Detecting parabens in cosmetics with HPLC


AM Session: 9:30am – 1:30pm
Session timings may be adjusted slightly to suit school calendars between the hours of 9:00 – 4:30.

Curriculum Areas

VCE Chemistry

In this learning program, students will explore the use of HPLC to create a calibration curve and determine the quantity and type of paraben found in cosmetics. They will also engage in discussions about the characteristics of poisonous substances. Parabens, a group of chemicals commonly utilized in various cosmetic products, serve to inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold. Despite their widespread use in Australia, these chemicals have raised concerns due to their potential estrogen-mimicking effects. The challenge for students lies in utilizing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to detect and measure paraben levels in a commercial cosmetic, utilizing specialized science equipment.