Barium Sulfate

What Is It?

Barium Sulfate occurs as white or yellowish crystals or powder. In cosmetics and personal care products, Barium Sulfate is used in the formulation blushers, eye lotions, eye makeup, face powders, foundations, lipsticks, moisturizers, skin products, bath products, suntan products and nail polish.

Why Is It Used?

Barium Sulfate reduces the clear or transparent appearance of cosmetics and personal care products and may be used in skin makeup for hiding blemishes.

Scientific Facts

Barium occurs naturally in ores containing mixtures of elements and combines with other chemicals such as sulfur to form Barium Sulfate. Barium Sulfate is sometimes used by physicians to perform medical tests and to take x-rays of the gastrointestinal tract.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Barium Sulfate on its list of indirect food additives. It is permited as component of adhesives and as a colorant in polymers having contact with food.

The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) has developed a health and safety guide on Barium in which it concluded that Barium, at concentrations normally found in the environment, does not pose any significant risk for the general population. 

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Barium Sulfate

Barium Sulfate is listed as CI 77120 in the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and may be used as a coloring agent in all cosmetics and personal care products (see Annex IV). When used as a colorant in cosmetics and personal care products in Europe, this ingredient must be called CI 77120.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

Health Canada permits the use of Barium salts in cosmetics and personal care products only in the form of Barium Sulfate when used as a coloring agent or as a lake for preparation of other coloring agents and barium sulfide.…

More Scientific Information

Barium Sulfate is an inorganic salt. In cosmetics and personal care products, Barium Sulfate functions as an opacifying agent.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging:

Food Contact Substances:…

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS):

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) factsheet on Barium

Medline Plus

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory