Hanna Instruments Australia
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Sales: (03) 9769 0666   |    Mon to Fri: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Hanna Instruments Australia
Sales: (03) 9769 0666   |    Mon to Fri: 8:30am – 5:00pm

pH of Mascara

For many years, cosmetics have been used to enhance features, achieve certain styles, and help individuals stand out. As early as 4000B.C. the Egyptians used kohl, a ground mineral, to darken their lashes, brows, and eyelids. Today, mascara is used to enhance eyelashes, and is now marketed for specific features such as water resistance, longevity, lengthening effects, and darkening effects. The main ingredients of mascara are wax, water, pigment, and binders. These ingredients make up the two phases in mascara production; an oil-soluble and water-soluble phase. The oil-soluble phase contains waxes, vitamins, and a water-resistant chemical. The mixture is heated until the wax melts and the ingredients are mixed. The water-soluble phase is prepared separately. This is made from water, an emulsifier, and pigments for colour. This is then mixed while adding a pH buffer and other chemicals. Once both phases are prepared, the two are mixed until combined.

It is important for the finished mascara to be stable enough to prevent microbial growth, but not harsh on the user’s eyes. The final product is measured in a quality control lab for viscosity and pH. Eyes have a pH of about 7.0, so it is important that the final product is pH-balanced, so it will not cause eye irritation. The ideal pH of mascara is between 6.5 and 8.0.


A cosmetic manufacturer was interested in adding a pH meter and probe to their quality control lab for their mascara line. They were not happy with the general-purpose pH bulb they used for other products and wanted a faster, more accurate way of monitoring their mascara. Hanna recommended the HI5222 Laboratory Benchtop pH meter, with two-channel capabilities and the FC240B pH electrode with stainless steel body.

The slim design of the FC240B gave the customer the option to monitor pH in a beaker as well as to spot check the mascara tubes after filling. The open junction provides a faster response and more stable readings, while also being less prone to clogging. The customer also purchased HI70681 Cleaning solution for ink stains to clean the probe each night. This alcohol-based cleaning solution works well for removing the pigments mascara leaves behind. The customer appreciated the two-channel capability of the HI5222, allowing them to connect two pH electrodes simultaneously to the meter. Having the split screen on the HI5222 allows the customer to monitor two different product lines at the same time. The CAL Check™ feature gives the customer the confidence that all calibrations and readings are accurate and reliable.

The customer also appreciated the data tracking and traceability features of the HI5222. While measuring each batch, the data can be logged and transferred to the computer for future reference. Easily viewed GLP data allowed the customer to see what calibration points were used and when the probe was calibrated. By adding the HI5222 and FC240B to their QC lab, the customer has been able to analyse multiple product lines simultaneously and accurately. Hanna provided a complete solution to their needs with a meter, probe, and cleaning solution to keep the QC lab running efficiently.

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