonged application may cause excessive
lead storage in the body, affecting the brain and bone marrow, causing convulsions and
anemia. While the rules of mentioning the ingredients in a product on the label are rather
strict in the US, in India, they are a little relaxed.

Cosmetics are regulated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 which state
that there is no need to mention the ingredients label on cosmetic packs of less than 60 ml for
liquids and 30g for solids and semisolids. This poses a problem for eye cosmetics as they
generally come in smaller packs. The products which contain mercury, lead and parabens are
extremely harmful and their prolonged usage can cause various health hazards and may even
lead to blindness in some cases. People may not able to notice any problems initially but
using itregularly will lead to deposits of harmful chemicals in user‟s body.[21]

Epidemiological studies on patients with periocular dermatitis from 1999–2004 have

confirmed that the high prevalence of women among patients with periorbital dermatitis has
been attributed to the more frequent use of cosmetic products.

Nickel has been identified in cosmetic products used around the eyes such as mascara, make-
up base, eye shadow, contact lens solution, and kajal pencils. Because the nickel is
inadvertently incorporated during the manufacturing process, it is not listed as an ingredient
in such products.[22]

Hair Cosmetics
Hair dyes:- hair dyes can be divided into five categories, each with a specific composition
and mechanism gradual hair coloring, vegetable hair dyes (such as henna), temporary dyes,
semi- permanent dyes and permanent hair colors.[23]

The toxic effects of hair dyes on human vital organs especially on DNA have been
investigated by several in vivo and in vitro tests and various results have been reported. To
interpret this toxicity, “comet assay” is used which is a new method and also more sensitive
and it was used first time for the determination of the effect of long term use of hair dyes on

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the DNA damage. 39 healthy female subjects were selected who have been using hair dyes
for 4 to 12 years, and 24 healthy females who had never used hair dyes before were studied
as a control group. The rate of damaged cells in the study group were significantly higher
than that of the control group indicating a detectable DNA damaging effect of hair dying on
human lymphocytes. Scientist suggest that the caution should be recommended in subjects
whose family history of cancer is positive and also women should not use hair dye especially
before and during pregnancy it cause developmental toxicity in developing fetus in utero.[24]

Hair colours
The most common chemicals used in permanent hair colors are phenylenediamine, 3
aminophenol, resorcinol, toluene-2,5- diaminesulphate, sodium sulfite, oleic acid, sodium
hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, propylene glycol and isopropyl alcohol. The Chemicals p-
phenylenediamine and aminophenyl have been suggested as possible carcinogens or
mutagens in experimental studies and many have been eliminated from oxidative dye
products since the early 1980‟s.[25]

Thus a new pattern of exposure to PPD has been recognized through henna which increases
the risk of developing adverse health effects to PPD. The adverse health effects associated
with the use of henna containing PPD (black henna) such as acute allergic contact
dermatitis,acute severe angio-neurotic edema, chemical burn, abdominal pain, acute renal
failure, eczema, and vomiting are well documented in the literature. PPD can cause acute
renal failure because it brings rhabdomyolysis. [27] When henna is mixed with chemical like
silver nitrate, para- phenylenediamine, carmine etc. it can cause chronic inflammatory
reactions, intense itching, blistering.There are very few negative side effects of using natural
henna which maybe mild allergies.The in depth interview with the dermatologist has revealed
that consistent application of hair dye of black shade causes hyper pigmentation. Moreover
the black shade should be replaced by brown as the application of hair dye of black shade
causes an irreversible and irreparable damage to the skin.[28]

Adverse effects of permanent, semi- or demipermanent, and temporary dyes:-

Several studies indicate that the main allergens responsible for cosmetic induced allergic
contact dermatitis are p-phenylenediamine, methylisothiazolinones and fragrance mixture.In
a recent study carried out in sundaneof 2939 consecutive patients recruited from 12
dermatology care centers who were tested for contact reactions to dye components, 4.5%
tested positive for PPD and 0.1% for resorcinol.

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Adverse effects
Irritation:-Irritation which is causing on the scalp is due to dust, dandruff and this use branded
shampoos and serums

Hair loss
Patients frequently complain of increased hair loss when they change shampoos. Patients
being treated for dandruff should be told that increased loss of hair can result from exfoliation
associated with the use of medicated shampoo. This is due to loss of telogen hairs which
adhere to the crusts, and due to the shampoo.

