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Iron Oxide Pigments vs Synthetic Pigments

In the Permanent Makeup Industry, there are a wide variety of products to choose from. When it comes to the most important product, your cosmetic tattoo pigments, you need to use what is best for your clients. So how do you know which type of pigment is best? Continue reading to learn how you can make informed decisions on purchasing the products that will make or break your business.

Iron Oxide or Synthetic?

This question has become the topic of much debate in the last few years. You will always hear proponents of one type of pigment say awful things about the other one. This blog post is not meant to praise one pigment over the other, but will instead present simple facts and ask questions that will give you an open mind.

Tested by Time

The use of Iron Oxide pigments in cosmetic tattooing dates back decades into the previous century while Synthetic pigments are a recent advent of modern science. The reason why Iron Oxide pigments have been around for so long is simply because they work. If Iron Oxide pigments didn't do the job right when they were first used for Permanent Makeup, then people would have stopped using them a long time ago.

Meanwhile, Synthetic pigments which are created in laboratories have not existed long enough for the Beauty Industry to understand the long-term effects of using them. When you see commercials on TV for a drug you can't pronounce, they often have a long list of side effects and disclaimers because it hasn't been tested by enough people for enough time to know if it's good or bad. The same principal applies to Synthetic pigments when compared to Iron Oxide.

Cost Benefit

When something is brand new, the manufacturers can often sell the products for exorbitant prices. Why? It's because people don't know enough about the product to understand how much it's really worth. When it comes to cost, there is no competition. High quality Iron Oxide pigments cost about $30 per 0.50 ounce bottles. If you didn't know any better, you might think that is a high price to pay. That is, until you see the price of Synthetic pigments. Certain Synthetic pigments are selling for approximately $70 per 0.33 ounce bottle.

When it comes to cost difference between the two pigment types, you'll often be paying more than double for less quantity of product if you buy synthetic! Just reason with yourself for a moment. Would you rather spend $70 on 0.33 ounce pigments that have only existed for a few years or would you rather invest $30 on full 0.50 ounce pigments that millions of artists have been using for decades? It doesn't seem like a difficult choice when you have the right mindset.

Material Safety

"Will Iron Oxide pigments affect my ability to get an MRI if I need to go to the hospital?" This is a common question people ask and the only answer is simply, "No." The amount of elemental iron in the pigments is so minute that it will never have any issue with magnets and magnetic machines. You are more likely to have a tooth filling cause problems with magnets before Iron Oxide pigments implanted into your skin.


You're a savvy Artist, so what you do think? Would you rather pay more for less pigment that has only been around for a short time, or would you rather pay less for more pigment that has been widely accepted and used by Artists all over the world for decades?

If you want more information what makes Iron Oxide pigments so reliable, then check out this article.