context: This research paper is divided into three parts: (a) packaging analysis (b) chemical analysis to determine the composition (c) contamination analysis of questioned kohl cosmetics. aim: The present work deals with the comparative analysis of authentic and questioned cosmetic products using different analytical techniques. settings and design: The study examined 24 samples of two different kohl brands named B1 and B2. Four genuine samples were used as a benchmark to check the variability and relevancy of the obtained results. 20 questioned samples were named C1-C10 of first brand (B1) and C11-C20 of second brand (B2). The references were named GA1-GA2 (authentic samples of brand 1) obtained from the original website of the first brand and as GB1-GB2 (authentic samples of brand 2) purchased from the original website of the second brand. Packaging, chemical and contamination analysis were done on questioned, and authentic samples of two dissimilar brands of kohl cosmetics. materials & methods: Chemical analysis was done by utilizing sophisticated techniques such as FTIR, 1HNMR, and EDX. Additionally, contamination analysis was performed on the questioned samples by employing optical microscopy. statistical analysis: The SPSS version 23.0 was used to determine the difference between the mean elemental composition of authentic and suspected counterfeit samples. results: Through the first-line investigation of the hologram on the samples, it was detected that out of 20 samples, 17 samples contained damaged or scrambled holograms (B1) or just a silver tag (B2). The micro-text was not detected in these samples compared to genuine samples (n=4). In terms of chemical analysis using EDX, the presence of palladium, cadmium, and mercury were detected in all samples. NMR delta values for both the authentic and questioned samples were different which concluded that the molecular structure and composition of both samples were dissimilar and consisted of different elements. Optical microscopy affirmed the presence of E. coli in two samples. conclusion: From the analysis, it was observed that the visual comparison with authentic sample is the first step to detect counterfeit packaging but due to the adaptation of new printing technology by the counterfeiters, they can easily replicate authentic product packaging including security features such as barcodes. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the sample through chemical investigation to check the product in detail. The study was performed on a limited number of samples and therefore encourages chemical and packaging profiling of counterfeits on a bigger scale.
: Abhinav Sood