Analysis of Misbranded Cosmetics using Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) with Mass Detection and Confirmatory Analytical Techniques



  March 27, 2018

  USA 11:00 a.m. EDT, 8:00 a.m. PDT, 16:00 BST




The distinction between a cosmetic and a drug is important from a regulatory and safety perspective because, among other things, a cosmetic should not contain pharmaceutical active ingredients (AIs). Otherwise they are classified as a drug according to European Commission's No. 1223/2009 and the U.S. FDA's regulations on Cosmetics.

In this webinar, we describe a study of several cosmetic products that contained prohibited pharmaceutical AIs such as corticosteroids. Several samples tested positive for prohibited skin lightening agents. Packaging labels were often misleading, and in some cases, the skin lightening agent was not listed on the enclosed product information increasing the potential of improper long-term use and adverse side effects to consumers.

Selected samples were first screened using a DART source coupled with mass detection. Results observed were confirmed using UHPLC with MS and PDA detection. In addition a workflow for component identification using a database is demonstrated using high resolution mass spectrometry and comprehensive informatics tools. This method could be used in the routine analysis of cosmetics to screen for skin lightening agents to ensure that they meet regulatory and safety standards.

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Key Learning Objectives

  • A rapid screening method for cosmetics ingredients.
  • A workflow combining DART/MS followed by UHPLC, PDA, and mass detection that provides an efficient procedure for routine screening and quantitation.
  • Component identification using high resolution LC and MS orchestrated by comprehensive data management software.

Who Should Attend

  • Chemists involved with cosmetics analysis (or similar products)
  • Laboratory managers, scientists, and QC technicians supporting cosmetics, research, production, formulation and quality testing.
  • Faculty and students involved in cosmetics research and testing.
  • Regulatory organizations involved in cosmetics analysis.


Dr. Marian Twohig, Ph.D.,
Principal Scientist,
Waters Corporation


Linda Wang,
Senior Editor,