Skincare or cosmetics products are mixtures of natural or synthetic chemical
compounds used to improve the appearance or smell of the human body (Schneider
et al., 2001). They include a range of products such as creams, lotions,
powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toenail polish, eye and facial
make-ups, permanent waves, hair colours, hair sprays and gels and deodorants.
Cosmetics are believed to enhance the best features and cover the blemishes
on the person wearing them. They have been in use since ages and constitute
an important part of modern days life. The use of cosmetics by Nigerian
women is an age-long tradition. Women, young and old, apply and adorn themselves
with cosmetics of different texture and colours, particularly during festive
periods. Skincare products are important cosmetics applied by women in Nigeria.
Some formulated lotions of various sizes and cosmetics of different aesthetic
shapes target varying ranges of skin types to perform specific functions. In
addition, the damaging effects of UV radiation may be protected by sunscreen.
However, treatment products such as skin lightners and tanning oils may help
to brown the skin to hide or remove wrinkles, acnes and other skin imperfections.
Sunscreen comes in lotions and creams. A sunscreen with the Sun Protection Factor
(SPF) of 15 can block most of the suns UV radiation before it can damage
the skin and protect the skin for 15 h.
Advertisement, peer pressure and social acceptance shape the choice of skin-care
products applied by most women. A study conducted by Cash
et al. (1989) showed that male peers are harsher judges of a female's
physical attractiveness than female peers; the study also revealed that females
may overestimate their physical attractiveness when they are wearing makeup
cosmetics. There is a generally belief that one can easily achieve smooth features
and thus, feel more confident in every sphere of life with the application of
cosmetics. Studies on the use of cosmetics amongst British women suggest that
anxious, insecure females are motivated to apply cosmetics more, than females
who are emotionally secure, socially confident and perceive themselves as physically
attractive (Robertson et al., 2008). Physical
appearance has tremendous effect on the psychology of women, particularly the
The chemistry of cosmetics has always been shrouded in secrecy; many users of cosmetics know nothing about the constituents. Cosmetic products and their ingredients are not subject to regulation prior to their release into the market with the exception of colour additives. Several skincare products are regulated arising from the fact that they contain harmful chemical products capable of attacking the skin. This becomes important because the skin is the largest organ in the body saddled with the responsibility of body protection against caustic materials, UV and radioactive radiation either on temporary or long term repeated exposure.
It is the level of exposure that determines if damage will occur (Goldsmith,
1996). Skin types are categorized into normal skin, dry skin, oily skin,
combination skin and sensitive skin; each skin type has the correct types of
products that must be used to maintain healthy and attractive skin. Many skin
problems in blacks are related to cosmetics designed for use on black skin and
to fashion trends amongst the blacks. Some allergies seem to show up more frequently
in black people as well. The most common cause of allergic reactions in black
women is an ingredient (paraphenylenediamine) used in hair dyes and this underscores
the need for compulsory declaration of ingredients on cosmetic product labels
as corroborated by Schwanitz et al. (2003).
In the present studies, a survey was conducted on the use of skin-care products by Nigerian women. The study highlights the perceived benefits and inadequacies of skincare products usage with particular emphasis to health condition and general wellbeing of the people.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study design: The study was done between Nov-Dec, 2011 at Ota, a semi urban community in Ogun State, Nigeria, through the administration of questionnaires to recruited subjects after obtaining approval and permission from relevant government agencies and Institutional Ethics Committee. In the study, 90 individuals aged between 20-70 years old were randomly selected from the community.
Data analysis: The data was obtained, cleaned, pre-processed while observed
occurrences were tabulated and analyzed From the questionnaire, a response of
YES/TRUE is taken as same, while NO/FALSE is also same.
The Others attribute connote Not sure/ No response and
its negative value is used to denote a shortfall from the total number of 90
subjects. The percentage value in Table 1a is based on 90
which is the total number of subjects in the study due to choice of peculiar
attributes in that category. However, the percentage values based on the total
number of clear responses observed were computed, thereby minimizing the effect
of unclear responses such as Not sure/ No response since this will
help to obtain the realistic percentage of the responses on ground and improve
accuracy. It is important to note that result summaries and entries into the
tables in most cases may not add up to 90 responses in agreement with the total
number of subjects as this is accounted with the negative value under the Others
attribute. This is a strategy to account and allow record for multiple response
entries in excess of 90 and no response entries in cases where total
responses are less than 90.
