Understanding Color Index (CI) Numbers in PMU Pigments

Understanding CI Numbers in Permanent Makeup

For those in the PMU industry or aspiring to join, getting familiar with CI numbers is key. Let's dive into what these numbers signify and how they can enhance your work with clients. This knowledge might not be relevant for tinting, but it's a cornerstone for your future in tattooing.

CI numbers, short for Color Index numbers, are a universal coding system for pigments, crucial in identifying and categorizing colors used in various products, including PMU inks.

When examining a permanent makeup ink label, look for the CI number within the ingredients list. This code, paired with the pigment name, clarifies its makeup.

Take "CI 75470 (Carmine)" for example – it indicates the use of carmine pigment, identifiable by the CI number 75470.

A CI number reflects a pigment's chemical composition and properties, not the color it produces. Hence, pigments sharing a CI number might yield diverse shades.

For instance, CI 75470 (Carmine) is sourced from cochineal insects to create reds and purples. Yet, CI 77491 (Iron Oxide Red) and CI 77492 (Iron Oxide Yellow) can also form similar hues.

Remember, the same colors from different brands might have varying CI numbers due to different pigment formulations.

Below is a primer on 12 frequent CI numbers found in PMU inks:

  • CI 75470 (Carmine): Cochineal-based red pigment.
  • CI 77491 (Iron Oxide Red): Iron oxide-derived red to brownish-red.
  • CI 77492 (Iron Oxide Yellow): Iron oxide-sourced yellow to reddish-yellow.
  • CI 77499 (Iron Oxide Black): Iron oxide-crafted black pigment.
  • CI 77742 (Manganese Violet): Violet pigment from manganese.
  • CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide): White, natural pigment, often a cosmetic whitener.
  • CI 77007 (Ultramarine Blue): Blue pigment from ultramarine.
  • CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Green): Green pigment from chromium oxide.
  • CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green): Green pigment from chromium hydroxide.
  • CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride): Metallic, shimmery white to pale-yellow.
  • CI 77019 (Mica): Shimmering mineral used for its reflective quality.
  • CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide): Blue pigment from ferric ferrocyanide.

Thousands of CI numbers exist, and these are merely a snapshot. Each CI number represents a component with unique properties and longevity. Consider Titanium Dioxide, a dense white that can alter or mute colors and react under laser removal.

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