How Much Of A Cosmetic Product Do You Use?

How Much Cosmetic Product Do You Use

I don’t suppose many people stop to think about how much shampoo or body lotion they are using.  I know I don’t.  But it is something that some people need to worry about.  When cosmetic products are assessed for their safety the amount that is used is a relevant parameter.  Obviously you use a lot more body lotion than face cream for example.  So you need to take this into account. 

The good news is that the helpful chaps at the Scientific Committee for Cosmetic Safety, the SCCS, have issued some guidelines for some of the major product categories.   The even better news is that they have done it with great accuracy.  In many cases they have come up with figures to 2 decimal places. Professional scientists who are troubled by spurious precision should probably look away now, but it is fun to compare the official figure with one’s own usage.

Here are selected highlights.

Shower Gel  – 18.67g
Shampoo – 10.46g
Hair Conditioner 3.92g

The shampoo and shower gel figures match my personal estimates, but the SCCS has obviously never met my sister who has been known to use a whole 200ml bottle of conditioner in one go.

Body Lotion  – 7.82g
Face Cream  – 1.54g
Hand Cream – 2.16g

These are daily figures so must take into frequency of application, but even so I am surprised that people use more hand cream than face cream.

Liquid Foundation – 0.51g
Make-Up Remover  – 5g

Liquid foundation sounds about right, but 5g of makeup remover?  That is about a teaspoon full.  That sounds pretty low.

Eye Shadow – 0.02g
Mascara – 0.025g
Eyeliner – 0.005g

I hope they never use these figures as the basis of rationing of cosmetics, and definitely not for stock levels in shops.  I imagine that someone like Siouxsie of the Banshees or Mark Smith from the Cure would probably use about 1000 times more than this level.

Lipstick  – 0.057g

This is one that I have actually measured, and yes it is about right.

So those are the official figures.  Go figure.

6 thoughts on “How Much Of A Cosmetic Product Do You Use?

  1. Aine

    I wouldn’t use that much shampoo, unless of course I’d been mud fighting in a pig sty. Do not underestimate how much time and effort it takes to wash shampoo out of seriously curly hair.

    The conditioner figure made me laugh, mostly because it’s actually less than shampoo. While I’ve never used the whole bottle I do use a lot. And as my hair gets longer I can see that day coming.

  2. Aine

    I’ve noticed they started putting hand cream in 100ml tubes instead of 75ml. I for one am pleased.

  3. Colin Post author

    I have short hair that doesn’t really need conditioning so I only use conditioners when I am working on a project. But even so, that figure does seem very low indeed.

  4. Michele

    The conditioner figure is pretty wrong for me too. I use at least 2-3 tablespoons-worth of conditioner after I wash my hair. My hair is fairly long, thick, wavy-curly, and coarse so I need all the help I can get when combing out the tangles. I have an oily scalp so I only apply conditioner to the hair from around the level of my ears downwards, otherwise I’d use at least 1 more tablespoon.

    If deep conditioning my hair (which ideally I’d do fortnightly but often don’t) then I’d use 6-8 tablespoons of conditioner to try and cover all my hair really well.

    The shampoo figure is low for me too but again it’s probably owing to having pretty thick hair and oily scalp.

    I use more hand cream than face cream because my hands get wet quite a lot with housework or I wash them often throughout the day as I practice good hand hygiene for health reasons.

  5. Claire

    Yeah 3.92g of conditioner ….. I use about one and a half tablespoons of conditioner (I have super dry hair and co-wash but still).

    And I would suspect people use more hand cream because they reapply it, I know I’ll only apply face cream once in the morning and once at night but hand cream I might apply 5 or so times a day (If I’m washing my hands a lot or they feel dry)

  6. Charlie Tellsall

    Hi Colin
    Do you know of any cosmetic science courses? I was frustrated by the lack of cosmetic science included in my beauty therapy course but there seems nothing else available apart from a degree.

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