Karl Pearsons correlation coefficient was computed to determine the strength of relationship between level of education and knowledge of the chemical composition of the cream used in the community by the subjects. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the data as categorized into 5 major headings which include: Basis for making choice, Preference of use, Willingness to try a new product, Sources of knowledge of brand and Places for product purchase.
A major categorized data includes the Basis for making choice of a skincare
product and this is to reflect the purpose or perceived function of specific
skincare product as shown in Table 1a. This entails eight
attributes such as beauty enhancement, fragrance, soft and flexible skin, colour,
anti-aging effects of products, desire to have or sustain light complexion skin,
product price issues and acceptance due to knowledge of the contents of the
cream. The factors for selecting a skincare product given by Larson
et al. (2006) is similar to the one used in this study and also contain
measures such as fragrance, colour and product cost.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In order to visualize the contents of Table 1a and give informed
result interpretation, a view of 3-D transformed bar chart shown in Fig.
1a was created. This permitted the visualization of the entire data from
Basis for choice through Mean YES/TRUE response to NO/FALSE response
to be represented in 3-D which is more elucidative and comparable to the real
In Table 1b, the Proposed preference of product usage
is presented and it entails analysis to determine characteristics such as foreign
skincare product versus local skin products. This is intended to help assess
the preference level for imported foreign products, lack of skin reaction, use
of known skincare as the best product, killing germs, healthy and strong skin.
This is intended to determine reason for continuous use of a skincare product.
In Table 1c, the willingness of consumers to try a new product
as a result of effects of previously used skincare products was assessed. The
considered attributes applied were to determine if the users have been affected
by product usage in categories such as Harmed previously, Causing
Sweat, Desire to change the brand, Willingness to participate
in new product.
In Table 2a, the source of knowledge of product brand by
users of the skincare products are expected to come from the following categories:
Friends, Family relations, Radio/TV adverts, Window shopping, Internet and Others.
This will enlighten manufacturers on the appropriate channel to pass their product
information like advert to their customers.
In Table 2b, places of interest were evaluated to see the
most prominent places where users of skincare products get their supplies. These
places are listed as: Shopping mall, Superstores, Beauty saloons, Local stores,
Open market, Others.
The computed Karl Pearsons correlation coefficient r = 0.106068 indicate
a weak positive correlation between level of education and knowledge of the
chemical composition of the cream used in the community by the subjects. This
is contrary to general expectation as it may appear convincible that the subjects
with high educational background has more access and are better informed and
opportuned to know the chemical composition of their skincare products as it
has great health implication.
||3-D Transformed Barchart of occurrences from basis for making
choice of skincare product. This barchart illustrates the 3-Dimensional
view of the data as it relates to the average number of Yes responses and
average number of No responses in accordance with the various basis for
making a choice of cosmetic product. (b) 2-D Untransformed barchart on basis
for making choice of skincare product. This chart shows the level of Yes
responses over the various basis for making choice of a skincare product
The indication may probably be that most uneducated subjects use local products
which they source and have knowledge of its reactive constituents, unlike the
educated subjects in the community who use novel modern products whose chemistry
of action is not completely explained. From Table 1a, a 3-D
graphics was created as depicted in Figure 1a and was zoomed
upon, to further create a simple 2-D untransformed bar chart as show in Fig.
This clearly shows that beauty enhancement indicating 77% Yes
responses is the most motivating factor for choice of skincare products. It
was also discovered that the quest for beauty enhancement is closely followed
by 74% for desire to have a Soft and flexible skin, while Fragrance
with 66% occupy the third most popular desire to why people go for specific
skincare and cosmetic products.
||(a) The basis for making choice of a skincare product. This
table shows the numeric data categorized as users motivated interest for
selecting a cosmetic or skincare product generally. (b) The Preference of
use. It consists of data categorized with inherent characteristics of the
skincare products that appeals for its preference of use. (c) Willingness
to try a new product. This lists the obtained data that categorize several
peoples interest to try a new product due to the unsatisfactory effects
of their current skincare product
It further indicates that the colour of the skincare product (49%), complexion
lightening (46%), anti-aging effects (25%) and product prices (21%) seem to
exhibit a downward influence in that order for ranking choice of a skincare
product. However, it is interesting to know that only 19% of the responses know
the content of the product while a large number of the subjects did not know
the chemical content of the products, hence products were used at individuals
peril and to the detriment of their health.
