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.