Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General MSDS interpretation


  • MSDS interpretation

    Posted by Margaret on November 19, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    My question refers to a shampoo bar, in this example.

    If there is a range given for the product’s ingredient, say 20 - 40% sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI), what would be safe to assume is the ACTUAL % used in the product?

    Personally, I would go with 20% SCI, so long as the total comes to 100% in my estimating calculation of each ingredient in the product, according to the ranges in its MSDS.

    I realize this might be an ‘it depends’ question, but I figured real cosmetic chemists here would be able to give me a guide, versus me just assuming the LOWEST in the range given of an ingredient on its MSDS.

    Margaret replied 6 months, 3 weeks ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • chemicalmatt

    November 22, 2023 at 7:42 am

    @Margaret You are correct in that “it depends” assumption. You can be relatively confident the true concentration is somewhere between the lower and middle of the stated range. Since nobody actually checks or verifies the values given, drafting SDS lends itself a lot of literary freedom. In the early days of drafting composition statements for export docs I used to place ranges very close to truth, then I quickly realized there is zero analytical work being done over in the E.U. to determine accuracy of my statement; not enough chemists on this planet to carry that out. A classic “no duh!” moment. Now I put down nearly any number that comes to mind as long as they add up to 100.

    • PhilGeis

      November 22, 2023 at 10:51 am

      like matt said

  • Margaret

    November 22, 2023 at 8:45 am

    Thanks Matt!!!!

  • ozgirl

    November 22, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    I’m not sure about other countries but in Australia you only need to disclose the ingredient into one of 4 concentration categories. <10%, 10-30%, 30-60% or >60%. You are advised to put narrower ranges where possible but it is not mandatory.

    I work predominately with cleaning product SDS but it is similar for other product types

    If I have an active ingredient with great label appeal that might have 0.5% in the formulation we would list it as <10% but if it is a less desirable ingredient (from a customer point of view) such as phenoxyethanol at 0.6% we would put it as <1% or even <0.7% so that customers can see it being used at less than the regulatory limit.

    Unfortunately SDS will only give a rough idea to the concentration used and you need to use your knowledge of ingredient usage rates to get closer to what they actually use.

    • Margaret

      November 24, 2023 at 9:02 am

      Thanks for your comment!

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