Gold Nanomaterials in Consumer Cosmetics Nanoproducts: Analyses, Characterization, and Dermal Safety Assessment

Mingjing Cao, Jiayang Li, Jinglong Tang, Chunying Chen, Yuliang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Establishment of analytical methods of engineered nanomaterials in consumer products for their human and environmental risk assessment becomes urgent for both academic and industrial needs. Owing to the difficulties and challenges around nanomaterials in complex media, proper chemical separation and biological assays of nanomaterials from nanoproducts needs to be firstly developed. Herein, a facile and rapid method to separate and analyze gold nanomaterials in cosmetics is reported. Gold nanomaterials are successfully separated from different facial or eye creams and their physiochemical properties are analyzed by quantitative and qualitative state-of-the art techniques with high sensitivity or high spatial resolution. In turn, a protocol including quantification of gold by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and thorough characterization of morphology, size distribution, and surface property by electron microscopes, atomic force microscope, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscope is developed. Subsequently, the preliminary toxicity assessment indicates that gold nanomaterials in cosmetic creams have no observable toxicity to human keratinocytes even after 24 h exposure up to a concentration of 200 μg mL−1. The environmental scanning electron microscope reveals that gold nanomaterials are mostly attached on the cell membrane. Thus, the present study provides a full analysis protocol for toxicity assessment of gold nanomaterials in consumer products (cosmetic creams).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5488-5496
Number of pages9
Issue number39
StatePublished - Oct 19 2016


  • characterization
  • cosmetic creams
  • gold nanomaterials
  • separation
  • toxicity assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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