The Many Shades of Mineral Pigments

Have you ever taken a moment to think about how your cosmetics are pigmented? Probably not, and that’s okay. As long as it looks good and performs the way that you want, that’s all that matters. However, we like to ensure that you are getting products that work and are truly good for you and the environment. That’s why it’s important to understand how they are made.

Here at Au Naturale Cosmetics, we want to be completely transparent and let you know exactly what’s in our products. We go out of our way to provide you with makeup that helps you look good, feel good and be good to the planet. Our cosmetic pigments have been chosen because of their vibrant colors and ability to protect you and the world.

Inorganic minerals and pigments used in makeup have many categories, origins, refinement processes and applications. They can be heavy or light as air, mined from the earth or synthetically created in a lab. They are a mainstay in the world of cosmetics because they are stable colors. That means that one batch of makeup that uses inorganic minerals and pigments will be the same as the next. Organic counterparts that are extracted from fruits and vegetables can vary from product to product.

Mineral Pigments in Makeup Aren’t New

Mineral pigments have been used as colorants for thousands of years and include a large variety of pigments such as micas, iron oxides, sericite, silicas, titanium dioxide, etc. Historically, minerals have been used to color everything from clothing to paint. Modern minerals consist of both traditional minerals and new technology that involves lab created pigments that are unique in color, texture and performance.

When possible, Au Naturale Cosmetics’ color additives are naturally derived and are always purely processed. Our mica pigments are vegan, cruelty-free and naturally derived. You might be wondering: Is mica safe in makeup? The answer is that it can be — if derived responsibility.

We source our mica pigments from companies that have complete control over their supply chains from start to finish to ensure traceability, safety and purity. Our oxide pigments (iron oxides, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) are all synthetically made pigments that comply with FDA requirements. They are nature identical in order to ensure complete safety for our consumer. When it comes to mica in makeup, our micas and oxides are purely processed to ensure the highest quality in purity and color payoff. 

Why Cosmetic Pigments Are Processed

But why do all cosmetic pigments need to be processed? The reason is that there are naturally occurring elements in the earth (i.e., heavy metals, including lead and arsenic) that can impact the extracted mineral. Minerals need to be purified and checked for heavy metal content so that they do not contaminate you through your skin. The FDA sets the standards for heavy metal content in cosmetics, and companies like us are expected to comply (spoiler alert: we do!). 

We are pleased to see that the conversation around ethical extraction is taking place in our industry. Most notably is the concern around the abuse of children in mines, historically in India. Due to the small size and translucence of micas, they can be hard to harvest from the earth. Children have been used for labor in many mica mines, and are still presently in some areas. 

We go out of our way to source our micas from verified suppliers who own, operate and audit their mines both internationally and domestically. Since our suppliers own their supply chain from harvesting to processing to distribution, we can assure only the highest quality micas that have been mined without the use of child labor are used in our formulas. 

That only leaves the question: is mica safe for makeup? We make sure it is because we manufacture our makeup in our own private facility. This is quite uncommon in the world of color cosmetics and allows us to offer unparalleled transparency.

Only the Best Natural Pigments for Makeup

The process of refinement and use of inorganic minerals is complex, but at Au Naturale Cosmetics, we find our stance on color additives evolving every day. One thing we can promise you is that we will always ensure the use of “Conscious Color.” 

We believe these two words precisely define what we do: offer you color that is ethical, safe and sustainable; values we believe our consumers treasure. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out our products and see how amazing they truly are!

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