Questions Answered

 What can you tell us about your manufacturers and what country are your pigments manufactured in?

Our manufacturers are carefully researched and chosen. In come cases where we offer proprietary pigments we have contracted manufacturers to make our color blends with special pigments we have chosen and we control the manufacture of these items.

Our manufacturers have fulfilled all the REACH requirements and have the paper trail to document it. REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. It also promotes alternative methods for the hazard assessment of substances in order to reduce the number of tests on animals.

All our products meet FDA requirements for heavy metal minimums. In most all cases they are approved for cosmetic use unless stated otherwise. ALWAY READ PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS BEFORE ORDERING.

Our manufacturers have provided us with written statements that no animal testing has been done. The ingredients in our pigments have been around for a very long time and there would be no need for further testing. Most all have been tested at some point in the past to assure their safety.

With the exception of two pigments that were specially requested by customers all our product are VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE.

We make every effort to assure that our mica is not sourced from mines that use child labor. Most of these mines are in India and the industry is steps to away from  and to prevent the use of child labor. We support Made in the Free World and if you use mica in any of your applications encourage you to take an active part also. Family who work in mines need alternate income sources if the use of children is going to be completely stopped. 

Though there are many manufacturing plants around the world most all the large key players in the field have manufacturing plants in China. This includes companies such as EMD Chemicals (Merck) KOBO, SUN Chemical and so on. Many of our pigments are made in China for this reason even though they may come from several sources. When we import our pigments we must declare them to the FDA and they may be stopped and tested and any time for Quality Assurance purposes.

Q. Do your pigments come in jars or bags?

 All our pigments are packed in bags. Our business model is to offer the best pricing and free shipping on orders over $10.

Jars increase the price to our customers for several reasons.

1.The cost of the jar plus the shipping and storage of jar. If our product were packed in jars in would require significantly more Warehouse space to store our product.

2. Jars break and crack. This would require your order to be upgraded to a box. We would not be able to use first class shipping or flat rate padded envelopes. Both these options help us offer free shipping to you.

3. Jar increase the weight of your order. More weight plus more volume = higher shipping rates and higher product costs for our customers.

If you want to transfer your pigments into jars, here are some jar suppliers that we feel have good service and pricing. (they also offer sifter jars, shaker jars and grinder jars)

Q. Do you accept returns?

A. No. Because of the nature of the products we sell we can not take products back. For most all our products we offer samples so that the color may be checked and it's appropriateness for your application before you commit to larger amounts.

 Q. How large are your samples?

All our samples are 1 level teaspoon which is +/- 1 level teaspoon depending on the density of the product.

Q. Can I use your pigments in Resins?

A. Yes! Our pigments and micas are the exact same you would use for resin jewellery, floors, countertops and so on. We have many customers who are resin artists.

Q. May I use your pigments for Automotive paint or water colors?

A. Yes! Our pigments are popular for both automotive paint, watercolors and general paint applications. For water colors you need a fixative as the powder will flake off after the paint has dried.

Q. Can I add Mica to white paint to get a pearlescent look?

A: White paints typically contain a white pigment called Titanium Dioxide . Titanium add  opacity and also contributes to UV stability. It will also dramatically reduce the pearlescent appearance or reflection of the MICA pigment so for this reason we do not recommend it be added to white paint. A better approach would be to add your Mica to a clear metallic glaze. There are several metallic glaze mediums on the market.

Q. Are glitters safe for cosmetics?

A. At this time PET glitter has still not been approved for cosmetic use. You can find more informaiton here:

Q. Are your pigments stable for Hot and Cold Process Soap?

A.  All our Mica colors are made with iron oxides, and/or Ultramarine Blue, Manganese or Chromium Green Oxide. Mica is easy to disperse into all soap and is most dramatic in clear soaps and they will best highlight the pearl effect. All our Mica pigments are color stable in all soapmaking processes with the exception of those that contain Manganese Violet which will turn brown in an alkaline solution.

D&C and FD&C pigments are highly concentrated. They also mix in smoothly. They are not stable, in alkaline environments of cold process soap and they will bleed in melt and pour soaps.

Q. Novelty Paint for Face Painting, is this Makeup?

Are Fluorescent Colors Approved for Makeup? (light up under a black light)

  • Fluorescent colors: Only the following fluorescent colors are approved for use in cosmetics, and there are limits on their intended uses: D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11; and D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, and No. 28 [21 CFR 74.2254, 74.2260, 74.2261, 74.2321, 74.2322, 74.2327, and 74.2328].
  • Glow-in-the-dark colors: Luminescent zinc sulfide is the only approved glow-in-the-dark color additive [21 CFR 73.2995].
  • Halloween makeup: These products are considered cosmetics [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i); 21 U.S.C. 321(i)] and are therefore subject to the same regulations as other cosmetics, including the same restrictions on color additives.

