Cosmetics utilized to prevent skin damage from the sun’s radiation often include ingredients which can pose a risk to human health at high enough concentrations. Oxybenzone, for example, can contribute to melanoma associated with the production of DNA-attacking free radicals upon UV exposure. Parabens, utilized as an antimicrobial preservative, have been shown to have estrogenic activity, which could lead to increased risk of breast cancer. Although deemed safe by regulatory bodies such as FDA, manufacturers must monitor the concentration of these and other potentially harmful compounds in their products to ensure levels are at or below regulatory levels. This application note presents a UHPLC method with PDA detection for the analysis of parabens and other active ingredients in a variety of cosmetic products.

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