Iron Oxides have been used in the coloring of cosmetics since the early 1900s and are used to give not only cosmetics, but any skin product, its color. They are classified into three major color groups: the yellow iron oxide (yellow), colcothar (red), black iron oxide (black). There are 16 Iron Oxides in total and they are all compounds of iron and oxygen.
When used in cosmetics, Iron Oxides are considered ideal because they are non-toxic, non-bleeding and moisture resistant. This makes them a great additive to cosmetic products such as eye shadows, blushes and lipsticks. Iron oxides graded safe for cosmetic use are produced synthetically in order to avoid the inclusion of ferrous or ferric oxides, and impurities normally found in naturally occurring iron oxides.