Color Theory Basic Vocabulary For Beginners

  • In PMU, inks refer to the mixture used for implanting color into the skin.
  • They are a combination of pigments, dyes, and a carrier solution that ensures the color can be applied smoothly.
  • The carrier solution often contains substances like glycerin, alcohol, or distilled water.
  • Dyes are usually organic compounds that are soluble in the carrier liquid.
  • They can provide a range of colors but may not always be stable over long periods, which can lead to fading or color changes in the skin over time.
  • Dyes are less commonly used in PMU inks because they are not always approved for cosmetic use due to safety concerns.
  • Pigments are insoluble colorants that are suspended in the carrier liquid.
  • They are the primary source of color in PMU inks and tattoos, providing a stable and lasting color.
  • Pigments are generally preferred over dyes for their longevity and stability.


  • An entity characterized by specific chemical and physical attributes such as volume, density, and mass.


  • Structures formed by the union of multiple particles through electrostatic forces, creating larger complexes.


  • Composites of particles and aggregates bonded by electrostatic interactions.


  • A coloring agent, either organic or inorganic, that saturates a material and imparts color to its entire mass. Dyes are soluble in their mediums, contrasting with the insolubility of pigments.

Cosmetic Bases:

  • These are the carriers and additives in tattoo and PMU inks, such as water, alcohol, glycerin, isopropyl alcohol, hyaluronic acid, and witch hazel extract.


A standardized nomenclature for dyes and pigments maintained online. Each dye or pigment is given a unique five-digit CI number, which is indicated on product labels.


The collective term for both dyes and pigments, classified as colorants to systematize substances by numerical value.


  • Organic colorants: CI numbers from 11000 to 74999.
  • Inorganic colorants: CI numbers from 77000 to 77999.


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