Simultaneous Determination of Cysteamine and Cystamine in Cosmetics by Ion-Pairing Reversed-Phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
Toxicological Research 2019;35:161−165
Published online April 30, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Society of Toxicology.

Yejin Kim, and Dong Hee Na

College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea
Dong Hee Na, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, 84 Heukseok-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul 06974, Korea, E-mail:
Received: February 21, 2019; Revised: March 8, 2019; Accepted: March 10, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cysteamine has been used in cosmetics as an antioxidant, a hair straightening agent, and a hair waving agent. However, recent studies indicate that cysteamine can act as an allergen to hairdressers. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a simple and effective reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method for the measurement of cysteamine and its dimer, cystamine. Sodium 1-heptanesulfonate (NaHpSO) was used as an ion-pairing agent to improve chromatographic performance. Separation was performed on a Gemini C18 column (250 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 μm particle size) using a mobile phase composed of 85:15 (v/v) 4 mM NaHpSO in 0.1% phosphoric acid:acetonitrile. UV absorbance was monitored at 215 nm. The RP-HPLC method developed in this study was validated for specificity, linearity, limit of detection, limit of quantitation, precision, accuracy, and recovery. Cysteamine and cystamine were chromatographically resolved from other reducing agents such as thioglycolic acid and cysteine. Extraction using water and chloroform resulted in the recovery for cysteamine and cystamine ranging from 100.2–102.7% and 90.6–98.7%, respectively. This validated RP-HPLC method would be useful for quality control and monitoring of cysteamine and cystamine in cosmetics.

Keywords : Cysteamine, Cystamine, Cosmetics, Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, Ion-pairing agent


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