During the manufacturing process, cosmetics need to be chemically analyzed to ensure conformance to product specification and safety as well as cost-effective manufacture.
The cosmetic market lends itself to the XRF method since many additives in cosmetics are mineral or metallic in nature, or are organics with a heavier element attached that is measurable by XRF. Here are a few well-known applications:
- Titanium and Zinc in Sunscreen- Titanium dioxide is used in most sunscreens to help prevent UV radiation burns. The concentration is high and easily measured by XRF. Zinc is also used in sunscreens as a UV blocking agent.
- Iron, Titanium, and Zinc in Base Makeup- Flesh colored base makeup usually contain black iron oxide, red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide which are white. The ratio of these oxides determines the shade. XRF has been used to measure total iron, and other major components.
- Toxic Metals in Cosmetics- Cosmetic component are usually analyzed for toxic components to ensure that they are safe. XRF analyzers can be used for measuring toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic in cosmetic products.
- Metal Dyes in Cosmetics- Some of the brightly colored dyes like those in eye shadows and fingernail polishes contain metallic dyes that can be measured by XRF.