Characterization and dermal bioaccessibility of residual- and listed PFAS ingredients in cosmetic products

Shahla Namazkar*, Oddny Ragnarsdottir, Anton Josefsson, Felice Branzell, Sebastian Abel, Mohamed Abdallah, Stuart Harrad, Jonathan P Benskin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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As a large group of chemicals with diverse properties, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have found extensive application throughout consumer products, including cosmetics. Little is known about the importance of dermal uptake as a human exposure pathway for PFAS. Here we investigate a suite of listed-ingredient and residual PFAS in cosmetic products, along with their dermal bioaccessibility using in vitro incubations with artificial sweat. Concentrations of volatile listed ingredients (including cyclic perfluorinated alkanes, perfluorinated ethers, and polyfluorinated silanes) in three products ranged from 876-1323 μg g -1, while polar listed ingredients ( i.e., polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters [PAPs]) in a single product occurred at up to 2427 μg g -1 (6 : 2/6 : 2 diPAP)). Residual perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) were also measured at concentrations ranging from 0.02-29 μg g -1. When listed ingredients were included, our targeted analysis accounted for up to 103% of the total fluorine, while highlighting ambiguous and/or incorrect International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) names used in several products. Bioaccessibility experiments revealed that residual PFCAs readily partitioned to artificial sweat (bioaccessible fractions ranging from 43-76% for detectable substances) while listed ingredients ( i.e., PAPs and neutral/volatile PFAS) displayed negligible partitioning. This work provides new insight into the occurrence of PFAS in cosmetic products, while furthering our understanding on their mechanisms of dermal uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science Processes and Impacts
Early online date16 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Grant Agreement 860665 (PERFORCE3) and from Swedish Research Council FORMAS under Grant Agreement 2018-00930.


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