Green Your Beauty Routine – The Truth About Synthetic Colors & Dyes

imagesAs humans, we are drawn to color and beauty manufacturers know it!  Color can be found in makeup, lipstick, hair dyes, and some skin care.  The most common synthetic colors used in cosmetics and hair dyes are called FD&C colors and they are derived from coal-tar, which in turn is a by-product of petroleum, and has been scrutinized due to its link to cancer. [i]

In 1938, Congress gave the FDA the authority to regulate color additives in cosmetics right down to where they can be used on the body.  As a result, only 7 dyes are safe for use in personal care products.  In the USA, the following artificial colorings are permitted by the FDA (make sure that your beauty products don’t contain colors not on this list!): [ii]

FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF, E133), Approved for external use in soaps and lotions and Blue No.4. FD&C Black No.2 and No.3. FD&downloadC Brown No.1. FD&C Green No. 3 (Fast Green FCF, E143 not to be used for eyes, lips, mucous membranes, and Green 5 ,6 and 8). 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.[iii]

In addition to coal-tar, cosmetic colors can also be made from chromium oxide and aluminum powder, which has also been linked to cancer. Chromium oxide is commonly called “chrome green.”[iv]

Some safe colors are made from mica flakes and iron oxides. Iron oxides are graded safe for cosmetic use as they are produced synthetically in order to avoid the inclusion of ferrous or ferric oxides, and impurities normally found in naturally occurring iron oxides.[v]

Once again, Terranova remains committed to delivering “Truth and Beauty.”  We hope this article helps you discover your truth in making informed beauty product purchase decisions.

[i] “Cosmetic Colors & Dyes – which ones are safe?”  Truth &

[ii] “Living in Color:  The Potential Dangers of Artificial Dyes.”

[iii] Cosmetic Colors & Dyes – which ones are safe?”  Truth &

[iv] Cosmetic Colors & Dyes – which ones are safe?”  Truth &

[v] Cosmetic Colors & Dyes – which ones are safe?”  Truth &

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