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Cosmetic Raw Materials and Their Interplay of Colors- Secret Revealed!

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As there are pharmacy chemists who deal with medicines and other drugs, there are Makeup chemists who deal with makeup and the Colors which are used to create the colorful makeup products that make women look prettier and attractive. These colors are like the raw materials of cosmetic products which act as the base behind each and every mesmerizing make up art. Take a look at the different kinds of makeup raw materials to get enlightened about the cosmetics which you use to transform yourself into a gorgeous avatar.

Types of Colorants used in Cosmetics

There are two main colorants prevalent in the cosmetic industry. These are namely:

  • Inorganic or Mineral pigments
  • Organic pigments

Inorganic pigments

 Inorganic Pigments are those pigments which occur naturally on earth. These are mainly made up of transition metals (the one which you have studied in high school chemistry, periodic table). Transition metals as you know are composed of valence electrons in their outer most orbits which can combine with any other compounds, giving rise to various oxidation states. These electrons being unstable can also readily absorb light energy (visible light) and thereby get promoted to a higher energy level. Among the inorganic group, the most popular ones are:

  • Iron oxides: These are used in the preparation of red, brown, black and yellow colors and can further be blended to form any other vibrant shades.
  • Chromium Oxide: This is used to sketch the base of green color used in a variety of makeup products.
  • Ultramarines: Those who bleed in blue, they will be surprised to know that their favorite blue color comes from Ultramarines (Yes! You got that right, Marine for blue hence it is the root of blue).
  • Titanium dioxide/Zinc Oxide: White has no color, but it has a strong statement and this statement stems it birth from Titanium dioxide or Zinc oxide. Apart from delivering peaceful white, these also provide some UV shield as well.

The main characteristics of inorganic pigments are, they are opaque and are solvent resistant. As such these are greatly used in makeup stuffs.

Organic pigments

As you can understand from the name itself, organic pigments are derived from organic molecules that have a chromophoric group (color group) which is rich in nitrogen, carbon, sulphur and obviously oxygen. These differ from the organic ones in terms of the solubility quotient as these have solubility in various solvents.

  • AZO colorants– The most popular colors, red and yellow are produced through AZO colorants.
  • Triarylmethane– This pigment is the organic base for blue and green colors used in several skin-friendly cosmetics.
  • Xanthenes– It is an accessory pigment, present in plants and gives bright colors to fruits. This is mostly a staining dye which can effectively deliver red or Orange colors.
  • Anthraquinone– Like chlorophyll pigment is present in the leaves, there are anthraquinoneas well and this is the standalone green colorantin the form of herbal extracts in the organic pigment world.

There are specific formulas, norms and ingredient ratio, formulated by FDA which a cosmetic manufacturing company needs to abide by.

Apart from the cosmetic industry, there are several other fields where the application of colors plays major determining roles, like garments, foods, drugs papers, bags etc. Colors for these diverse fields are also diverse in range starting from organic pigments, reactive dyes, acid yellow, leather dyes and pigment dispersions.



This post first appeared on Organic Pigments, Pigment Red 170, Pigment Yellow,, please read the originial post: here

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