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Analysis of the composition of pigments used in Polish permanent makeup salons in terms of the risk of allergic reactions

Anna Postawa, Radoslaw Spiewak

Recommended citation format: Postawa A, Spiewak R: Analysis of the composition of pigments used in Polish permanent makeup salons in terms of the risk of allergic reactions. Estetol Med Kosmetol 2017; 7: 001.en.


There is a growing demand for permanent make-up treatments. The preparations used for the treatment contain a lot of substances that may increase the risk of adverse reactions after permanent make-up. Manufacturers should abide by the labeling standards for pigment packaging, but often this information is difficult to obtain.

The aim of the present study was to analyze the declared compositions of permanent make-up preparations for the presence of ingredients with known sensitization potential. Addictional was to find out the frequency of problems after the permanent make-up treatment among clients of polish beauty salons.

Materials and Methods: 80 formulas used for permanent make-up were divided into five categories: eyebrow pigments, lip pigments, liner pigments, color modifiers and camouflage. In addition, an anonymous questionnaire of 110 clients of two beauty salon was asked to provide information on the occurrence of skin problems after use of cosmetics, make-up, permanent make-up and tattoos, and after contact with metal objects.

Results: In the examined 80 permanent make-up products 29 substances were identified including 18 dyes: chromium oxide (III), chromium hydroxide (III), manganese diphosphate dioxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxide (4 dyes), magnesium aluminum silicate, lazurite, carbon black, N-(5-Chloro-2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-4-[[5-[(diethylamino)sulphonyl]-2-methoxyphenyl]azo]-3-hydroxynaphthalene-2-carboxam, disodium 6-hydroxy-5-[(4-sulphonatophenyl)azo]naphthalene-2-sulphonate and its insoluble barium, strontium and zirconium lakes, salts and pigments, disodium 6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-4-sulphonato-m-tolyl)azo]naphthalene-2-sulphonate, 6-Chloro-2-(6-chloro-4-methyl-3-oxobenzo[b]thien-2(3H)-ylidene)-4-methylbenzo[b]thiophene-3(2H)-one, (29H,31H-Phthalocyaninato(2-)-N29,N30,N31,N32)copper, trisodium 5-hydroxy-1-(4-sulphophenyl)-4-((4-sulphophenyl)azo)pyrazole-3-carboxylate and its insoluble barium, strontium and zirconium lakes, salts and pigments and 11 auxiliary substances. All the pigments analyzed contained water and glycerol, and 98.75% of the pigments contained isopropyl alcohol. The most commonly used dyes were titanium dioxide (CI 778917) occurred in 78.75% formulations and in 70% black iron oxide (CI 77499). Two of the colourants listed in compositions CI 73907 and CI 56110 did not have entries in the European Commission CosIng database and the Annexes to the European Cosmetics Directive. Skin problems (itching that lasted more than 2 weeks after permanent make-up) were found in 3.9% of respondents. 14.5% of women had an allergic test before performing permanent make-up. Skin problems after contact with metal objects were found in 32.3% of respondents.

Conclusions: The primary dyes used in pigments used in permanent make-up are white titanium dioxide and black iron oxide, every pigments had water and glicerin. 4 out of 5 women who use permanent make-up are asked beforehand about previous adverse reactions. One in 25 women have skin problems persisting for more than 2 weeks after permanent make-up.

Keywords: tattoo, permanent make-up, pigments, dyes, colorants, allergy, cosmetics.

Full text in Polish: DOI: 10.14320/

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Open Access, online ISSN 2084-2007; print ISSN 2084-199X, DOI:
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Document created: 22 April 2017, last updated: 30 December 2017