Home Economics Notes

Use of cosmetics and deodorants

Importance of cosmetics, points to consider in choice and use of cosmetics and


Cosmetics are substances which we apply on our faces, hair or bodies to look more attractive e.g. body creams and oils, nails vanishes etc. we can also call them make-ups.

Deodorants are substances that are put on the skin to prevent the body from having an unpleasant smell. Examples are roll-on, spay, sticks, perfume etc.


These are special products or astringents that reduce the amount of perspiration a person secretes for several hours. Products that contain antiperspirant and deodorant combined together are called anti-perspirant deodorants.

Importance of cosmetics

i.          They project your natural beauty and make you attractive

ii.         To protect the skin

iii.        To hide a person’s poor feature

iv.        To emphasize your best skin, facial and hair features

v.         some are used as treatment for skin problems such as pimples, rashes etc.

NB- Young people do not need much cosmetics as they are in their youthful stage of life with natural beauty and complexion.

Points to consider in choosing cosmetics and deodorants

The following are points you need to consider before choosing any cosmetics or deodorant to use:-

1.         Know the one that suits your complexion

2.         Avoid heavy make-up

3.         Avoid cosmetics that bleaches

4.         Use cosmetics with reasonable and affordable cost

5.         Discontinue use if the skin reacts to any cosmetics, deodorant or antiperspirant.

6.         Apply cosmetics and deodorants according to manufacturer’s instructions.

7.         Never go to bed with make-up on your face

8.         Use the deodorant that can control your skin


1.         What are cosmetic?

2.         Define deodorant

3.         State 5 importance of cosmetics

4.         List 5 examples of cosmetics and deodorants

5.         What 5 factors should you consider in your choice of cosmetics and deodorant?

Sub-Topic 2:  Procedures for applying cosmetics and deodorants, indigenous cosmetics.

Cosmetics are applied step by step. The step include the following:

  1. Cleansing: clean the face and neck thoroughly with water and mild toilet soap. A suitable cleansing lotion can be used.
  2. Toning: after cleansing, tone the skin by applying a suitable toning lotion/cream. The skin can be toned by splashing cold water on the face. Toning makes the skin of the face firm by closing up the pores.
  3. Moisturizing: apply moisturizing cream/lotion all over the face and neck. This helps to:
  4. Keep the skin fresh
  5. Prevent dryness
  6. Blend make-up more smoothly onto the skin.
  1. Application of foundation cream: this helps the face powder to stay on well on the face.
  2. Application of face powder: this can be done by using upward strokes from the chin to the hair line.
  3. Application of other make-ups such as lipsticks, eye pencils and liners, eye shadow, perfume, etc.                       

Indigenous (local) cosmetics

These are naturally occurring local cosmetics. Some of them were used in the past to improve appearance. Some are still in use today. They include:

  1. Eye make-up “tiro” (Yoruba) or “tanjere” (igbo): this can be ground into powder. It is applied as eyeliner using a special thin stick reserved for the purpose.
  2. Cam wood powder “uhe” (igbo) or “oshun” (Yoruba) this is a red wood which can be thoroughly ground into a fine powder. It can also be made into a paste by mixing the powder with little water and palm oil. It can be used on the face or entire body. It is said to have a smoothening effect on the skin.
  3. Body paint “uri or uli” (igbo): this is a special body paint made from the bark, seeds or roots of certain trees. It also has some medicinal effects.\
  4. “lali or lalle” :this is a special make-up from leaves of a special tree. The leaves are ground into paste and mixed with lemon or lime juice. It is commonly used by ladies in the Northern parts of Nigeria to paint their finger and toe nails as the outline of the hands and feet.
  5. “Nzu” (igbo) or “Efun” (Yoruba): This is a local chalk. It can be ground into powder and  applied on the face  and body.
  6. “Edo or odo” (igbo): This is a yellow substance. It can be made into a paste and applied on the skin. It is said to have smoothening effect on the skin.


1.         Cosmetics and deodorants can be ………….or ………………

2.         Examples of modern cosmetics include

3.         Example of indigenous include

4.         Why are cosmetics not necessary for young people?

5.         What is anti-perspiration deodorant?


Workbook on Home Economics New Concept for Nigeria Jnr. Sec. Schools Bk.1 (ps.26-27)

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