The difference between inorganic pigments and organic pigments

May 05, 2021

The difference between inorganic pigments and organic pigments

May 05, 2021

In the industry, we always hear about organic and inorganic pigments, but what's difference and why does it matter? To help answer these questions, our Head of Semi-permanent makeup and Microblading Trainer, Steve goes through organic and inorganic pigment differences and the history of pigments.

Pigments have been used over hundreds of years for multiple purposes, however, over time we have been able to harness and synthesise both inorganic and organic pigments for better use and less toxicity. Let’s take a short trip through the history. 

From the Egyptians using both inorganic (inert minerals) and some organic (carbon) pigments used for Art, carefully crafted paintings to the applications of soot (organic carbon) for the most flattering Cleopatra of eyeliners. Moving forward in time to the 19th century from where zinc oxide was used as a whitening face powder, which is a huge and beneficial bonus over previous uses of lead and copper! This most likely resulted in death.

Bringing our focus to the 21st century and how we use both inorganic pigments and organic pigments with the use of semi-permanent makeup and microblading techniques.


Let’s start with... what are inorganic pigments?


Inorganic pigments consist of metal oxides or other naturally occurring ingredients, dry ground minerals, usually metals, and metallic salts. Some of these natural pigments you may have heard of such as titanium dioxide (you may have even experienced the effects once in the skin), this inert inorganic pigment, also known as titanium white or CI 77891, is used to add opacity in micropigmentation pigments, or in sunscreen to protect us from the sun’s harmful UV rays, the list is endless of inorganic pigments and pigment tones.


Moving onto, what are organic pigments?


Organic pigments based on carbon chains/molecules are usually chemically manufactured and synthesised for the use within micropigmentation techniques but can also be obtained from animals and plants for varied uses. Less used in industries usually based on the high cost of manufacturing! Pigment tones are superior to inorganic pigments with a vast brightness rather than soft earthy natural tones as used in inorganic pigments. Azo organic pigments are synthetic organic pigments producing bright red, orange and yellows superior for their colourfast state.


So, what does this mean? Which is better?


Well most pigments used in digital brows and microblading techniques contain both inorganic and organic pigments to give us the best use in stability, colour fastness, brightness and longevity 


Unlike some inferior pigments available on the market today, finishing touches group pigments are organic-based, with of course the stability of some inorganic pigments. This leaves your clients with true pigments tones, bright! Not dull! lasting pigment retention within the skin, longer-lasting for client satisfaction! What more can you need!


Learn more about FTG pigments on our pigment range page

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