Pigment trends – from ‘behind the scenes’ at the Permanent Make-Up World Conference

New guidelines and regulations in the European Union are encouraging a trend toward more use of “Organic” pigments. What does organic mean? In this case it means carbon-based (nothing to do with environmentally friendly production). Carbon-based pigments include a very wide range of chemicals, and much more vivid colours can be produced.

New Organic Lip Pigments from Nouveau Contour

Inorganic pigments are typically based on the various mineral forms of iron (brown/black/red/yellow), and sometimes titanium oxide (white). The trend away from inorganic pigments in some EU countries in because they are adopting the EU guideline limiting the concentration of nickel. Now nickel can sometimes act as a skin irritant, but it is otherwise non-toxic and not really a cause for concern. Nickel is extremely common (present in all steel for instance), however for some reason the EU guidelines set the nickel concentration as low as a laboratory can normally detect (taking caution to an extreme). Most pigment manufacturers cannot get their iron minerals that pure, hence they are turning to organic pigments whilst arguing with the regulators. This is why some pigments are sold in the US and not in Europe, for example.

As a result of the EU guidelines we expect to see more organic pigments being developed. This is great news in terms of the range of colours that will be available, and in Australia (where pigments are not currently regulated) we will continue to be able to use iron-based pigments. Be assured THink MBC will continue to carefully screen all pigments for any health & safety concerns before offering them for sale.

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