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Scientific name:  ultramarine

Inorganic compound:  mined or synthetic



Ingredient Features

  • non-toxic

User Benefits

  • safe

Function in Products

  • colorant

(CI 77007): a blue inorganic mineral pigment composed of complex sodium aluminum sulfosilicates. Approved for use in cosmetics in the U.S., E.U. and Japan.

Ultramarine is a deep blue color and a pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder.[1] The pigment consists primarily of a zeolite-based mineral containing small amounts of polysulfides. It occurs in nature as a proximate component of lapis lazuli. The pigment color code is P. Blue 29 77007. Ultramarine is the most complex of the mineral pigments, a complex sulfur-containing sodio-silicate (Na8-10Al6Si6O24S2-4) containing a blue cubic mineral called lazurite (the major component in lapis lazuli). Some chloride is often present in the crystal lattice as well. The blue color of the pigment is due to the S3− radical anion, which contains an unpaired electron.



Blue vs violet vs pink ultramarines

The nature of the polysulfide dictates the color of the solid. The usual blue ultramarine is thought to contain S2- as the chromophore. In violet ultramarine (C.I. Pigment Violet 15:77007) and pink ultramarine (C.I. Pigment Red 259:77007) the chromophore is proposed to be S4- or S4.[2]

Electric ultramarine

Electric ultramarine is the tone of ultramarine that is halfway between blue and violet on the RGB (HSV) color wheel, the expression of the HSV color space of the RGB color model.[13]


Synthetic ultramarine, being very cheap, is largely used for wall painting, the printing of paperhangings and calico, etc., and also as a corrective for the yellowish tinge often present in things meant to be white, such as linen, paper, etc. Bluing or "Laundry blue" is a solution of synthetic ultramarine (sometimes, prussian blue) that is used for this purpose when washing white clothes. Also often found in make up such as mascaras or eye shadows. Large quantities are used in the manufacture of paper, and especially for producing a kind of pale blue writing paper which was popular in Britain.[10] During World War I, the RAF painted the outer roundels with a color which was made on Ultramarine Blue. This became BS 108(381C) Aircraft Blue. It was replaced in the 1960s by a new color made on Phthalocyanine Blue, BS110(381C) Roundel Blue.