What is Carmine in Cosmetics and Where Does it Come From?

What is lipstick in cosmetics and where does it come from?

Red lipstick is a common make-up product of almost every woman. Red lip color looks irresistible and highlights the lips. The red color in cosmetics is ubiquitous, regardless of whether it is make-up for the eyes, lips or cheeks. Usually, unfortunately, the source of this pigment comes from an animal, more precisely from an insect. Below, we open Pandora's box and reveal everything about one of the common ingredients in cosmetics – carmine.

Except in cosmetics, carmine can be also found in food. Foods like yogurt, candy, toppings, jams that are red in color may contain carmine (E120). Discount drinks of various juices, also contain lipstick to get the desired color of the product. Carmine can be found and in dyed fabric. When it comes to cosmetics carmine is found in lipsticks, lip glosses, lip balms, eye shadows, blushes, nail polishes, nail polishes and care products - shampoos.

What is carmine?

Carmine is a well-known composition in cosmetics that gives red pigment to the final product. The base of red pigment in decorative cosmetics is carminic acid which derived from insects. These are female insects called cochineal (Dactylopius coccus). Why only a female? Because only females have red pigment in them, and fertilized females have it more than unfertilized ones. This species of insect lives as a parasite on cacti and their origin is Mexican.

How do you get red?

Trigger Warning: This is not pleasant and there is no easy way to say it. Carmine is produced by drying, crushing, and then cooking the body of pupae. Usually, insect-loving cacti are swept away from their cacti and killed by immersion in hot water, excessive exposure to sunlight, steam or oven heat. Unfortunately, about 70,000 insects must be killed to only one pound of this red dye was produced. The small red insects are native to Latin America and are bred mainly in Peru.

Given that fertilized females carry the most pigment, breeders take females before they lay eggs, then dry them and crushed to get red powder. This process of obtaining red colors in cosmetics are partially considered natural, but it is used to obtain different color shades chemical compound aluminum or calcium-aluminum.

carmine cosmetics lipstick in cosmetics

Makeup manufacturers use this ingredient because they believe that it is the best ingredient to achieve the best results in shades of pink and red in cosmetics, and thus the product is still declared natural.

What is carmine usually used for?

Carmine is a common color found in many foods, beverages, clothing and cosmetics.

Everything from yogurt from strawberries and red lollipops to lipsticks and blushes. Basically, the red color of any product could be obtained from carmine. In the cosmetics industry, carmine is usually used for adding vibrant red, pink or orange pigment to lipstick, blush, eyeshadow and nail polish. Carmine is the third most common color used in natural and traditional (petroleum-based) makeup lines. Just because something is said to be natural doesn't mean it doesn't contain carmine – we're aware of plenty of natural and supposedly cruelty-free lipstick products.

red nail polish carmine crveni ruz red lipstick

What are other names for carmine?

Labels on products for carmine are:

Carmine, Carmine (Coccus Cactil), Carmine 5297, Carmine Ultra-Fine, Carminic Acid, Carminic Acid Lake, Cochineal, Cochineal Extract, Natural Red 4, B Rose Liquid, Natural Dyes, Natural Pigments, Crimson Lake, C.I. 75470 ili E120. It may even sneak into your makeup under the label “natural color”.

Is carmine vegan?

In cosmetic products, this ingredient is not considered vegan, but in a cruel way which gives the desired product. If the product is declared as organic or natural, it does not mean that it does not contain carmine! Many cosmetics manufacturers will write that product may contain carmine, which means that most cosmetic products contain carmine. Here find out which ingredients in cosmetics are of animal origin.

Also, this ingredient can cause allergic reactions. For example, if there is irritation around the eyes or dermatitis on the cheeks after using the product, it is possible that it is an allergic reaction to the carmine.

What are the alternatives to carmine?

Alternatives to lipstick are carmine! Could it be better? Namely, beetroot is one of the alternatives that gives color to cosmetic products such as lipsticks, powder products or eye shadows and blushes or care products, more precisely shampoos. In addition to beetroot, the root of the plant is often used alkanet (engl.alkanet - Alkanna tinctoria). Other alternatives are grapes, beets, turmeric, saffron, carrots, chlorophyll, annatto (extract of the outer layer of the seeds of the tropical shrub Bixa).

herbal red in cosmetics red cosmetics

Carmine-free products may be less bright red or lighter shades, but they are not irritating and are more attractive because provide a natural look.

Another alternative are synthetic dyes. But they can be obtained from tar or oil. There are also mineral pigmentand - color additives used for quality cosmetic products. Mineral pigments are highly effective color additives used to color quality cosmetic products. These additives are mixed with other colors to create opacity, color effect and unique shades that resonate with consumers.

Today we can find more and more cosmetics that are mineral. The ingredients that make up pure mineral decorative cosmetics are:

  • Titanium oxide
  • Zinc oxide
  • Liskun
  • Iron oxide

Mineral pigments are considered non-toxic and safe for use in cosmetics. If cosmetics contain some of these ingredients, the product can be called mineral. However, this does not mean that there is no possibility that the product contains chemicals.

To avoid carmine in cosmetics, read the ingredients of the product. In our store you can find cosmetics that do not contain carmine. Carmine-free cosmetics are cosmetics without cruelty to living beings and even bugs. An alternative to red pigment in cosmetics is a mineral pigment that is safe for the skin. Its shade is natural and will highlight your natural beauty.

How can I avoid carmine?

The next time you buy cosmetics, just check the ingredients.

If you find the above names on the list, discard whatever product you're holding and move on. Look for a vegan product instead!

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