eye-cosmetic

Article by: Kelly Dobos

Cosmetics for the eye area present a unique challenge for the cosmetic chemist as the FDA ,due to the potential for irritation, prohibits many colorants from use in the eye area. Effect pigments like mica and eye-cosmeticsynthetic mica can be used in the eye area but natural mica is limited to a particle size of 150 microns. Synthetic micas can be used to achieve greater sparkle and also have lower heavy metals content. Additionally, when effect pigments like mica are coated with additional pigments, they regulations and restrictions for those pigments should be followed. Below is a summary of the colorants used in cosmetics for the eye area.

Mascara, Eyeliner: The majority of these products are dark shades that blend with eyelashes to enhance the eye. However unique colors and effects are also used create bold, fun effects. Organic colors typically provide brighter, cleaner shades.

Inorganic Colors:
Black Iron Oxide (Jet Black Iron Oxide)
Brown Iron Oxide
Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide
Ultramarines
Chromium Hydroxide Green
Manganese Violet

Organic Colors:
D&C Black 2
FD&C Yellow 5 Al Lake
FD&C Blue 1 Al Lake
D&C Black 2 provides the deepest shade of black for mascara and eyeliner, but due to cost it is often blended with black iron oxide. The combination of FD&C Yellow Al Lake and FD&C Blue 1 Al Lake allow for a bright shade of green to be achieved compared to that of chromium greens.

And for Eye Shadows.
Inorganic Colors:
Black Iron Oxide (Jet Black Iron Oxide)
Red Iron Oxide
Yellow Iron Oxide
Titanium Dioxide
Brown Iron Oxide
Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide
Ultramarines
Chromium Hydroxide Green
Manganese Violet

Organic Colors:
D&C Black 2
FD&C Yellow 5 Al Lake
FD&C Blue 1 Al Lake
FD&C Red 40 Al Lake
Carmine

FD&C Red 40 Al Lake is not only cleaner than carmine, it is also much more economical. D&C Black 2 is often used to provide the deepest shades of brown.

Kelly Dobos

About the Author

Kelly Dobos

Kelly Dobos is a cosmetic chemist and expert in both skin care and make-up product formulation. She has the coolest job and a passion for teaching others the smartest ways to express their creativity through cosmetic chemistry.

2 comments

  1. Jolie

    Hi Kelly.
    Thank you for your article.
    Just a quick question .
    “Effect pigments like mica and eye-cosmeticsynthetic mica can be used in the eye area but natural mica is limited to a particle size of 150 m. ” –> Is “150m” a typo ? What’s the correct one ? Thanks.

    1. Kelly
      Kelly

      That is a typo, I’ll correct it soon! Thanks for catching it. It should be microns.

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