Patients with Pityriasisamiantacea are especially affected. The relationship between the
complaint of hair loss and the use of various shampoos has been systematically studied with
most findings pointing to other causes. Some authors recommend that agents which suppress
dandruff, such as selenium disulfide, be used for only a limited time since they may also
inhibit mitosis of the follicle epithelium. Paired comparison studies on zinc pyrithione versus
placebo have not found zinc pyrithione to have a cytostatic effect on epidermal cells, the
presumed mechanism of action of agents that suppress dandruff such as selenium disulfide.

Acute felting
Damaged hair, e.g. permanently waved hair, is particularly prone to sudden entanglement,
which can occur due to the use of viscous fluids such as undiluted shampoo. The raised
cuticle cells of hair can interlock as a result excessive friction and static electricity and the
hair become tangled. An irreversible knot, sometimes it is called as “bird‟s nest” (Fig. no. 2)
forms over a limited area. When the structure of the hair is significantly damaged, the only
option is to cut off the tangled portion.

Fig. No.2:- formation of irreversible knot due to use of undiluted shampoo

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Due to the tar-based products, concerned with the risk of carcinogenicity, grew even more
vocal with the first publications on percutaneous absorption of polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAH) from tar-based shampoo. In fact, in the roughly one hundred years since
tar-based products have been used for dermatological indications, the incidence of related
skin cancer is very rare and no relationship as been reported with the use of coal tar-based
shampoos Containing up to 79 μg/g benzoapyrene, the main PAH in tar-based shampoos,
only a fraction of 79 μg PAH per hair washing is absorbed.[30]

Skin and mucous membrane irritation

Critical assessment of validated data on the frequency of contact allergies to shampoobut it is
at low risk. The main agents of hair dye triggered allergic contact dermatitis are para
molecules, especially PPD and its derivatives o-nitro-p phenylenediamine and para-
toluenediamine, which are highly sensitizing compounds. Dyes which are in dark color
contains greater amount of PPD substances. In normal hair-dyeing exposure, 1% of the PPD
dose penetrates the skin, and 80% of that becomes monoacetyl-PPDanddiacetyl-PPD by the
action of N-acetyltransferase. Other derivative compounds bind to specific amino acids and
formthe complexes responsible for sensitization.[31]

The rising fashion of body art, as well as the use of PPD containing temporary tattoo products
such as black henna, seems to be playing an important role in triggering allergic contact
reactions to hairdyes. According to the Cosmetic Ingredients Review Expert Panel, 2-amino-
4-hydroxyethylaminoanisol and its salt, 2-amino-4 hydroxyethylaminoanisol sulfate, are safe
when used in oxidative hair dyes as coupling agents, although they should not be used in
cosmetic products in which they can form N-nitrous compounds. There are some reports of
allergic contact dermatitis caused by some components of temporary hair dyes, such
asquinine. Eczema appears at the site of application and in nearby eyelids, and only in
exceptional cases do patients experience severe and extensive symptoms such as facial edema
or disseminated dermatitis. [32]

The potential carcinogenicity of hair dye ingredients has drawn the attention of
epidemiologists and toxicologists for decades, as oxidative hair dyes are formulated using
compounds that belong to the large chemical family of aryl amines, which includes several
powerful human carcinogens (benzidine, 4-aminobiphenyl, and 2-naphthylamine).

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However, an in-depth review by Nohynek et al. of hair dye carcinogenicity studies conducted
in humansandother mammals concluded that the combinedfindings strongly suggest that hair
dyes do not pose a carcinogenetic risk. The absence of cancer risk to consumers arisingfrom
the use of oxidative hair dyes has been confirmedby the World Health Organization‟s
International Agencyfor Research on Cancer as well as by the EU RegulatoryAgency.

However, a recent study by Coutoet al.51 in Brazil appears to confirm a possible link
between exposure of pregnantwomen to hairdyes and straighteners and development
ofleukemia in their offspring up to the age of two years. [33]

Nail Cosmetics
Adverse effects:-
Cosmetics applied on the nail encompass three types:
(1) Coatings that hardens upon evaporation;
(2) Coating that polymerize; and
(3) Stick-on nail dressings (synthetic covers).

