Collection: Carmine-Free (Always!) Makeup

ALL Heal Yes! makeup is without carmine; that's right - we NEVER use carmine. 

What is carmine?

Carmine has several names (carmine; carminic acid; CI75470; cochineal; crimson lake; natural red 4 … ) and is often used in foods, from yogurt to hard candy, and in makeup, especially lip and cheek products. It rates as non-toxic according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep ingredient glossary. Carmine in makeup contributes to its color, often adding vivacious, bold red tones.

Is carmine natural?

In a sense, carmine is natural. After all, the ingredient originates from beetles — yes, you read that right: beetles. The South American-originating beetles are placed within an acidic solution, creating carminic acid, a vivid red.

Do pay special attention to cosmetics that are bright or crimson and / or red, but, nonetheless, read every cosmetic ingredient panel and ascertain that the company you are purchasing from is fully disclosing, honestly labeling their cosmetics:

Many makeup products, especially lip and concealer and creamy products, contain beeswax among other waxes. Many are okay with beeswax, unless vegan. If you are vegan, you especially want to avoid carmine.

Bright colors CAN be achieved without dangerous dyes, carmine, and other nasties: iron oxides are often the purportedly safest way to color cosmetics. Read more about iron oxides here.

How is carmine identified within cosmetics?

Simply because a makeup product claims to be cruelty-free, all-natural, pure, and / or organic does not inherently mean it’s without carmine. Most cosmetic manufacturers label carmine under “may contain +/-”

Cosmetic companies are not necessarily trying to be sneaky in labeling (perhaps some are), as it’s an FDA-approved measure for labeling cosmetics where shades have the same core ingredients and differ with only a couple possible likely color additives (e.g., colorants – carmine; iron oxides; ultramarines; dyes; etc.) or other such ingredients. The “may contain” you see on labels makes labeling cosmetics flexible to use across multiple shades, a major time-saver for cosmetic companies that can, unfortunately, befuddle consumers or not enlighten them with information if they need to avoid one of those “may contain” ingredients such as carmine or its other names.

Too often companies can mislead with their ingredients listings, whether out of laziness, duplicity, ignorance, or not understanding critical FDA labeling mandates. Carmine is becoming a no-go ingredient to consumers, so voiding it from makeup formulas is a task many companies need to undertake … But revising a makeup formula that has high functionality, sells well, and is already well-known may be risky to a carmine-using company’s bottom line. For this reason it is critical to gage that you can trust a company in their labeling practices.

Crossing carmine off an ingredient panel will likely yield a less-red, less-bright, less-vivid product but a less irritating, more appealing one. Be sure you do your due diligence in assessing the makeup companies you are deeming The Best in the natural beauty sphere.

Need products without carmine? We’ve got the most top-rated carmine-free products for you--and the collection is ever-growing, so please sign up for the newsletter to stay tuned for updates!