Analysis of mineral cosmetics with a handheld X-ray fluorescence analyzer

Thomas, Sara, Grace Nguyen, Diamond Stokes, Tiffany Tieu Ngo, Mark Benvenuto, and Elizabeth Roberts-Kirchhoff

The sale and use of cosmetics is an enormous business throughout the world. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act gives authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics. The FDA does not approve cosmetic products in the same way as it monitors food and food supplements. This study examines the components of powdered cosmetics including foundation and eye shadows often referred to as mineral makeup with a handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to determine what elements are present The response of the XRF instrument was evaluated by comparing the results from the XRF analyzer with certified values in soil standards. In the makeup samples, the presence of the different elements was determined by analyzing the XRF spectra for each sample. Most samples contained titanium, and one eyeshadow sample had significantly more chromium than the other makeup samples. Future work will include the analysis of other elements in the makeup samples.