In the Regulation 1223/2009, evaluation of packaging has become mandatory to assure cosmetic product safety. In fact, the safety assessment of a cosmetic product can be successfully carried out only if the hazard deriving from the use of the designed packaging for the specific product is correctly evaluated. Despite the law requirement, there is too little information about the chemical-physical characteristics of finished packaging and the possible interactions between formulation and packaging; furthermore, different from food packaging, the cosmetic packaging is not regulated and, to date, appropriate guidelines are still missing. The aim of this work was to propose a practical approach to investigate commercial polymeric containers used in cosmetic field, especially through mechanical properties’ evaluation, from a safety point of view. First of all, it is essential to obtain complete information about raw materials. Subsequently, using an appropriate full factorial experimental design, it is possible to investigate the variables, like polymeric density, treatment, or type of formulation involved in changes to packaging properties or in formulation-packaging interaction. The variation of these properties can greatly affect cosmetic safety. In particular, mechanical properties can be used as an indicator of pack performances and safety. As an example, containers made of two types of polyethylene with different density, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are investigated. Regarding the substances potentially extractable from the packaging, in this work the headspace solid-phase microextraction method (HSSPME) was used because this technique was reported in the literature as suitable to detect extractables from the polymeric material here employed.
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