Hand sanitizers and other personal hygiene products are popular, reflecting a widespread health scare caused by an outbreak of highly infectious diseases such as Novel swine-origin influenza A(H1N1) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) that left hundreds of people dead.
The deadly infectious diseases which hit South Korea in 2009 and 2015have raised awareness on the necessity of personal hygiene products. Hand sanitizers and foam wash have been broadly placed at public places, and facial masks have become one of the everyday items.
Such a trend was reflected in a survey of 1,800 people, released by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Thursday. Hand sanitizers are the most used cosmetic products in South Korea. Men used them an average of 7.3 times a day and women 9.1 times.
Earlier government data showed that 782,754 people were infected with legal infectious diseases in 2009 when H1N1 struck, compared to 70,941 a year ago. A year later when personal sanitary products were widely introduced, the number fell to 133,559. Since then, the total number of people infected with legal infectious diseases have been kept at similar levels.
Lip balms or lip glosses stood second, followed by wet tissues favored by mothers raising babies.
Park Sae-jin = swatchsjp@ ajunews.com