Copper Powder

What Is It?

Copper Powder is powdered metallic copper. In cosmetics and personal care products, Copper Powder is used in the formulation of eye makeup, face powders, lipsticks, hair color sprays and hair coloring products.

Why Is It Used?

Copper Powder imparts a brown color to cosmetics and personal care products.

Scientific Facts

Copper Powder consists of powdered metallic copper. Copper is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment, as well as in plants and animals.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Copper Powder as a color additive exempt from certification and it may be safely used in coloring cosmetics, including those intended for use in the area of the eye, when it conforms to FDA specifications. Copper Powder is also approved for use in externally applied drugs. Cosmetic Ingredient Review (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:

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Copper Powder

Copper Powder is listed as CI 77400 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 in cosmetic and personal care products in Europe, Copper Powder must be called CI 77400.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

You can learn more about the regulation and labeling of colors at:…

More Scientific Information

Copper Powder is a very fine, free-flowing metallic powder prepared from virgin electrolytic copper. In cosmetics and personal care products, Copper Powder functions as a colorant.


The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) fact sheet on Copper

The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) has developed environmental health criteria for copper

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory