What pigments are used in cosmetics?

Pigments for use in cosmetics

Pigments are the kind of compounds that impart color when added to any material. This simple application of this compound has shaped our entire perception of the world of fashion, art, medicines, and even computer displays. They are mainly used in industries such as inks, fabrics, cosmetics, food, plastics, and paints.

It is essential to apply only good quality products to our skin as they are quite sensitive. Since every woman uses some kind of cosmetics on a daily basis, it is essential to know the kind of additives used in them. Pigments, also known as colorants are broadly classified into two types – organic and inorganic.

Inorganic colorants such as chromium, iron oxides, ultramarine, etc., are used when manufacturing cosmetics. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which come under white colorant are used in almost every cosmetic.

Colorants used to manufacture cosmetics and personal care are more resilient to solvents and quite opaque.

Different types of pigments used to manufacture cosmetics

We are going to present a list of inorganic colorants that are commonly used to manufacture makeup products.

Iron Oxides

They are available in three basic shades – yellow, red, and black. They are found in various cosmetic products such as talcum powder or eye shadow. They are completely safe to use, although the iron oxide used in cosmetics is made synthetically. This is one of the primary examples that natural pigments are not always safe. Iron oxides are made in laboratories since naturally produced ones often have impurities.

Iron oxides are non-toxic and gentle when used in cosmetic products for use on the surface of the skin. They do not cause any irritation and are non-allergic in nature. They even do not pose any problem to people with sensitive skin.

Chromium Dioxides

They are available in shades of blue-green, dull olive green, or bright green. They are used in various cosmetics but are prohibited from using in lip products in the USA. For example, Chromium Oxide Green is a medium green, matte, and flat colorant used to adjust hues in blushes, bronzers, and foundations when they conform to the specifications of the FDA.


Ultramarines are one of the popular pigments for cosmetics available in shades of pink, green, violet, to bright blue. They are quite safe to make coloring cosmetics and products that are to be used under the eye when they conform to FDA specifications. They are prohibited from being used in lipstick in the USA.

Manganese Violet

It is a violet colorant used to make makeup, bath products, nail polish, skincare, and hair coloring products. It is a safe coloring cosmetic that can be used on the lips and under the eye after conforming to the FDA specifications.

Ferric Ferrocyanide or Iron Blue

Iron blue is extensively used to make cosmetic and personal care products such as hair coloring, bath, makeup, skincare, and nail polish. It is a kind of deep intense dark blue colorant used in a wide variety of cosmetic applications. However, they are prohibited from being used in lips products in the USA, but they can be externally applied in the EU and Japan.

Titanium Dioxide

The pigment manufacturers in gujarat of titanium dioxide uses it to provide whiteness to personal care products and cosmetics that are applied on the skin. These include areas such as lips, nails, and eyes. Titanium dioxide helps lessen the product formula's transparency and enhance its opacity.

It is entirely safe to use with no side effects when used to manufacture cosmetics, as it is approved by the FDA only when it is 99% pure. The product has no known carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, comedogens, toxins, or triggers for contact dermatitis. It does not cause unless it is exposed beyond its safe limits during manufacturing.

Zinc oxide

It is a white powder used in various products, including nail products, makeup, bath soaps, baby lotions, and foot powders. It is also extensively used to manufacture products such as sunscreen and skin protectants. They are also quite safe to make products used under the eye only if it meets certain specifications.


Mica provides a natural translucence to the face when used as powder blushers or face powders. They are completely safe to be used as a coloring product, including in areas such as lips or under the eye.

Colorants are visible in specific colors based on the wavelength of light they reflect. Mostly inorganic pigments are used to manufacture cosmetics as they are 100% safe and manufactured in laboratories.

Also read how to disperse pigments effectively?