The adverse reactions induced by the two first types present with both local reactions and
distant contact dermatitis. Whereas nail enamel applications result especially in ectopic
contact dermatitis, polymerizing coatings and synthetic covers represent the main culprit for
sometimes severe, local reactions. Whatever the nature of the nail cosmetics, they may
produce some adverse reactions. They include:

(1) Local reactions to cosmetics applied on the nail;

(2) Distant reactions resulting from the use of nail cosmetics;
(3) Systemic side effects of nail cosmetics; and
(4) Infection risks from nail cosmetics.[34]

Cosmetics applied on the nail encompass three types:
1. Cosmetics which stick-on nail dressings (synthetic covers):-
The adverse reactions induced by the two first types present with both local reactions and
distant contact dermatitis. However, whereas nail enamel applications result especially in
ectopic dermatitis, polymerizing coatings and sometimes synthetic covers are the main

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culprits for severe local reactions. Whatever the nail cosmetics, they may produce some
adverse reactions, as described below.

Nail polishes:-
1. Allergic nail varnish dermatitis is very rare on the nails where it may exist mainly in the
periungual area.
2. The inflammation of the nail matrix may rarelyproduce nail shedding.
Nail plate discoloration and allergic contact dermatitis are the major dermatological concerns
with the use of nail polish. The nail staining is seen more with dissolved rather than
suspended pigments.

Nail pigmentation:-
Coloring agents, such as organic colors, can be selected from a United States Food and Drug
Administration– approved list of certified colors. Inorganic colors and pigments may also be
used, but must conform to low heavy metal content standards. If the pigments are dissolved
rather than suspended in the polish with, for instance, stearalkoniumhectorite, nail staining is
more likely. It is most commonly yellow-orange in color. It begins near the cuticle and
extends to the top of the nail. After one week of continuous wear, the staining will fade
spontaneously in two weeks once the enamel has been removed. Scraping the dorsum of the
nail with a scalpel blade may confirm that only the surface of the nail plate has been stained.
However, progressively the nail becomes darker from base to top. If the enamel is left on for
a prolonged period, the enamel continues to leach out, the dyes having penetrated too deeply
into the nail to beremoved. The nail staining therefore only resolves as thenail grows out.

3. Nail pigmentation caused by nail polishes can be prevented by the preapplication of a base
Adverse effects of artificial nails:-
Artificial nails are widely used in cosmetics. Unlike press-on nails, Sculptured nails are not
preformed, but molded onto the natural nail plate. There are two types of sculptured nails
both are of acrylate based nails.

(1) The 1st type is composed of either polymethyl- methacrylate polymer combined with
amethyl methacrylate monomer or of longer chain methacrylate esters. When the monomer
liquid is mixed with the polymer powder, a polymerization reaction occurs in ordinary

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Varsha et al. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

(2) The 2nd type consists of the same components, but the polymerization reaction takes place
by the photo bonding technique'' with the person's hands placed under UV radiation; the
bonding is similar to the restorative dental bonding commonly used by many dentists
worldwide. scientists reported on two cases of allergic contact dermatitis from photo bonded
acrylic sculptured nails.[35]

Baby products:- The hazardous ingredients present in baby products and their effects are:
2 bromo, 2 nitropropane, and 3-Diolcan cause skin irritations and allergies. In certain
products these ingredients can also break down to form other carcinogenic agents
Sodium borate, found in Desitin diaper cream, can accumulate in liver and child‟s brain,
causing detrimental health effects. [36]

CONCLUSION:- In today‟s world, being presentable for each individual has become
necessary. Hence, use of cosmetics on daily basis has become very common. Consumers can
limit their exposure by avoiding products that contain harmful chemicals. Alternatively one
can buy a product which contains the chemicals in certain quantity which will not cause the
adverse reactions.

ACKNOWLEGEMENT:- The authors are grateful to the principal of bharati vidyapeeth‟s

college of pharmacy, Navi Mumbai, India for providing necessary support and assistance for
the successful completion of this review work.

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