Pharmaceuticals | Free Full-Text | Simultaneous Determination of Isothiazolinones and Parabens in Cosmetic Products Using Solid-Phase Extraction and Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Diode Array Detector


Isothiazolinones methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), and parabens methylparaben (MP), ethylparaben (EP), propylparaben (PP) and butylparaben (BP) are the most common synthetic preservatives. They are all known to be potential skin allergens that lead to contact dermatitis. Thus, the identification of these unsafe chemicals in cosmetic products is of high importance. In the present study, solid-phase extraction (SPE) based on HyperSep reversed-phase C8/benzene sulfonic acid ion exchanger (HyperSep C8/BSAIE) and Sep-Pak C18 sorbents, and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography/diode array detector (UHPLC/DAD) were optimized for the simultaneous determination of MI, MCI, MP, EP, PP and BP in cosmetic products. HyperSep C8/BSAIE and UHPLC/DAD with the eluting solvent mixture (acetonitrile/methanol, 2:1, v/v) and detection wavelength (255 nm) were found to be the optimal conditions, respectively. The method illustrates the excellent linearity range (0.008–20 μg/mL) with coefficient of determination (R2, 0.997–0.999), limits of detection (LOD, 0.001–0.002 μg/mL), precision in terms of relative standard deviation (RSD < 3%, intra-day and <6%, inter-day) when examining a standard mixture at low (0.07 µg/mL), medium (3 µg/mL) and high (15 µg/mL) concentrations. A total of 31 cosmetic samples were studied, achieving concentrations (MI, not detected (nd)-0.89 µg/g), (MCI, nd-0.62 µg/g), (MP, nd-6.53 µg/g), (EP, nd-0.90 µg/g), (PP, nd-9.69 µg/g) and (BP, nd-17.80 µg/g). Recovery values ranged from 92.33 to 101.43% depending on the types of sample. To our knowledge, this is the first specific method which covers the theme and describes background amounts of such preservatives in cosmetics.

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