Restricted Substances

According to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 certain substances, are restricted or prohibited from being used in cosmetic manufacturing. As a result all cosmetics should undergo Traces and Impurities Testing to ensure product compliance and consumer safety. Presence of traces and impurities is permitted provided that such presence stays in conformity with product safety.

QACS is GMP accredited to test for substances as mentioned in cosmetic regulation as well as for a variety of traces to strengthen cosmetic safety and cosmetic manufacturing processes. Among others we detect Heavy Metals, Impurities, Nitrosamines, Allergens and Residual solvents.

  • Arsenic (As)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Chromium (Cr)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Cobalt (Co)
  • Nickel (Ni)

  • Phthalates -additives to increase the flexibility of plastic, often found in cosmetic and personal care products. At QACS we provide Packaging Testing services for cosmetics and detect chemicals (plasticizers) used in hundreds of products. Support product claims and ensure cosmetic product safety by proceeding to Packaging testing for cosmetic products.
  • Acrylamide -acrylamide detection in personal care products
  • 1,4-Dioxane -synthetic industrial chemical categorized as probable human carcinogen, byproduct of the manufacturing process of certain cosmetic ingredients (detergents, foaming agents, emulsifiers and solvents).
  • Furocoumarins
  • Formaldehyde -We trace Formaldehyde detection in personal care and cosmetic products. Formaldehyde can be found in  shampoos, hair gel, eyelash glue, hair smoothing products, liquid baby soaps and more
  • PAH’s -Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

We proceed to N-nitrosamine detection and quantification for cosmetic and personal care products. Nitrosamines formation in cosmetics derives from the reaction between amines and amino derivatives in the presence of nitrosating agents forming harmful and possible carcinogenic substances such as NDELA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine). The European limit of 50 ppm for nitrosamines should apply to raw materials as well to finished products containing Nitrosamines. N-nitrosamine impurities in cosmetics might be found in products like hair dyes, nail varnishes etc.

Fragrance allergens are substances or mixtures, found in fragrances or cosmetic products containing natural derived ingredients. These ingredients may trigger allergy reactions such as allergic contact dermatitis and pose a high risk of consumer sensitization. At QACS, we perform allergen screening for cosmetics and personal care products. Our highly engaged chemical team has expanded the number of allergens to be detected to 57. Our method of analysis is achieved via Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectometry, GC-MS and stays in line with the existing regulatory framework of EC Reg 1223/2009, SCCS 1459 and ‘2012 Opinion’.

  • BTEX, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylene
  • EP Class 1, 2, 3 -benzene, carbon tetrachloride, dichloroethanes (ethylene chlorides), e.g. 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane and others

  • Annex IV contains the list of colorants allowed in cosmetic products.
  • Annex V contains the list of preservatives allowed in cosmetic products.
  • Annex VI contains the list of UV-filters allowed in cosmetic products.


Annex II contains the list of prohibited substances, including:

  • Heavy metals in traces: arsenic (As), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni)
  • Impurities of residual solvents (Class1): benzene, carbon tetrachloride, dichloroethanes (ethylene chlorides), e.g. 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane 1.4, dioxane

Annex III contains the list of substances which cosmetic products must not contain except subject to the restrictions laid down.

These include allergen compounds (26), traces of hydrogen peroxide and fluoride.

Allowed substances are listed in Annexes IV, V and VI of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009.

Colorants – Preservatives – UV filters

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