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Beauty Byte: Cosmetics Labels Are About to Bug Out

If you read your food labels closely, you might want to start doing the same for your cosmetics. After 10 years of deliberation, the Food and Drug Administration has ordered food and cosmetic companies to list carmine and cochineal when used as ingredients. Both colorants are derived from the wee cochineal bug, from whose shriveled bodies color is extracted.

Until this ruling, insect-derived hues were listed with phrases such as "artificial colors," "natural red," and "crimson lake." The new ingredient-listing plan doesn't have to be implemented for two years, but companies can start complying anytime. Expect to see these ingredients show up on cosmetics that are red, pink, or otherwise rosy in 2011.


Join The Conversation
shayela shayela 8 years
I don't know why i'm not more grossed out by this. but we eat animals and bugs have a ridiculously short life, so whatever. this sanitary? that's kind of ick.
Tabloid Tabloid 8 years
Ancient Egyptian used cochineal to dye fibers. Mostly in red.
chelseacbboyles chelseacbboyles 8 years
haha it also reminds me of when in "The Little Mermaid," Ursula uses those little sea creatures as her lipstick! does anyone else remember that???
chelseacbboyles chelseacbboyles 8 years
But then again people eat bugs in some cultures! As long as they're not killed FOR that purpose I don't mind that it is in my beauty products but I would like a little more information to find this out. Does anyone know?
smilexinxursleep smilexinxursleep 8 years
It sounds kind of weird and I'm a little grossed but I agree herp_mommy and a million suns about have white strawberry yogurt
ooohlalalove ooohlalalove 8 years
Wow, that's interesting. I knew that was how McDonald's colored their milk shakes and I should have guessed it was in make up. This may be a dumb questions. but does anyone know if this stuff is used in brands or products that are "vegan" or "animal safe"?
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
Hah, my mom has used cochineal for years to dye fibers... I used to love grossing my friends out with it :-p
tglynn tglynn 8 years
I really don't have a problem with using this "bug coloring" as much as some people do. I'd much rather have a natural, safe red colorant then something synthetic that might cause harm.
gbychan gbychan 8 years
Eww...I don't know. I think that if I see it listed as an ingredient in something I've used a lot and really like, then I won't be turned off as much when deciding whether or not to try a new product that contains it.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
I think it's silly to use it to dye yogurt (seriously, why can't we just have white strawberry yogurt? Is that just too mind-blowing?), but I don't really have a problem with it in makeup because obviously it has a function. People have been doing things like this for thousands of years. I think I'd rather be blissfully ignorant because it sounds so weird/gross, but whatever, I think I'll get over it. Or just learn to ignore it again, haha
misskacie misskacie 8 years
Hey esweet, what are the odds I'd be eating strawberry yogurt when I read your comment? I'm icked out, but I'm laughing. This is all gross in general.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
also found in a lot of foods/juices. yum!
emalove emalove 8 years
This totally skeeves me out...
esweet esweet 8 years
This is gross. I just read a month ago that "carmine" is listed in many strawberry yogurts as the coloring to make it pink - and when I found out what it was I haven't touched another strawberry yogurt. I didn't think about makeup though...
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
Well, it was obvious that this was coming. I always wondered what "artificial colors" REALLY meant. Always thought there was a reason some labeling was so vague - The truth comes out, as always!
chameleon7 chameleon7 8 years
Isn't this something that has been going on for thousands of years? The bugs are most likely die then they used, so it really not poor bugs.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I agree. Poor bugs...
sham28 sham28 8 years
I would much rather see "artificial red" than know about the shriveled bug bodies (GRAPHIC, Bella!). I guess I'm going to go with nude gloss until I'm no longer creeped out.
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