Hair dye and moisturisers under scrutiny by Norwegian health institute

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosmetics, Hair coloring

A report published by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has highlighted the adverse affects that permanent hair dye has had on consumers as well as reactions from facial and body moisturisers.

The report is the first to come from the National Register of Adverse Effects from Cosmetics Products, with the aim of highlighting the adverse effects cosmetics can cause, concentrated on the Norwegian population.


"The Register gives us a better overview of the products that cause adverse effects, the type of adverse effect and who experiences them. Then we can make an assessment and even warn against the use of certain products,"​ commented researcher Berit Granum at the Division of Environmental Medicine at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Consumer notifications

During the first two years, the Register received 96 notifications, of which it says the majority related to product types such as moisturisers, cleansers, sunscreens and hair colouring products.

Permanent (oxidative) hair dye is the product type that has given the most severe reactions, according to the report. During the Register’s first two operational years notifications were received from seven people, of which most were adverse effects of an allergic nature.

Allergies to hair dye often include symptoms such as eczema, redness, blistering, and itching of the scalp, face and throat as well as experiencing severe swelling on the forehead and around the eyes.

Moisturisers ‘frequently’ reported

The Register also stated that facial and body moisturisers are the product type that is most frequently reported.

The adverse effects of these products range from mild symptoms that disappear a few hours or a few days after the consumer has stopped using the product, to severe reactions that may persist for several weeks with symptoms such as eczema, rash, blistering and itching.

In its study the Register defined cosmetic products as much more than make-up and perfume.

“It includes all products that are applied to the external parts of the body, such as teeth and oral mucous membranes and are intended to prevent body odour, to clean, perfume, protect, preserve or affect the appearance,”​ said a statement from the organisation.

Taking this into consideration, the Register therefore assumed that virtually the entire Norwegian population, both men and women, uses one or more cosmetic products daily.

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