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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 863-864
Bacteriological profile of skin- moisturizing creams and lotions during use

Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College (A constituent college of Manipal University), Mangalore - 575 001, India

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Date of Web Publication27-Oct-2010

How to cite this article:
Gopalkrishna BK, Philip AS, Sushreema, Shenoy S. Bacteriological profile of skin- moisturizing creams and lotions during use. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2010;53:863-4

How to cite this URL:
Gopalkrishna BK, Philip AS, Sushreema, Shenoy S. Bacteriological profile of skin- moisturizing creams and lotions during use. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Sep 26];53:863-4. Available from: https://www.ijpmonline.org/text.asp?2010/53/4/863/72011


Cosmetic products must be free from gross microbial contamination and pathogens at manufacture and during use. Many present-day skin moisturizing creams and lotions contain special additives like plant extracts, fatty acids and vitamins. As these additives could serve as nutrients for microorganisms, it is possible that such products may get contaminated and be vehicles of pathogen transfer. There are some reports of bacteriological profile of cosmetics from temperate countries. [1],[2],[3] However; these results may be different from that in tropical climate. The aim of the present study was to determine the bacteriological profile of skin moisturizing creams and lotions during use.

A total of 85 skin moisturizing creams and lotions were collected from beauty parlors and the users. Data regarding the brand, volume, package, size of the orifice of the container, composition, duration of use and number of persons using were collected. In addition, 20 fresh skin moisturizing creams purchased from departmental stores were also studied.

Bacteriological profile of the cosmetic was determined by culture. Fixed amount (2g) of cosmetic was diluted in 20ml nutrient broth with 2% Tween 80 and then diluted 10-fold. Fixed volume (0.01ml) of the diluted sample was spread on the surface of blood agar and MacConkey's agar using 4mm diameter loop. The plates were incubated at 37°C for 24-48 hrs. Colony count was determined and the isolates were identified by standard procedure. [4] Antibiotic susceptibility test was done using Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method.

Of the 85 used products tested, 10 were contaminated with bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated from seven samples, Staphylococcus aureus from two and Enterobacter cloacae from the sample. Three samples were contaminated with P. aeruginosa at count 10 5 cfu/g. Of seven P. aeruginosa strains, three were multidrug resistant (Resistant to gentamicin, tobramycin and ciprofloxacin). All these heavily contaminated samples were creams present in wide orifice containers and used in beauty parlors. None of the products packaged in narrow orifice containers and tubes were contaminated. All the fresh samples did not show bacterial contamination.

The skin moisturizing creams and lotions must be free of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. [5] This level of quality must also be maintained during use. The bacteriological quality of the used creams and lotions studied by us was considerably better than described in previous reports. [6],[7] The likely source of the bacteria is from the hands of users. Our study revealed that contamination was more common in products dispensed in wide-mouth containers. People usually use their fingers to take the creams present in wide mouthed containers.

The predominance of gram-negative bacteria may be due to the greater ability of these organisms to survive and multiply in creams and lotions than gram-positive bacteria. The possibility that these contaminated products, when shared, could act as vehicle of transmission of potential pathogens is very real. Further, bacterial contamination may cause spoilage of the product. Special attention should be given to preservatives, additives, package and practice to prevent contamination of creams and lotions.

   References Top

1.Baird R. Microbial contamination of cosmetic products. J Soc Cosm Chem 1977;28:17-20.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Brannan D, Dille J. Type of closure prevents microbial contamination of cosmetics during consumer use. Appl Environ Microbiol 1990;56:1476-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Becks V, Lorenzoni N. Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreaks in a neonatal intensive care unit: a possible link to contaminated hand lotion. Am J Infet Control 1995;23:396-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Collee JG, Miles RS, Waatt B. Tests for the identification of Mackie and Mc Cartney Practical Medical Microbiology, 14th ed, In: Collee JG, Fraser AG, Marmion BP, Simmons A, editors. London: Churchill Livingstone; 1996. p. 131-49.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Okeke IN, Lamikanra A. Bacteriological quality of skin-moisturizing creams and lotions distributed in a tropical developing country. J Appl Microbiol 2001;91:922-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Okore V. A study of the microbiogical purity some body creams and lotions marketed in Nigeria. Afr J Phar Pharma Sci 1992;22:166-71.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Ashour MS, Abdelaziz AA, Hefni H, Eltayeh OM. Microbial contamination of cosmetic and personal care items in Egypt - body lotions, and talcum powders. J Chin Phar Ther 1989;14:207-12.  Back to cited text no. 7

Correspondence Address:
Bhat K Gopalkrishna
Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore - 575 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.72011

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