Testing for Traces and Impurities

We test for traces and impurities in line with Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This is the main regulatory framework for finished cosmetic products placed on the EU market. It strengthens the safety of cosmetic products and streamlines testing processes.

What are traces and impurities

They are the non-intended presence of a small quantity of a prohibited substance, which is technically unavoidable in good manufacturing practice. The presence of traces and impurities is permitted provided that such presence is in conformity with product safety.

Which substances are prohibited

Prohibited substances are listed in Annexes II and III of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009.

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, benzo[def]chrysene (benzo[a]pyrene), acrylamide

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.

Which substances are allowed

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

Annex IV contains the list of colorants allowed in cosmetic products.

Annex V contains the list of preservatives allowed in cosmetic products. These include traces of formaldehyde.

Annex VI contains the list of UV filters allowed in cosmetic products.

Sample quantity

The sample quantity you provide must be 10-50g.

You must also provide documentation listing your:

  • exact product name
  • company name
  • contact details (address, phone, fax, email)
  • tax number

Have a question? We can help find an answer

Fill in our contact form below to request our price list and find out how our QACS Laboratory team can help you.