A. Based on real science vs. what can only be seen as scaremongering my answer would be yes. Here is a great article base on science with real links to the EPA's reports on titanium.

What is the difference between a SDS (MSDS) sheet and a Certificate of Analysis?

Are glow in the dark pigments safe for Cosmetic use? 

Q. Do you have sales?

A. No we do not ever have sales. We offer free shipping all year round for orders over $10 for domestic order. We keep our prices at the absolute lowest that we can. We have yet to ever raise our prices due to shipping cost increases. If you compare our prices along with the cost of shipping to any other supplier you will see that we can always come in lower. 

Q. Are your products VEGAN.

A. Yes most all our products are VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE. If a product is not VEGAN, then is will be noted. The only product that would not be VEGAN would be those that contain Carmine and only have 2 products.

Q. Are you products Natural?

A. Most of our products such as the oxides are produced to be natural identical in a laboratory. The reason for this is that a natural oxide would not fit the FDA requirement for the minimium in heavy metal contents. Soils naturally contain heavy metals so any oxide must be purified for cosmetic use.

For your reference: "Some Iron Oxides are still extracted naturally; however, Iron oxides in nature (dirt) are often stuck with toxic metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, antimony and selenium (when they are in nature). This is why the FDA stepped in to regulate cosmetic colorants so the level of toxic metal present are present in such low concentrations that they are considered “safe.” In fact, only synthetically prepared iron oxides are approved for use in cosmetics in this country. (Johnson, S.T. & Wordell, C.J. “Homeopathic and herbal medicine: Considerations for formulary evaluation,” Formulary, 32, 1167, Nov. 1997. )"

Oxides and ultramarines are pigments. Pigments are not natural. They are manufactured in labs and have been since the 1970s. Pigments (oxides and ultramarines) used to be mined but the FDA stepped in and demanded some purity as these minerals were full of toxins such as arsenic, mercury and lead to name a few. Since then, these colorants have been manufactured in a lab - same molecular structure just a different way of processing. When you think about it, would you really want to put these toxins on your skin anyway? Sometimes natural is not the best option. Iron Oxides, and similar mineral pigments are not, by FDA standards, "Natural", because they are not directly from plants or animals. Instead, they come from minerals. While considered "natural" by consumers, cosmetic-grade pigments are all man-made in order to meet FDA approval.

Scientific Facts: 

Iron Oxides are naturally occuring mineral deposits. These compounds are used as pigments in a variety of applications. Iron Oxides used in cosmetic and personal care products are synthetic. Because some of the starting materials for synthetic Iron Oxide may come from the earth there may be trace amounts of heavy metals present. The levels of heavy metals in Iron Oxides are regulated by the FDA, and the small amounts that may eventually be in cosmetic or personal care products do not pose a risk to human health.

Comparatively Speaking: Natural- vs. Mineral-based Colorants - See more at:

Q. Do you sell any pigments with Nano Particles.

A. We measure our particle size in Microns. 1000 nanos = 1 micron.  No, we do not sell any pigments that have nano particles. Back in the 1970’s when the FDA approved many minerals for use as pigments in cosmetics they were virtually the only ingredients found in those cosmetics. For the most part they contained little more than zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mica and iron oxides. On the positive side powders in general tend to have less irritants, less preservatives, less oils and less surfactants. As a consequence the powdered mineral cosmetics were less likely to irritate your skin and plug your pores.

Today one has to read their labels carefully. There is no set definition for the term “mineral makeup”. Any product that contains minerals as a primary ingredient may be touted as such but may contain some unhealthy chemicals.

There are concerns arising with the regard to the size of the particles in Mineral Cosmetics and Sunscreens. Some powders are made up of micron sized particles that may be inhaled during application. (A micron is equal to one-millionth of a meter).Other mineral makeups contain nano particles which recent research show may cause health risk. (A nano particle is 1 billionth of a meter). One such study has shown that titanium particles ranging from 826 nanometers to 2368 nanometers might enter the brain causing oxidative stress. (0.826 microns to 2.368 microns) While it is unlikely that these small particles are able to pass the skin barrier they are also able to penetrate deep in the lungs.

Most mineral makeup companies have kept their particle size larger in order to retain their light reflecting properties. (the smaller the particle, the smoother the effect).  Just Pigments does not sell any powders that fall into this nano particle range. There is still the issue around breathing in the micron particle sized powders on a daily basis and we recommend keeping this in mind when in contact with the powders and how they are dispensed.  Our powder pots with sponges are an excellent way to keep the powders from getting airborne along with our powder dispensing brush. Here is a breakdown of the particle sizes for your reference. Adding a binder and/or pressing your powders will also helpkeep particles from becoming airborne.

