Accurate and reliable elemental analysis for regulating heavy metals in cosmetics and personal care products

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As part of a study in the 2013 journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health tested 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses and detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminium and 5 other metals. These heavy metals are commonly used as colourants and preservatives in cosmetics. Principal Researcher, Dr Hammond noted that finding these metals in cosmetics wasn’t surprisingly, but the high level at which they were detected was a concern in terms of potential long term health risks. Lipstick and lip gloss are of special concern because they are often ingested or absorbed. It was estimated that those who reapply their lip colours repeatedly could ingest up to 87 mg of product per day. 

The US FDA has issued several guidelines since 2016 regulating the use of these heavy metals in cosmetic products at a maximum concentration of 10ppm. As ethical cosmetic companies, it is important to produce safe but also high performing products. That is why it is ever more critical to equip your laboratory with analytical tools that not only have high sensitivity to trace level elements, but which are also accurate and reliable. This ensures that you have trust and confidence in your results.

This November, Malvern Panalytical teams up once again with the Philippines Society for Cosmetic Science for this workshop. Learn how to achieve even more accurate and repeatable elemental analysis using fusion sample preparation. This method is suitable not only for ICP, AAS but also for X-ray fluorescence (XRF) elemental testing. Learn about these best practices embraced by international brands. Understand more about the fusion technique and how easy its automated solution is.

Whether you are working with cosmetics, personal care or herbal products, we note that there are times when you have limited samples. Malvern Panalytical will show how other international brands are embracing XRF as a non-destructive and quick screening tool to complement their ICP/AAS analysis. We'll also provide a live demonstration of this easy-to-use XRF technology - Epsilon 4 - which requires no acid digestion, while still complying with FDA regulations. Look out for intelligent software packages by Malvern Panalytical. For instance, OMNIAN for quick semi-quantitative analysis or unknown samples and FingerPrinting for source identification of raw materials and predictive monitoring of process issues.


Hari Bhaskar, Application Specialist from Malvern Panalytical, Australia

Hari is presently the Applications and Process and Automation Solutions Product Manager of Malvern Panalytical. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering and has been working with the company for the last 20 years in various capacities - Service, Sales, Application and Product Support.

Hari is currently based in Australia managing the Application business for Australia and provides product support for the countries in Asia Pacific region. He has worked with customers from various segments including cement, mining, metals, pharmaceuticals, academia, oil and petrol chemicals, service labs and more, providing advice on Malvern Panalytical’s fusion sample preparation, XRF, XRD, CNA solutions for their applications. Hari has sound product knowledge and extensive experience in method development using our X-ray instruments for a wide range of application areas.

Hari is also the Course Director for various training and application courses such as “XRF at the workplace”, “SuperQ XRF software” and “HighScore XRD software”. Contact Hari at


Who should attend?

  • Anyone in cosmetics, personal care products and other health-related companies
  • Anyone who is interested to stay up to date on the latest analytical tools for safe, reliable, accurate and low limits of elemental screening of heavy metals
  • Anyone from research or quality control

More information

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