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Analysis of Prohibited & Restricted Ingredients for Cosmetics

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Testing of Prohibited and Restricted Ingredients in Cosmetics

The Importance of Analysis for Prohibited and Restricted Ingredients in Cosmetics

Since cosmetics and personal care products often come in direct contact with the skin, their safety and compliance are key concerns, both for consumers and manufacturers. Common prohibited and restricted ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products that have been regulated by regulations include but are not limited to bithionol, formaldehyde, cadmium, azo dyes, rhodamine, yellow quinoline, zirconium-containing complexes, chloroform, halogenated salicylanilides, hexachlorophene, coumarin, furocoumarin, mercury compounds, etc.

At Alfa Chemistry, our cosmetic testing experts provide customers with professional analysis services for the above-mentioned banned and restricted ingredients in cosmetics to support your cosmetic and personal care product development and testing needs.

Our Cosmetic Prohibited and Restricted Ingredient Testing Services

As a leading service provider in the cosmetics industry, Alfa Chemistry has its own cosmetics testing laboratory, a professional analysis team and advanced instruments and equipment. We have the ability to analyze and detect a variety of prohibited and restricted substances, and can provide accurate and reliable test reports. Listed below are some of the testing services and techniques available for common prohibited and restricted ingredients:

  • Formaldehyde Testing in Cosmetics

Formaldehyde has cytotoxicity and secondary genotoxicity, and is a key monitoring object of prohibited ingredients in cosmetics. The concentration of formaldehyde in cosmetics should not exceed 0.05% (500 mg/kg). Commonly used testing techniques are high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and spectrophotometry.

  • Color Additive Testing in Cosmetics

Restricted and prohibited color additives in cosmetics include azo dyes, yellow quinoline dyes, rhodamine, etc. For these color additives, we can provide qualitative and quantitative analysis services through liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) LC-MS, Micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC), and LC-MS/MS, etc.

  • Heavy Metal Testing in Cosmetics

Heavy metal compounds of lead, cadmium, arsenic, antimony, zirconium and mercury are prohibited ingredients in cosmetics. Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-MS), inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-OES) and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) are the most commonly used analytical techniques.

For heavy metal cadmium, highly sensitive testing methods also include laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), Flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS) and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer (GFAAS).

For mercury compounds, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and atomic emission spectroscopy have been developed to detect their content.

  • Testing for Other Prohibited and Restricted Ingredients

Other prohibited and restricted ingredients in cosmetics include dithiol, coumarin, furanocoumarin, chloroform, hexachlorophene, etc. According to your testing needs, our testing team will provide you with efficient analytical testing services. We are proud of our diverse analytical techniques such as sweeping-MEKC, spectrophotometry, chromatography, AAS, colorimetric, ICP, ELISA, electrochemistry.

Testing of Prohibited and Restricted Ingredients in Cosmetics

Why Choose Alfa Chemistry?

Alfa Chemistry offers comprehensive analysis of prohibited and restricted components for the cosmetic industry, using state-of-the-art analytical techniques and equipment. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals is dedicated to providing accurate and reliable results, ensuring that our clients produce safe and high-quality cosmetic products.


  1. Ferreira M, et al. Cosmetics, 2022, 9(4): 72.
  2. Pratiwi R, et al. Cosmetics, 2022, 9(4): 87.
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