Detecting Counterfeit Cosmetics
Every year the cosmetics industry suffers multi-billion dollar losses due to counterfeit cosmetic products.1 Due to much stricter regulatory controls in Europe and North America, 66% of counterfeit goods come from Asia.2 The risk to the consumer is high, not because they are paying for a counterfeit product, but because the ingredients used in the production of counterfeit cosmetics could be harmful to their health, or even banned for human use.
Testing for counterfeit products is occasionally done by the cosmetics companies – especially those companies whose high-end products are usually the target of counterfeiting, since only they know the correct formulation of their products. However, it would be beneficial and less time consuming if counterfeit testing could be done at the point of entry in the country, for instance, during customs inspection. Even if the correct formulation is not known, it is possible to compare suspected fake samples with authentic samples using multivariate statistical analysis and assess the differences if needed.
Multivariate analysis (MVA) is widely used in the areas where multiple samples or batches need to be compared. One of the most commonly used techniques is principal component analysis (PCA) which allows the reduction of a large set of multivariate data into uncorrelated variables called principal components. The methodology can be adopted for comparative analysis of cosmetic products samples, as well as for other types of analysis where an evaluation of differences is needed, e.g. failed batch of raw materials or packaging.
To learn more download the Application Note: Application of Multivariate Analysis and LC-MS for the Detection of Counterfeit Cosmetics