Iron oxides are a group of sixteen compounds, composed of iron and oxygen atoms, that abounds in nature. For example, the rust that forms on metal objects when they are exposed to water or oxygen for a long period of time is one of the naturally occurring forms of iron oxide. In addition to many geological and biological functions that they play in nature, iron oxides are also widely used in electronics, food, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in beauty and personal care products.
Why Do We Use Iron Oxides?
Iron oxides have been used in the cosmetic industry since the early 1900s as natural, inexpensive, and durable pigments. They can be found in anything from eyeshadows, eyeliners, and mascaras, to blushes, face powders, hair dyes, and lipsticks. Do you know how rust has that deep red/brownish shade? Well, that shade is what gives your favorite oxblood red lipstick it's color.
Iron oxides that are created during the process of oxidation come in a wide variety of earthy tones and shades, not just reds and browns. Think in terms of deep yellow, fire orange, and even black. These colorful fine powders are all classified into three main color groups: yellow, colcothar (or red), and black iron oxides.
One of the main reasons why these compounds are used in makeup and beauty products is because they give the products rich and intense color. Another reason is their admirable staying power. Iron oxides are resistant to moisture, and when this feature is transferred to makeup, you get long-lasting products (you do not need to reapply every half an hour) and do not smear or bleed easily.What To Try: Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation SPF15