Average UK woman wears 515 chemicals a day

LONDON Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:32am EST

LONDON Nov 19 (Reuters Life!) - The average British woman "hosts" 515 chemicals on her body every day, according to a new study.

The poll of 2,016 women by deodorant-maker Bionsen said most of the pollutants are self-inflicted by women who sprayed on deodorant, slapped on body moisturiser and applied lipstick each morning.

Today's average British woman uses body and facial moisturisers, perfumes, deodorants and various other make-up products which leave them unknowingly carrying hundreds of chemicals on their bodies throughout the day, Bionsen said.

Moisturiser can contain over 30 different chemicals and perfume up to 400, it added.

More than a third of the women who took part in the study were unaware of the key ingredients in their toiletries, with only nine percent aware of most of the ingredients in the cosmetics they put on each day.

More than 70 percent of the women polled said they were not concerned about the number of chemicals they put on their skin and only one in 10 opted for chemical-free toiletries when shopping.

"Women have never been more image-conscious and their beauty regimes have changed dramatically over the years, from a simple 'wash & go' attitude, to daily fake tan applications, regular manicures, false lashes and hair extensions," Bionsen's Charlotte Smith said in a statement.

"Lots of the high-tech, new generation cosmetics and beauty 'wonder' treatments naturally contain more chemicals to be able to achieve even better results, which, of course, means that women now carry more chemicals than ever before."

Eight out of the 12 areas on the body highlighted by Bionsen as places where women used cosmetic products containing chemicals were on the face or head and included moisturisers, foundation, blush, eye make-up, hair spray and perfume head or face.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Steve Addison)

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