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J Chromatogr A. 2006 Jul 7;1120(1-2):244-51. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Simultaneous analysis of antioxidants and preservatives in cosmetics by supercritical fluid extraction combined with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan.


This study evaluated supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) combined with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to determine trace preservatives and antioxidants including methylparaben (MP), ethylparaben (EP), propylparaben (PP), butylparaben (BP), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), alpha-tocopherol (alpha-t) and alpha-tocopherol acetate (alpha-ta) in cosmetic products. A supercritical fluid extraction procedure was used to isolate four paraben preservatives and four antioxidants from the cosmetic matrix before quantitative analysis. The optimum extraction condition was performed with static extraction for 5 min, then dynamic extraction for 20 min by using carbon dioxide supercritical fluid at 14,000 kPa and 65 degrees C. Methanol was used as collection solvent and the sea sand was chosen as a filling material. The analytes were separated on a C18 reversed-phase column using methanol-water as mobile phase and quantified by measuring its mass spectrometry. The linearity range is from 10 to 20,000 ng/g with RSD values below 18%. Detection limits are achieved at the level of 4.7-142 ng/g. It was successfully applied to the determination of paraben preservatives and antioxidants in cosmetics without tedious pretreatment.

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