Does expensive raw materials mean better? (Pigment & Dyes)

edited September 2017 in Cosmetic Industry
I was pooling my suppliers for Water Soluble dyes for the Lip Stain I'm developing and many suppliers submitted their quotations to me:

I asked for Yellow 5 and 6, Red 33 and 40, Blue 1, and Acid Orange 4 as those are widely approved in South East Asia.

Koel Colors (India) quoted me with an average of 40 to 120 USD per Kilogram, while Daito (Japan)  averaged around 45 to 165 USD per Kilogram. Now I've expected the slight price increase with Japanese products because of Japan's perceived premium manufacturing standards, but for the next supplier, I wasn't quite prepared.

A supplier from US called Sensient quoted me a price average of 800 to 1000USD per Kilogram for the same products. I've asked multiple times if there was a misquote and they were insistent that there was none.

Is that a clear misquote? Or is there a tangible, visual, and quality measurable difference between these suppliers, manufacturing the same product? 

Please note that this is also true for their Pre-dispersed lakes for lipsticks. Sensient is always >100% more expensive than other suppliers.

Please let me know your thoughts. 


  • Honestly, there must be people queuing up to be your buyer.
    I would (in a tone of genuine enquiry) ask them to explain exactly why they are so much more expensive.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    they might be marking it up for small orders; Sensient are a large company, and they may well prefer to sell products in fairly large quantities (we've only ever ordered their dyes through an agent, and their rates are much more reasonable)
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • For yellow 5 & blue 1 the sensient quote is ridiculously high if you buy 5kg lots
    I bought 5 kg yellow 5 last time for €60/kg
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    There is no reason from a technical standpoint that there should be a huge difference in the cost of dyes. If the ingredients are approved for use in cosmetics then there won't be much of a noticeable quality difference either.
Sign In or Register to comment.