Colour plays a decisive role in the marketing of a cosmetic product. Among thousands of substances used to colour, synthetic dyes are the most widespread in the industry. Their potential secondary effects on human health and different regulatory requirements for their use between the main world markets make analytical control necessary to guarantee the safety of a cosmetic product. However, methodologies for the determination of dyes in cosmetics are scarce with respect to those reported for other cosmetic ingredients such as preservatives or ultraviolet UV filters. In addition, most of the existing methods just consider a part of the total of dyes regulated. On the other hand, many methods have been developed for matrices different than cosmetics such as foodstuff, beverages or wastewater. The current paper reviews the recent developments in analytical methodologies for the control of synthetic dyes in cosmetics proposed in the international scientific literature in the last 10 years (2008–2018). A trend towards the use of miniaturized extraction techniques is evidenced. Due to the hydrophilic nature of dyes, liquid chromatography is the most usual choice in combination with absorbance detectors and, more recently, with mass spectrometry.
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