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Application of Dyes and Pigments
Colourants for Cosmetics Industry

Does Hair Dye causes cancer

Hair dye has been often linked to causes of cancer in the bladder. But new findings have shown that there is no apparent link between the two. It may be a small factor in a few types of cancer in the blood cells. If it is, then also it may be very minor.
Dyes have found a wide variety of uses in the cosmetics industry. Be it the hair dyes or lipsticks or nail polish shampoo everywhere there is wide use of dyes. Let us look at hair dyes. Most of the commercial hair dye formulas available now are complex, that uses bunchful of ingredients, and the formulas also differ considerably with manufacturers. Since we are interested in the dye part let's see what kind of dyes are used in making of hair dye. The dye chemicals that are used usually consists of amino compounds, like 4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene and m-Aminophenol. Pigments of Metal oxides, like titanium dioxide and iron oxide, are also used. The process of manufacturing hair dye is illustrated in this diagram.

Colourants in Cosmetics IndustryColourants in Cosmetics IndustriesColourants in Cosmetics Industry

Types of ingredients used in the cosmetics

In the category of decorative cosmetics, the majority of colors used are pigments. It is the inorganic pigments that are popular with cosmetics but are subject to purity levels of heavy metals. The range of inorganic pigments used in cosmetics is generally made up of various chemical types. A few of the popular ones is provided in the table.

Pigments Features and applications
Iron Oxides Three basic shades: black, yellow and red, finds use in liquid foundations, face powders, and blushers.
Chromium Dioxides Shades range from dull olive green, to a blue green, or bright green, finds use in most categories of cosmetic preparations but prohibited for use in lip products in the USA.
Ultramarines Shade range from bright blue to violet, pink and green also, not allowed for lip products in the USA.
Manganese Violet Shade is purple.
Iron Blue Colour is dark blue, used in a wide range of applications.
White Pigments
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide
White pigments have a wide use in all cosmetics, they show extremely good covering power, are almost totally inert also extremely stable to heat and light.
Mica Mica gives a natural translucence when used as face powders and powder blushers.

In addition to this some types of organic pigments are also used along with water soluble and oil soluble dyes in the cosmetics application.

Some examples of water soluble dyes are given here.

Dye C.I. Number Colours
Carotene PS 300 75130  
Annato Hydrosouble 75120  
Carmin of Cochineal 75470  

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