Larson et al. (2006) review on skin reactions
related to hand hygiene products listed some ways to minimize adverse effects
of hand hygiene to include selecting less irritating products, using skin moisturizers,
unnecessary washing/making contact with skincare products. The attribute boundary
for selecting or making a choice of skincare product is an improvement over
Larson et al.(2006).
||(a) Sources of knowledge of brand. This data table categorizes
the frequency of skincare product users source of information on where
to purchase products. (b) Places for product purchase. This categorizes
the frequencies of places where users can constantly get the skincare products
This is probably because the health and wellbeing of the entire skin was considered
for the product user while Larson et al. (2006)
considered only the hand of a typical health worker. This is without prejudice
to the fact that both studies considered products characteristics such
as fragrance, colour and cost. In addition, contrary to the aforementioned characteristics,
the study further considered several other attributes which may be seen as effective
current trends in desired attribute skincare compendium for users. In addition,
this study falls under the category of one of the foremost works done on black
skinned people resident in Africa with expectation to elicit a skincare product
of African origin by Africans.
The preference for a particular line of skincare product is revealed in Table
1b where Healthy and strong skin is adjudged to be the most
sought attribute to spur preference for use of a product with the highest percentage
response of 92.16%. Similarly, Use of known skincare product as the best
product followed with a 78.57% of the responses in agreement while preferences
for foreign products more than the local products and killing
of germs are 45.83% and 44.93%. The implications show peoples desire
and quest for good health through the skincare product that they use.
From Table 1c, it is evident that 22.54% of obtained responses
showed that they were harmed previously by the skincare products they used,
while 46.38% responses showed that the product being used causes sweat. De
Groot (1987) observed a similar trend in his study on allergy resulting
from contact dermatitis as a result of skin care products such as moisturizing
and cleansing cream/lotion/milk which affected the face predominantly. It is
therefore imperative to agree that these dissatisfactions were responsible for
the obtained 36.36% interest specified by the desire to change the brand
and 52.46% interest in willingness to participate in new product survey.
Products inherent characteristics to cause skin irritation and dryness is a
major factor that influences acceptance and ultimate usage as it affect healthy
living (Larson et al., 2006; Larson
and Killien, 1982; Zimakoff et al., 1992;
Funk and Maibach, 1994; Ayliffe
et al., 1988; Boyce et al., 2009;
Ojajarvi, 1981; Taylor, 1978).
Other results summary as shown in Table 2a revealed that
the most influential source of knowledge of brand is provided by
family relations (32.71%) followed by friends (29.91%) while advert on Radio/TV
and Window shopping are 17% each. However, Internet medium (4.67%) is least
source of knowledge provision for skincare products brand. This may be confirmed
by the low internet penetration in the study area. It further presume that the
source of knowledge of brand rely on family and friends referrals. This was
further corroborated by earlier result in Table 1b where subjects
preference for product relied heavily on their previous knowledge of the products
brand, probably from family or friends referrals. An evaluation shown
in Table 2b indicates that the most preferred place for product
purchase is Shopping Mall (37.33%), close followed by Super
stores (22.67%). This also indicates that Beauty saloons (17.33%), Open
Market (13.33%) and Local Stores (6.67%) are currently less patronized in terms
of meeting users needs.
Skin care is as old as antiquity, going back to the ancient days of the Pharaohs.
The Egyptians regarded hygiene, including skin care, with high importance. Indeed,
many of the present-day beauty rituals such as exfoliation, depilation and hair
colouration find their roots in ancient Egyptian culture (Patkar,
2008). Deeper understanding of the skin has led to the development of more
and more products. Today, consumers have endless choices that range from whitening,
age-defying, to body firming. Skin care trend is all about the latest developments
in skin care. It is about new products, techniques and tips for healthy and
youthful skin. The process of basic skin care, which include cleanse, tone and
moisturize is simple. Cleansing removes dirt, pollutants and excess oil. This
process is important; otherwise, pores will get clogged and will be prone to
breakouts. A gentle cleanser does not strip the skin of its natural moisture
barrier. Toning removes remaining dirt or cleanser from the skin. It controls
surface oils and hydrates the skin. It naturally closes the pores to prevent
dirt from accumulating.
Healthy skin is a result of having a healthy body. Changes in the skin will
be seen as a result of stress, improper nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle. Taking
care of the body from the inside results to a healthy body as seen from the
outside (Buchanan, 2012). Healthy skin also results from
regular exercise. It improves blood flow to all parts of the body. The blood
vessels underneath the skin provides the nutrition for skin health, therefore
better blood flow is good for the skin. The skin becomes dry and brittle because
of lack of water in the body (Buchanan, 2012). Drinking
plenty of fluids everyday (around 8 to 10 glasses of water) helps prevent dry
skin. A balanced diet provides the body with proper nutrition which is vital
in the repair and development of cells (Fraser, 2006).
