The influence of consumer awareness on cosmetic usage among adolescents in some selected public Senior High Schools in Kumasi

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Consumers use cosmetics unaware of the potential dangers that can threaten their well-being. The ingredients, scientific terms, sensitivity of the skin towards cosmetics are not well understood by the adolescents. Adolescents are unaware of their rights and responsibilities as consumers and are easily exploited by manufacturers. The study focused on the influence of consumer awareness on cosmetic usage among adolescents in the selected public senior high schools in Kumasi. The objectives of the study are to assess the level of awareness on cosmetic usage, evaluate the frequency of cosmetic usage, analyse the dangers and safety precautions available, and to examine the extent to which consumer awareness influences cosmetic usage among the adolescents. A total of 689 respondents were considered for the study, out of which 676 responses were received representing 98% response rate. A questionnaire was used to collect data. The study adopted the purposive sampling technique in selecting respondents. Pearson correlation, linear regression, and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. The study used bargain hunting, consumer knowledge, product knowledge, information search, and price consciousness as dimensions for consumer awareness. The results showed a positive relationship between the variables and cosmetic usage, but only the information search made the strongest contribution to explaining cosmetic usage as far as consumer awareness is concerned. The results also revealed that the concept of consumer awareness is not well understood by adolescents. The study recommended the introduction of consumer education in the schools and periodic inspections of products by the Food and Drugs Board in ensuring product safety. Comprehensive information on products for easy usage should be provided by manufacturers, and the media should cross check information given about a product before advertising it through the various channels. 
A thesis submitted to the Department of Marketing and Corporate Strategy, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration (Marketing Option), 2016