Heavy Metals Testing in Cosmetics and Elemental Analysis

Cosmetic testing for trace heavy metals or metallic elemental impurities, including testing to ISO 21392: 2021. Determination of trace levels of potentially toxic metals in raw materials or products, helping you to produce safe and regulatory compliant products

Heavy metals or metallic trace impurities in cosmetics pose potential health risks to consumers. Multiple countries or regions around the world have established legislation restricted these for use in beauty or personal care products. In Europe, for example, Annex II of Regulation (EC) 1223 / 2009 prohibits the use of heavy metals and heavy metals compounds containing lead, cadmium, arsenic, antimony and mercury except for some mercury compounds are permitted to be used as preservatives. (Annex V). Article 17 of the regulation permits prohibited substances to be present in cosmetic products at trace levels if their presence is technically unavoidable in good manufacturing practice.

To ensure consumer safety and reduce risks posed by heavy metals or toxic elemental impurities in cosmetics, it is critical to conduct accurate and sensitive analysis of raw materials or finished cosmetics products. Some products, for example, such as lipstick and lip gloss can be ingested or absorbed and so the potential levels of these heavy metals and a good understanding of the levels of exposure and the toxicological risk the pose is critical to consumer safety.

Our Metals Testing Expertise for Cosmetics
Our centre of excellence for cosmetics testing, LaCoMed, which is located near Chalon-sur-Saône in France is a COFRAC accredited laboratory. The LaCoMed laboratory provides high-performance and rapid solutions for trace heavy metals testing and elemental impurities analysis in all types of matrices, raw materials or finished cosmetic products. Supporting your raw materials qualification programs, research and development and production quality control we can provide technical advice and testing services including:

  • Testing according to ISO standard ISO 21392: 2021 for measurement of trace heavy metals (e.g. chromium, cobalt, nickel, arsenic, cadmium, antimony and lead) in cosmetic finished products using ICP/MS techniques.
  • Determination of the content of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and antimony according to the COFRAC accredited internal method. Accreditation n ° 1-2411. Scope available on www.cofrac.fr
  • ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma with detection by mass spectrometry, ICP-AES (inductively coupled plasma with optical emission spectrometry detection) technologies
  • Screening and comparative elemental analysis 
  • Determination of more than 60 trace metal elements, such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), chromium (Cr), antimony (Sb) and more

Toxicological Risk Assessments
Our toxicology consultants are experienced in delivering advisory services related to a cosmetics product quality, safety, efficacy and labelling requirements. We evaluate the toxicity of the individual chemical ingredients of the formulation used to manufacture the product where each ingredient is assessed for its hazard or "inherent" toxicity such as acute toxicity, skin/eye irritancy, potential for skin sensitization, reproductive, genotoxic, or carcinogenic activity, in relation to the potential for consumer exposure to the chemical. We can also evaluate the potential for synergistic or unpredictable adverse effects from the combination of ingredients in the formulation and assess exposure considerations such as the characteristics of the product such as physical form and size/volume, accessibility (e.g. liquid components) and intended use.

Our Total Quality Assurance solutions
We offer a toolbox of Total Quality Assurance Solutions for cosmetics testing, clinical studies, scientific, and regulatory consulting and solutions, supporting you from product innovation, raw materials qualification to production and ensuring the safety of your products.


Need help or have a question? +33 (0) 385 99 12 80

Need help or have a question?

+33 (0) 385 99 12 80
+33 (0) 385 99 12 80