Skin is also affected by unhealthy habits such as smoking. The skin of smokers
is seen to wrinkle and age faster (Butler, 2006).
Stress has long been known to ruin even the best of days and people manifest
it in different ways as well as handle it just the same. It seems the human
bodys mechanisms still have a thing or two that defies understanding (Dean,
2011). However, researchers have found that an enzyme responsible for the
breaking down of fat in the human body is vital for healthy skin and hair (Dean,
2011). Such enzyme is able to influence retinoid compounds responsible for
the absence or presence of the many skin maladies.. Heightened levels of retinoic
acid have been found to cause massive hair loss and the development of acne
or other skin infections that plagues humans (Farnesm and
Setness, 1992). The retinoic acid is being seen as the main regulatory compound
which controls the bodys ability to maintain healthy skin and hair (Farnesm
and Setness, 1992). Efforts are still been made to better the understanding
of the mechanisms of the body and their effects on overall health.
Antiaging, skin lightening, sun screen, anticancer and skin lightening are
some of the recent incorporations into skin care products. Skin color comes
from a natural pigment called melanin. Melanin pigment is synthesized in specialized
cytoplasmic organelles called melanosomes. Within the melanosome, the enzymatic
conversion of the amino acid tyrosine to melanin is catalyzed by the enzyme
tyrosinase. The melanosomes in darker portions of the skin are more active than
those found in normal areas of the body (Farnesm and Setness,
1992). The ingredients are targeted at countering this process in multiple
ways by dealing with not only the melanosomes, but also the enzyme tyrosinase.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), kojic acid and lactic acid are some of the active
skin lightening ingredients (Smith and Thiboutot, 2008).
Argireline, a peptide (two or more amino acids) that will assist the muscles
to relax and release the wrinkles by interrupting the chemical signals, is also
a useful ingredients been incorporated into skin care products (Smith
and Thiboutot, 2008).
Skin care product manufacturers are not only using natural products but are
also delving deep into natures bounty in tapping the functionalities of
exotic fruits, natural emollients and condiments (Rinaldi,
2008; Smith and Thiboutot, 2008). Recent research
and product development are now directed at incorporating stem cells since enzymes
and peptides extracted from stem cells may deliver some protection for skin
cells (Nelson, 2009); and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
that is necessary for smooth glowing skin (Nelson, 2009).
Skincare companies are now not only more conscious about what is in their formulations
but also how those ingredients are sourced. Many manufacturers are now boycotting
palm oil, a common ingredient in skincare, to protect tropical forests and a
growing number of companies are turning to fair trade and sustainable ingredients
such as shea butter, rose extract and cane sugar (Rinaldi,
From the study, there is no doubt that education and enlightenment at all levels on proper skincare management would be an effective way in controlling skin disorders originating from cosmetics usage. An important culture that should be incorporated among skincare products manufacturers ethics is the need to always include warning and side effects of their products on their labels. It is also advisable to have detailed side effects enumerated in simple terms so that it can be appreciated by users. Since the subjects predominantly have higher educational background, it was discovered that this attribute did not confer great advantage as it was originally believed that they should be able to seek and obtain knowledge of the chemical composition of the cream they use as this has great health implication. The indication may probably be that most uneducated subjects use local products which they source and have total knowledge about unlike the educated subjects in the community.
The result underlined peoples desire and quest for good health through the skincare products they use. Though, this quest has shown to be discouraging with the earlier discovery that many of the subjects lack the knowledge of chemical composition of products they use and this can be devastating to their health unknowingly. The study was able to show that the most influential source of knowledge of brand is provided by referrals amongst family members and friends rather than advert in radio, television or internet. This will be of great interest to manufacturers of the product so as to encourage them to produce quality products capable of conferring good hygiene and other healthy attributes as well as the desired beauty enhancement attribute. Subjects previously harmed by skincare product and those whose products cause sweating desire to have a change in brand and are also willing to participate in new product survey. It is evident that no product may be totally free of potential risk after continuous usage overtime; hence it is usually necessary to have good knowledge of products chemical composition and to observe any contra-indications in individuals with respect to sensitivity or reactions on the body.