Iron Oxides

EWG level: 2

Iron Oxides are inorganic chemicals used as colorants. Iron Oxides used in cosmetic products is an inorganic compound consisting of any one or combinations of synthetically prepared iron oxides that includes hydrated forms of iron oxides. In cosmetics and personal care products, Iron Oxides are used in the formulation of a wide variety of product types, including makeup and skin care preparations. Iron Oxides impart a color to cosmetics and personal care products. Depending on the specific Iron Oxides or mixtures of Iron Oxides used, the color will vary from orange, red, yellow to black. 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.

Its functions are: Colorant; Cosmetic Colorant

Enhanced skin absorption concerns, “Suspected nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skin” (Nanomaterial Database)

“Cancer – not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogen ” (Int’l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – Carcinogens)

“Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food” (FDA Everything Added to Food)

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