Formulating with Natural Colors

It seems appropriate that this contribution on natural colors is being written as the author is surrounded by autumn foliage in the Hudson River Valley. The brilliant golds, reds and shades of orange that replace summer’s diverse bright greens draws an impressive caravan of city dwellers every weekend to view Nature’s display and pick apples. The chromophores that generate these appealing colors in nature can also function as natural colorants in cosmetics. Ethnographers have concluded that prehistoric people decorated their bodies with pigments long before they began wearing clothing. “Body painting only requires the availability of pigments and imagination,” wrote Jablonski, who also referenced the archaeological discovery of pigments dating to 75,000 years ago.1

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