Making a green lipstick . I am tryin to incorporate hibiscus powder and beet root powder

MariaRawlingsMariaRawlings Member
edited May 11 in Cosmetic Industry
I mixed my veggie / flower powder into glycerin before adding into my lipstick base but it stays grainy without completely dissolving so i also added a little low hlb  emulsifier btms and still no great blend without graininess. Any suggestions to make this work?


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You will get better answers if you list all the ingredients in your formula.
  • I normally formulate everything but I had a ready made base in my stash of ingredients and when I checked the ingredients it appeared to be an ok formula. I do not know the percentage of each ingredient but this is the list of the lipstick base.
    castor seed oil
    cetyl stearyl alcohol,
    olive fruit oil,
    hydrogenated castor oil,
    glycine soybean lipids,
    laurel laurate,
    carnauba wax,
    candellia wax.
    To this I was adding beetroot powder and hibiscus flower powder in a gram of glycerin .i also added 5 grams of btms-50 to the entire mixture.

  • Beetroot and hibiscus 0.50 mgs each

  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    Nice share @Pattsi
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I'm not sure those colors would be legal for cosmetics in the US.
  • I am incorporating natural beetroot powder and natural hibiscus powder.After more research I will try another approach to adding the pigments. 
  • MariaGarciaMariaGarcia Member
    edited May 16
    Hi, Maria:

    Maybe I'm saying nonsense, but I think:
    1. You are trying to introduce powdered plant, not pigments, and it will not dissolve (even in water) because of the fibers it contains, it is normal that you notice graininess.
    2. The pigments contained in these plants are water-soluble, if I'm not mistaken. The other ingredients in your formula are fat, so they won't color. Maybe you can check this with your provider.
    3. As far as I have experienced, the BTMS will not help you to emulsify properly the glycerin. I think you would need an aqueous phase.
    4. Another possible option would be to extract the pigment with water, concentrate it as much as possible, and formulate the lipstick as an ointment (which, unlike a real balm, can contain a small proportion of water, usually less than 5%). Here's an example, albeit with fresh beets: 

    I hope it helps.
  • SylSyl Member
    I would try this pigment based on beetroot:
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Just so you know, using beetroot as a color additive for a cosmetic product sold in the US is a violation of regulations.
  • SylSyl Member
    @Perry Then would this product be considered in violation?
    This shampoo bar contains beetroot extract for blond and silver-fox hair to reduce yellow. It has been on the market for several years....
  • SylSyl Member
    By the way this company's products were recommended by the NY Times Wirecutter as best shampoo for dandruff. https//

    They were promoting their St Clements shampoo bar for dandruff containing citrus oil.  I wrote the Wirecutter explaining that dandruff shampoo was OTC in US because seborrheic dermatitis is a medical condition associated with hair loss and asked about clinical trial for citrus oils. It appears that they have removed the product from their store...
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited May 16
    @Syl - No, that product would not be in violation. They use two approved color additives including ultramarines and iron oxides. The Beetroot extract is a marketing ingredient and not the primary colorant for the product.
  • Plus beetroot and hibiscus plant extracts are highly unstable and a nightmare to use as the primary colours.
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
Sign In or Register to comment.