Green 6

What Is It?

In cosmetics and personal care products, Green 6 (D&C Green No. 6) is used in the formulation of a wide variety of product types. Green 6 is a color additive subject to certification by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Why Is It Used?

Green 6 imparts a color to cosmetics and personal care products.

Scientific Facts

Green 6 is a synthetic pigment sometimes referred to in general terms as an anthraquinone color. Color additives are classified as straight colors, lakes, and mixtures. Straight colors are color additives that have not been mixed or chemically reacted with any other substance. Green 6 is a straight color.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Green 6 and approved the use of this ingredient for coloring externally applied cosmetics (this does not include products intended for use on the lips or the eye area) and personal care products. FDA determined that this color may also be used in coloring externally applied drugs. According to U.S. regulations, all Green 6 manufactured for use in products is subject to certification by the FDA. This certification process ensures that the strict chemical and identity specifications set by FDA are met. The 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 Green 6

Green 6 is listed as CI 61565 in the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union (see Annex IV) and may be used in all cosmetics and personal care products according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union. When used in cosmetic products in the European Union, this ingredient must be called CI 61565.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

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

More Scientific Information

Green 6 is 1,4-bis[(4-methylphenyl)amino]-9,10-anthracenedione. Certifiable color additive such as Green 6 are used widely because their coloring ability is more intense than most colors derived from natural products; thus, they are often added in smaller quantities. In addition, certifiable color additives are more stable, provide better color uniformity and blend together easily to provide a wide range of hues. Certifiable color additives generally do not impart undesirable odors or flavors while color derived from foods such as beets and cranberries can produce such unintended effects. Certifiable color additives typically are available for use as either “dyes” or “lakes.” Dyes dissolve in water and are manufactured as powders, granules, liquids or other special purpose forms. Lakes are the water insoluble form of the dye.