What is it? Ultramarines are a synthesized pigment made from ingredients like kaolin clay and sulfur. The original blue pigment was ground from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli, making it extremely expensive, and we’ve been synthesizing it since the early 1800s.
INCI Ultramarines
Appearance Vibrant fine pigments available in bright blue, lavender, and purple.
Usage rate I haven’t been able to find a maximum usage level. These pigments are very potent, though, so I can’t imagine you needing more than 50% for most cosmetics.
Texture Fine powder
Scent Generally nothing noticeable, though it can be sulfur-y in high-pH environments
Solubility Insoluble
Why do we use it in formulations? As pigments, for colour.
Do you need it? No, though if you are making cosmetics and want more natural bright blues and purples they are your only option.
Strengths Strong, vibrant pigments that are generally considered natural.
Weaknesses The blue in particular can be difficult to blend into formulas.
Alternatives & Substitutions Lake dyes are the only alternative for such bright, potent pigments.
How to Work with It Include in the grinding phase for powdered cosmetics or blend into melted creamy bases.

Ultramarine is not approved for lip use in the USA, but it is in the EU.

Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, ultramarine pigments should last at least five years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Due to the sulfur used in the manufcature of ultramarines they can develop an eggy scent if used in products with a pH above 6.
Recommended starter amount 10g (0.35oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Ultramarines


Posted on

February 10, 2019