Hello formulating friends!!
As you might have noticed, I really love making colorful skincare!

So today I thought I would share a few tips about this topic. It is a fascinating & complex one.

Types of colorings in cosmetics:
– natural plant based ones like clays, herbs, spices, hennas, vegetal oils
– pure organic pigments FDC dyes (synthetic) lakes
– carmines
– mineral compounds like iron & zinc oxide
– micas, which are natural, mined from earth, then processed with pigments to get different colors


Colored cosmetics have been used since ancient times. Since 4000BC egyptian women used:
– galena mesdemet (from copper, lead)
– malachite from copper

Even paprika, clays, precious stones, seaweed extract, tumeric, rice powders, hennas were used in the quest for beauty.

Whitening skin was a trend in 1500’s causing deaths from lead poison.

In 1800’s zinc oxides replaced deadly lead & copper.
In 1856 1st synthetic dye, mauve, was produced. Problem was, many dyes were byproducts of coal processing aka coal tar dyes. Later it was found many of these synthetic dyes had heavy metals & poisonous chemicals lead, arsenic & mercury in them.

Today color additives are very regulated for cosmetic use. Oxides used are made in a lab & nature identic to the natural ones, but safer. Micas are natural but later processed & coated with pigments.
Minerals are a safe option for earthy tones

Dyes are water soluble, pigments are dispersable.If not well blended, you can have grains in your products.

Natural colorants are amazing, & there are many options.
💗herbs (calendula, butterfly pea, yarrow)
💗spices (paprika)
💗roots (madder, alkanet)

Though harder to control, less stable & won’t last as long as color with oxides or dyes.

There is so much beauty in natural plant based colors, they are subtle but give gorgeous hues of orange, yellow, blues & greens if used correctly.

My favorites:
🌺buriti oil
🌺butterfly pea
🌺gromwell root
🌺tamanu oil
🌺blue tansy

I could go on all day!
Please share your favorites.

Have a lovely day !

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