Microbial quality survey of sunscreen products in Iranian market


1 Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Isfahan Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Food science, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Microbial contamination of cosmetic products is very crucial because of their daily use and direct contact with the skin. These products are at high risk for microbial contamination from various sources such as environment, consumer's hands, body sweat and during the time of manufacturing. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the microbial quality of sunscreens products, manufactured in or imported to or formulated in local pharmacies in Iran.
Materials and Methods: The microbial quality were determined in three different levels; the intact product (at the time of purchase) and after three and after six months of opening it. Total Aerobic Viable Count (TAVC) and the presence of coliforms, Pseudomonas aeruginosaStaphylococcus aureus, molds, and yeasts were studied.
Results: At the time of purchase, 40, 73.3 and 43.3 percentage of Iranian made, imported and pharmacy formulated sunscreens were contaminated with at least one of the objectionable microorganisms, respectively. After three months of opening it, 36.6, 70 and 46.6 percentage of Iranian made, imported and pharmacy formulated sunscreens were contaminated with at least one of the objectionable microorganisms, respectively. The percentages of contaminated samples were 36.6, 70 and 50 after six months of opening for Iranian made, imported and pharmacy formulated sunscreens, respectively.
Conclusion: Microbial contamination of these sunscreens products is a potential health risk for consumers. It seems that it is necessary to inspect and monitor the products during the manufacturing and shelf life period. It is highly recommended to control and regulate cosmetic products by health organizations to ensure the quality and safety of this kind of products.


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