The development of dual-function solid-phase method as extraction and a decomposition reaction media for the determination of a formaldehyde releaser, imidazolidinyl urea, in cosmetics

Anal Chim Acta. 2022 Jan 25:1191:338891. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2021.338891. Epub 2021 Jul 27.


In this study, we present a simple method to determine imidazolidinyl urea (IU) in cosmetics using a solid phase as both a decomposition field and an extraction phase. IU is difficult to quantify because it is a mixture of allantoin-formaldehyde condensation products that are easily decomposed to release formaldehyde. In our method, IU is decomposed to allantoin and 1-[4-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxoimidazolidin-4-yl]urea (4-HU) on an aminopropyl-bonded silica solid phase. Subsequent high-performance liquid chromatography enables quantification of the resulting allantoin and 4-HU. The quantified value was converted to the total allantoin amount on the basis of molecular weight, and the calculated value was compared with that of an IU reference standard to determine the contents. The calibration curves of the decomposed IU as allantoin and 4-HU were both linear over an IU solution concentration range from 0.05 to 0.65% (w/v). The recoveries from lotion, body soap, and conditioners, which contained 0.1%, 0.3%, and 0.6% (w/w) of IU, respectively, ranged from 88.2 to 107.5%. The relative standard deviation values for the recovery tests of six replicates ranged from 1.03 to 6.97%. The intra-laboratory precisions for the lotion and conditioner A containing 0.3% IU were 3.02 and 4.94%, respectively. This method was well validated and would be helpful in determining IU in cosmetic samples.

Keywords: Allantoin; Dual-function solid-phase; Formaldehyde releasers; Imidazolidinyl urea.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cosmetics* / analysis
  • Formaldehyde
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives


  • Cosmetics
  • Formaldehyde
  • Urea
  • imidazolidinyl urea