Article by: Kelly Dobos

In honor of National Lipstick Day, on July 29th , we thought we’d share some information about Red 6 and Red 7 and a formulation for a bold red lipstick. These pigments are the two main colorants used to lipsticks and lip gloss due to their bright colors, high intensity, good stability, and excellent economic value. The combined total amount of Red 6 and 7 lakes certified by the FDA during their 2017 fiscal year was just over 1.2 million pounds! Other pigments are used as shading colors to tint these reds to achieve a desired shade.

Red 6 and Red 7 belong to class of pigments referred to as Azo pigments. The term originated from the name, azote, proposed by the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier for the element nitrogen. Azote derives from the Greek a (not) and zoe (to live). An apt name for an asphyxiant gas. Azo chemistry is one of the earliest and still most important means of producing color compounds.

Red 6 and Red 7 have nearly the same chemical structure, the barium salt of Red 6 is a yellow shade red and the calcium salt of Red 7 produces a blue shade red. Both are available in a variety of strength levels and transparencies depending on the amount and type of substrate used in laking.


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.

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