Organic vs. Inorganic Pigments

Organic vs. inorganic, vegan vs. non-vegan… how do you choose the pigments you need for permanent makeup? We explain the differences between pigments and what you really need.

Organic pigments

Organic pigments contain carbon. They are typically made from a chemical formula but are non-toxic. There are two types of organic pigments:

  • Lake pigments are soluble dyes combined with other material makes the color insoluble. They are called “lakes.”
  • Insoluble colorants tend to have a higher lightfastness and be brighter. However, exposure to sunlight and chemicals takes away the color of organic pigments. 

Inorganic pigments

Inorganic pigments do not contain carbon. They are naturally mined or synthetic, made from metallic oxide, chromates and other salts. 

While organic pigments tend to be brighter, inorganic pigments last longer. More colors are available in inorganic pigments as well. Lastly, inorganic pigments are more economical. 

Permanent makeup pigments 

Over 95% of pigments in permanent makeup are made with iron oxides and lakes. Iron is a stable and nontoxic element. Iron oxides are very common in cosmetics and skin products. The fact that they are inactive means they are safe to use on the skin. 

For permanent makeup, stability is key. We love the finishing of inorganic pigments.

Are you a permanent makeup artist? Shop pigments & accessories on MEI-CHA!

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