What is a security data sheet (formerly known and MSDS), and why do we need it?
When new cosmetic products are invented, they have to go through security assessment – a process where a validated chemist checks its chemical formulation and confirms that the product is safe, compatible with all legal regulations, and ready for marketing.
After security assessment, (usually) the same chemist creates a security data sheet for that product (formerly named medical security data sheet). The purpose of SDS is to provide information about the potential hazards of a product and advice about safety precautions in a standardized form. When you receive a new SDS, I recommend going through it to understand the product better. If you don’t want to spend the time going through the whole thing, just look at the first three sections. Many companies say many things to promote their products that are, in fact, nothing more than just that – marketing strategies. Understanding how to read SDS will help you know what’s actually true and what’s not.
For example: there are a few lash lift brands on the market that claim that their lifting lotion is organic but when you look at the ingredients list you can recognize the harsh chemicals that make the product not organic.
Another example: since our Superbonder became the most popular product in the whole eyelash industry, it is now widely copied. Unfortunately, the copies have NOTHING to do with our original product, except for the stolen name and product description. If you know how to read SDS you can catch the scammers easily!
Our original Superbonder contains less than 0.01% alcohol as it’s a preservative for only one of its ingredients so:
- In section 2 (Hazard(s) identification) it reads:
2.1 Classification according:
Hazard Statement / Hazard Class and – Category: None
The product is not subject to labeling.
2.2 Label elements: None.
This means that it is a category 0 skin irritant, fine to use in the eye area.
- In section 3 (Composition/information on ingredients) it reads:
Substances: Not applicable.
Dangerous Ingredients: The product contains no substances classified as hazardous to health in concentrations which should be taken into account according to EC directive.
Since most of the fake “Superbonders” are just use a mixture of water and alcohol + a little bit of this and that, if you look at the SDS of the fake “Superbonders” you will find alcohol in section 3 and in section 2 you can see that it is an irritant for skin and eyes!!
By the way this water + alcohol mixture is pretty much the same formula as regular alcohol primers so you can save money and just use a regular primer instead of the fake “Superbonder” as it has the same effect on eyelash glue – it makes it cure faster but more porous so glue will emit more vapors (Superbonder has the opposite effect – it seals adhesive surface to minimize glue vapors). So, what the ballsiest of copycats have done is taking their regular primer and relabelling it “Superbonder”. This information is available for recognition in section 16 (Other information) where all changes to the SDS have to be noted – I launched Superbonder in 2018 so if you have an SDS with original date of let’s say 2005 and edited in let’s say 2019 (I think that’s when I saw the first copies) you can be pretty sure that you have a regular alcohol based primer in your hands.
It’s good to have SDS for all cosmetic products you use in your salon available in case anything happens and you need to react fast. Also, in many countries it’s required to have them available!
What are the different sections on SDS and what do they mean?
The safety data sheet contains 16 sections:
- Identification – Identify the chemicals on the SDS and recommended uses along with contact information for the supplier
- Hazard(s) identification – Identify the hazards of the chemical and the necessary warning information associated with them meaning any warning symbols that have to be märked on the bottle
- Composition/information on ingredients – Identify the ingredient(s) contained in the product including impurities and stabilizers
- First-aid measures – Describe initial care to be provided by untrained responders to an individual who has been exposed to the chemical. This is the section to find in case anything happens or your customers have a reaction!
- Fire-fighting measures – Provide recommendations for fighting a fire caused by the chemical
- Accidental release measures – Provide recommendations on responses to spills, leaks, or releases including containment and clean-up practices to prevent or minimize exposure to people, places, and the environment
- Handling and storage – Provide guidance on safe handling practices and safe storage conditions
- Exposure controls/personal protection – Indicate the exposure limits, engineering controls, and personal protective measures to use to minimize exposures
- Physical and chemical properties – Identify physical and chemical properties associated with the substance or mixture
- Stability and reactivity – Describe the reactivity hazards of the chemical and chemical stability
- Toxicological information – Provide toxicological and health effects information or indicate if data are not available
- Ecological information – Provide information to evaluate the environmental impact of the chemical if it should be released to the environment
- Disposal considerations – Provide guidance on proper disposal practices, recycling, or reclamation of the chemical to its container as well as safe handling practices
- Transport information – Provide guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting hazardous chemicals by road, air, rail, or sea
- Regulatory information – Identify the safety, health, and environmental regulations specific for the product that is not indicated elsewhere on the SDS
- Other information – Indicate when the SDS was prepared and when the last revision was made