Cosmetic Colors and Cosmetic Dyes – Are they Safe?
Selecting an appropriate colour for the desired product can be extremely confusing. With cosmetic colours and cosmetic dyes, food, drugs, cosmetics and other industries can not only achieve the desired color for their products but also use them for attracting their customers. Here, find out more about cosmetic colours and cosmetic dyes in India and which ones are safe to use.
Cosmetic Colours and Cosmetic Dyes Explained
Cosmetic colours or cosmetic lakes are produced with the help of absorption of dyes that are water soluble onto a substrate that renders the colour insoluble in water. Cosmetic lake colors are created using unique technology that further aids in attaining extremely fine particles. These particles are helpful in achieving shade consistency. In comparison to the colours that are easily soluble in water, the cosmetic lakes are way more stable and generate vivacious as well as brighter colours. In fact, cosmetic pigments and lakes are more suitable for food products that contain fats and oils or even those products that do not contain enough moisture for dissolving colours.
Superior quality colour pigments do not dissolve in solvents and produce bright and attractive colours. They are stable against light, alkalis and acids and bleed less in water.
Cosmetic dyes, on the other hand, are used for producing cosmetic colours. Dyes are extensively used by the cosmetic manufacturing industries and businesses. They are primarily used for manufacturing hair dyes, lipsticks, nail polishes, shampoo and other personal care products. Water soluble & food dyes are very easy and safe to use. They are used for a wide variety of applications including that of cleaning chemicals, soaps, cosmetic products etc.
Which ones are safe?
Cosmetic colours and cosmetic dyes are used in a wide range of synthetic colours. These synthetic colours are referred to as FD&C colours and are essentially extracted through coal tar, which is basically a by-product of petroleum. Since some of the coal tar based dyes are known to cause different types of cancer, the FDA regulates them and determines the arsenic or lead amount they contain, thereby limiting them to 10 parts/million. As far as the U.S. is concerned, the country permits its industries to use the below mentioned artificial colours:
- FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF, E133)-used in the manufacturing of lotions and soaps.
- Blue No.4. FD&C Black No.2 and No.3. FD&C Brown No.1. FD&C Green No. 3
- FD&C Orange No. 4, 5, 10 and 11. FD&C Red 4, 6, 7, 17, 21, 22, 27, 28, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, FD&C Red No. 40 (Allura Red AC, E129).
- FD&C Violet No.2. FD&C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine, E102). FD&C Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow FCF, E110) and F&G Yellow No: 7, 8, 10, 11.
A couple of Synthetic lake colors are safe to be used for coloring of products. These include disperse black 9, which is commonly used for manufacturing Henna based hair dye. On the other hand, HC yellow 2 is less hazardous and is perfectly safe when used at concentration level of 3 percent.
Koel is the author of this article on cosmetic dyes in india here.