What is the FDA's Stance of Lake Dyes that repacked or Dispersed in another medium.

Question: 1. Can we purchase FD&C, D&C, and Lake powdered colorants from smaller suppliers, that purchase batch certified lots and then repackage into smaller lots and use them in our products that we sell to the public? Does the re-portioning void the certification making them illegal to use? 

Answer: The company that repackages lots of certified color additives, should obtain “repack” certification for those smaller lots. Repack certification is a fast process and usually only takes 1 or 2 days, as opposed to the more thorough testing for regular certification (5 day turnaround time). There are companies that specialize in selling smaller quantities of certified color additives. I cannot recommend companies to you, but you should be able to find them on our list of “Companies Requesting Certification Within the Last Two Years”   

Question 2. Can we purchase FD&C, D&C, and Lake colorants that are pre-dispersed in a liquid such as Castor Oil or glycerin and use them in our products that we sell to the public?

Answer: Yes, such a product would be a Mixture as defined in 21 CFR part 80.35(b):

§80.35   Color additive mixtures; certification and exemption from certification.

(b) Color additive mixtures exempted from certification. A color additive mixture prepared from a previously certified batch of one or more straight colors, with or without any diluent that has been listed in part 73 of this chapter for use in mixtures, shall be exempt from batch certification if the straight color used has not changed in composition in any manner whatsoever since its certification and if it is simply mixed with the approved diluents for exempt mixtures. The label of such color additive mixtures shall not bear the lot number assigned by the Food and Drug Administration to the certified straight color components, but shall bear the manufacturer's control number through which the history of the straight color can be determined.

Question: If the answer to question 1 is no and the answer to question 2 is yes, why is one legal and not the other? 

Answer: we agree that this is a confusing issue. FDA’s regulations regarding certified color additives are quite strict. Once a batch of color is certified, it is up to the owner of the certificate to make sure that the material does not change in composition until the package of color is opened and used in FDA regulated products (or used as components of mixtures). That is why only the owner of the certificate can package and label the material. If FDA allowed the owner of the certificate to sell the color to a repacking facility, there would be no control over the composition of the color additive. We allow for “repack” certification because that requires FDA to test the material again to ensure that it hasn’t changed in composition.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Naomi Richfield-Fratz 
Director, Color Certification & Technology Division 
Office of Cosmetics and Colors 
5001 Campus Drive 
College Park, MD 20740 

I would like some clarification on our stance on fluorescent dyes.(light up under a black light) I see that there is a list of approved dyes but I have recently read that the only dyes that are approved for use in "bath bombs" are pure D&C or FD&C Dyes. Is this information correct or may Fluorescent Dyes dispersed in Resin Polyester 3 (and formaldehyde free) be used if they contain an approved dye additive? Additionally what category does a bath bomb fall under is it does not container any surfactant? What category does it fall under if is does contain a small amount of Polysorbate 80? Thank you in advance. Rebecca 

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food and Cosmetic Information Center (FCIC)/Technical Assistance Network (TAN) has prepared a response for case number 00109151. 

Response: Thank you for writing. Only the following fluorescent colors are approved for use in cosmetics, and there are limits on their intended uses: D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11; and D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, and No. 28 [21 CFR 74.2254, 74.2260, 74.2261, 74.2321, 74.2322, 74.2327, and 74.2328].

The FD&C Act defines cosmetics by their intended use, as "articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body...for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance" (FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)). Among the products included in this definition are skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup, cleansing shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, and deodorants, as well as any substance intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product. It does not include soap. (To learn what products are considered "soap" for regulatory purposes, see "Soap." Please verify your product, “bath bomb” fits the aforementioned description, as the regulations regarding these color additives are specific to this category of products.
But, if the product is intended for a therapeutic use, such as treating or preventing disease, or to affect the structure or function of the body, it’s a drug (FD&C Act, 201(g)), or in some cases a medical device (FD&C Act, 201(h)), even if it affects the appearance. Other “personal care products” may be regulated as dietary supplements or as consumer products. To learn more, see “Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?)” and “Cosmetics Q&A: Personal Care Products.” Please review this information to verify the category of your product.
In summary, cosmetic or "articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body...for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance" can only use the following fluorescent colors D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11; and D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, and No. 28 [21 CFR 74.2254, 74.2260, 74.2261, 74.2321, 74.2322, 74.2327, and 74.2328]; according to the specifications and limitations iterated within the regulations.