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Dermal Toxicology of Cosmetics and Body-Care Products

Toxicology of Specific Groups of Substances

  1. David Basketter BSc, DSc, FRCPath, CBiol, FIBiol, FBTS1,
  2. Linda Lea2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat143

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Basketter, D. and Lea, L. 2009. Dermal Toxicology of Cosmetics and Body-Care Products. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    DABMEB Consultancy Ltd, Sharnbrook, UK

  2. 2

    Givaudan, Ashford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


There is a tendency in both regulatory thinking and in public perception towards the view that cosmetics are in some way different from other products. The reality of course is that they are formed from a combination of chemical ingredients, raw materials which, in fact, can be found in a very wide range of products. Consequently, the toxicology considerations which apply to other products also apply to cosmetics and body-care products. Application of appropriate toxicological review of product ingredients and of the final formulation is key to meeting the requirement that such products do not cause harm to the consumer. Failure to undertake such a review to an adequate standard gives rise to a risk of adverse reactions. In this chapter, we set out some general thoughts on how a review of product safety generally should be approached for these types of product. Wherever possible, emphasis has been placed on the minimization and/or elimination of the need for in vivo testing.


  • dermal toxicology;
  • risk assessment;
  • cosmetics;
  • quantitative risk assessment;
  • skin irritation;
  • skin sensitization;
  • dermal exposure;
  • alternatives