The Four Basic Types of Permanent Makeup Pigments

The Four Basic Types of Permanent Makeup Pigments


The most common classification of permanent cosmetic pigments is into 4 groups according to the origin of their basic ingredients: iron oxide-based, inorganic, organic, and water-based pigments.

The Four Basic Types of Permanent Makeup Pigments
The most common classification of permanent makeup ink is into 4 groups according to the origin of their basic ingredients: iron oxide-based, inorganic, organic, and water-based pigments.

The choice of pigment type depends on the artist's preference, the treatment method, and the client's skin type, although more recently, the preferred choice is a formulation consisting of organic and inorganic pigments. In fact, over 95% of PMU pigments on the market contain both organic and inorganic elements.

In this way, the artist can get the best of all genres.

Iron oxide

A group of pigments widely used in permanent makeup. They are obtained from iron oxides, such as stone dust and rust, to which water, glycerin, witch hazel, and other chemicals are added as binders.

They are most commonly used as pigments for lip tattoos and skin tones, for BB glow or for scar and stretch mark camouflage. This is because iron oxide has a wide range of colors.

It can be divided into three groups - yellow iron oxide, red colcothar and black iron oxide - basic microblade pigments. By mixing these basic colors in varying proportions, you can create almost any shade you need for brow correction. Therefore, they are also commonly used for scalp micropigmentation.


Their greatest advantage is that they are almost completely opaque.

The possibility of allergic reactions is also low.

Inorganic pigments

Inorganic pigments are made by adding the element iron oxide to more derivatives. They are called inorganics because they are synthetically produced from metals (titanium oxide, manganese violet, ultramarine, and the mineral kaolinite AKA china clay).

Technically, iron oxides also fall into this category, but their widespread use sets them apart from other inorganic pigments.

The purpose of adding iron oxide is to provide solid color and opacity, as well as expand the shade range. Titanium dioxide predominates in lighter shades, while iron oxide predominates in darker shades.


They are non-toxic, unaffected by light, and insoluble in water, which is important to prevent color shift.

Again, the chance of an allergic reaction is very low.

Organic pigment

Relatively few companies produce purely organic pigments, although there is still a wide range available.

Generally speaking, carbon is the basis of organic chemistry, so these are basically carbon derivatives. In the past, they were called coal tar or aniline and were obtained from plant and animal organisms: brown pigment in nuts, the green pigment in kiwifruit, and blue or red pigment in berries. This is not the safest option, as vegetable dyes can cause severe allergic reactions.

Today, all available colors are created in the laboratory by combining carbon with different substances, most commonly nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. By changing the ratio, the color can be modified.

Another common ingredient in organic pigments used in permanent makeup is the hydroxide of aluminum oxide. This substance is insoluble in water and helps to retain color and make the pigment heavier for better integration into the skin.

Typically, the pigments used for lip PMU and areola tattoos contain a lot of organic components.


Today's organic pigment formulations are hypoallergenic, also thanks to aluminum hydroxide, which "coats" the pigment molecules and prevents them from directly reacting with tissues. They are also known as lake or lake pigments.

Water-based pigment

As a relatively new addition, water-based pigments have appeared on the market. They differ from the above pigment types in that they contain about 45% water, and are reported to be of pure plant origin, and do not contain any iron oxides. They are usually applied with machines, not manually.

Some PMU artists claim it's the best option for oily skin, which often doesn't retain pigment very well and often requires regular touch-ups.

Several types of permanent makeup pigments are introduced in detail above. If you want to buy permanent makeup pigments, please contact us.

Charming Tattoo is a professional custom permanent makeup tools and pigments manufacturer with over 20 years of experience. We have professional production equipment and a 100,000-level dust-free workshop in line with ISO9001 standards. We provide a professional product, packaging, and post-design, as well as professional pigment knowledge support. In order to achieve a win-win situation, our company has formulated a policy to protect customer privacy.
The most trendy of trendy right now for lip tattoo is lip blushing. It is a semi-permanent tattoo .