What Is It?
Aluminum Powder is obtained from naturally occurring aluminum-containing minerals. In cosmetics and personal care products, Aluminum Powder is used in the formulation of eye and facial makeup, hair coloring products, and nail polishes and enamels.
Why Is It Used?
Aluminum Powder imparts a white color to to cosmetics and personal care products that are applied to the skin, nails and hair.
Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. In addition to its use in cosmetics and personal care products, it can be found in air, water, soil and food. Aluminum is widely used in many applications including cooking utensils. Because Aluminum Powder comes from the earth it may contain trace amounts of heavy metals. The levels of heavy metals in Aluminum Powder are regulated by the FDA, and the small amounts that may eventually be in cosmetic or personal care products do not pose a risk to human health.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Aluminum Powder as a color additive exempt from certification. Aluminum Powder is determined to be safe for use in coloring products that are externally applied, including cosmetics and personal care products intended for use in the area of the eye. It is not allowed to be used in lip products. The The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) has deferred evaluation of this ingredient because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.
All color additives used in foods, drugs and cosmetics in the United States must be approved by FDA and listed in the Code of Federal Regulations. In some cases, FDA requires that each batch of color produced for use in regulated products can be used only if it is certified by the agency to meet strict specifications. FDA maintains a laboratory especially for this purpose and color manufacturers must pay a fee to support this activity. FDA only approves colors after extensive review of all safety data and publication of the basis for its approval in the Federal Register.
You can find out more about FDA regulation of colors at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-col.html
FDA: Links to Code of Federal Regulations for Aluminum Powder
Aluminum Powder is listed as CI 77000 in Annex IV, Part I (colouring agent allowed for use in cosmetic products) of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and may be used without restriction when purity requirements are fulfilled. When used in cosmetic products in the European Union, this ingredient must be called CI 77000.
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:
The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has not developed a daily intake value for Aluminum Powder. http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jeceval/jec_90.htm
More information about the safety of aluminum.
You can learn more about the regulation and labeling of colors at:
More Scientific Information
Aluminum Powder functions as a Ingredients that impart color to cosmetic products. In the United States, the FDA regulates which colorants may be used in cosmetics. in cosmetics and personal care products. To be used as a colorant in the United States, Aluminum Powder must comply with FDA specifications. The material must be at least 99% aluminum and must be a certain size so that 100% can pass through a 200-mesh screen, and 95% can pass through a 325-mesh screen.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseas Registry, ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Aluminum
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/