Consciously trying to avoid artificial colourants in your cosmetics? Here we reveal how to tell if your natural beauty products contain synthetic colourants, animal-derived colourants or plant-based colourants.
Step into the beauty aisle of your local supermarket and its probable that you’ll see an array of bottles containing liquids representing every colour of the rainbow. Hair care, body washes, hand washes, cosmetics and even sun creams can be made in a variety of shades to make them more appealing.
Are you confused by colourants? Here we guide you through the difference between natural and artificial colourants and show you how to spot which are used in your bath and beauty products.
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NATURAL COLOURANT VS ARTIFICIAL COLOURANT: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
If your beauty products contain colourants, these will be listed on the products ingredient list. In the UK, both natural and artificial colourants are listed by their Colour Index Numbers and these will start with the letters CI followed by 5 digits.
- Are naturally derived from plant and mineral sources
- Are well tolerated by the skin and suitable for those with sensitive skin
- Will typically have numbers greater than CI 75000
- The most commonly used synthetic colours are Azo-dyes which can contain heavy metals
- Can be absorbed by the skin and may cause skin irritation
- Will often have CI numbers lower than CI 75000
ANIMAL-DERIVED COSMETIC DYES
In addition to plant-derived and synthetic colourants, cosmetics can get their pigment from insect- and animal-derived ingredients. One example of this is Carmine, a red dye derived from crushed cochineal beetles which is used to make cosmetics like nail varnish and lipstick red. It can be listed on ingredients list by its name or its Colour Index Number (CI 75470) and is not suitable for vegans.
Looking for a plant-based alternative to animal-derived cosmetic dyes? The PETA website provides some great natural colourant suggestions including beetroot and saffroni. You can also be assured that as a cruelty-free brand, Green People only ever makes make-up with earth mineral pigments and never tests our products or ingredients on animals.
SHOP EARTH MINERAL COLOUR COSMETICS
Organic matte lipstick in a berry shade suited to all skin tones
Tinted daily skin defence moisturiser with lightweight coverage
WHY ARE SYNTHETIC COLOURANTS USED IN SOME BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
Sometimes synthetic colours are added to skin care for practical purposes. Some children’s sun cream brands added coloured tints to their products to make them more appealing to children reluctant to apply sun protection. Likewise, vivid colours are often added to children’s bath products to make bath times a colourful experience.
Adult beauty products can also contain synthetic colourants. You may find yourself choosing the bubble bath that best matches the colour of your bathroom and colour cosmetics like concealer, foundation, blusher and lipstick will either be pigmented with synthetic colours, animal dyes or natural earth minerals.
DOES GREEN PEOPLE USE SYNTHETIC OR NATURAL COLOURANTS?
To ensure our organic beauty and grooming ranges are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, we do not use synthetic colourants in any of our products. Except for our tinted moisturisers which contain natural earth minerals, our skin, hair and dental care products all have a cream colour that is naturally present in the product’s base oils and plant actives.
To give the colour cosmetics in our mineral make-up range long-lasting colour, we use natural earth minerals like Zinc oxide and Iron Oxides.
HAPPY TO HELP
Do you have a further question about artificial colours in skin care? Our UK customer care team are happy to answer your questions and can be contacted on 01403 740350.