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Natural Colorants

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Aug 20, 2007

Since all the rage is natural ingredients, why not go more in detail with natural colorants? If I were in Europe, I could use any colorant I want, natural or synthetic, in almost any cosmetic application. That is not the case here in the United States. The US Food and Drug Administration has specific regulations regarding cosmetic colorants and natural colorants have a specific place in cosmetics. In reality, most of the natural or mineral colorants permitted for use in cosmetics and personal care products are synthetic or man-made. There are specific guidelines listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR, Parts 73 & 74) as to what colorants are permitted and what source they must be. In fact, just because something is natural doesn't mean it is safe or recommended for use in a certain application. The word "natural" is really being stretched to the limit these days. But natural ingredients do have some advantages, and one of them is that they impart color.Some natural food colors include annatto, turmeric, beta-carotene, caramel and carmine.

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