Increasingly, people are questioning the use of colorants in food and cosmetics, and in general, we think that there is a good reason for that. Some colorants are linked to health issues, and many are overused.
We don’t think that food or beverages should be dyed or that skincare products like lotions need to be tinted. In making our color cosmetics—products created for the sole purpose of bringing color to the skin—we explored using only natural colorants (minerals, carmine, vegetable powders). In order to achieve our high-performance standards and adhere to our strict limits for background heavy metal contamination, we feel that we need to use both natural colorants and synthetics in some products at this time. We choose the safest synthetics available for the given product and test for heavy metals.
Studies indicating that certain synthetic colorants may be linked to health problems are usually looking at food-additive dyes that are directly ingested. The studies also use larger amounts of the colorants than we’d use and that anyone would ingest by using cosmetics. That being said, we’re very cautious about the ingredients we select, and we avoid colorants with known or strong links to health issues, especially if there is an indication that small amounts may be an issue.
If a person would like to avoid synthetic colorants in makeup, we think that’s fine—people should be informed and empowered to read labels and make their own decisions. But using only natural colorants doesn’t guarantee that products are without potential safety implications.