The Formulator's Guide to Cosmetic Plant Pigments - Formula Botanica (2023)

If you have ever cooked beetroot, pitted cherries or spilled turmeric spice on your hands, you will have come across the vibrant world of plant pigments. Our article on 38 natural colourants for organic skincare celebrates a rainbow of colours extracted from berries like acai and elder to roots like carrot and iris as well as from seed oils like sea buckthorn.

At Formula Botanica, we encourage our students to work with the natural colours of botanical ingredients rather than aim for ubiquitous white skincare products. But, while the list of botanical colourants may be long, there are far fewer plant pigments that are not only safe and regulated for cosmetic use, but also perform to consumer expectations in makeup.

For example, many of the 38 plants we listed before, give green, blue or purple dyes that would not be of much use in cosmetics like lipsticks. A handful also contain certain chemical components that make them unsafe for use in facial makeup.

Can you formulate makeup with plant pigments?

As you can see, the safe use of plant pigments in cosmetics is a vast and complex topic and it is one we have been navigating for the past six years at Formula Botanica. We’ve been working on R&D with natural pigments since 2016 and after many trials and experiments, we can firmly say yes, you can formulate colour cosmetics with plant pigments.

(Video) EP99. Makeup formulation with botanical pigments

In fact, we have formulated a first in the form of all-botanical coloured lipsticks – no minerals included either – that perform giving the right balance of staying power and removability, and also moisturise the lips with gorgeous botanical oils, butters and waxes.

Mini Course: Formulating makeup with plant pigments

We offer this breakthrough course in our membership site, The Lab at Formula Botanica. Register now to be first to hear when The Lab next opens for membership. You will gain access to the Natural Lipstick Lab and over 20 other mini courses in organic formulation, natural ingredients and beauty entrepreneurship.

The Formulator's Guide to Cosmetic Plant Pigments - Formula Botanica (1)Formulating botanical colour cosmetics is fascinating, exciting and challenging. It takes long hours of research and the patient trialling of formulations, as well as expertise to mix plant pigments to create even a small palette of the colours we are familiar with in mainstream, synthetic-based cosmetics.

We are excited therefore to share in this guide the essentials for your own journey into working with plant pigments in colour cosmetics.

Let’s dive into the colourful world of plant pigments; their pros and cons, how to work with them and the regulatory aspects of using them.

What are plant pigments?

Colourants obtained from plants are created by chemical groups such as anthocyanins which give flowers, leaves and fruits their characteristic colours. Anthocyanins are natural antioxidants that are found in red, purple, and blue coloured fruits, vegetables or flowers.

You will have seen anthocyanins in action colouring glycerites and infused oils in which plant material has been macerated.

These pigments are actually water-soluble dyes. These dyes have been in use for millennia; think of blue woad and orange-red henna used as skin paints in ancient times. They and other plant dyes were used also to colour textiles, leather, materials, paper and ink. There has been quite a revival of using plant dyes to replace synthetic colourants in artisan industries such as leather wear and handcrafted paper making.

The Formulator's Guide to Cosmetic Plant Pigments - Formula Botanica (2)

Natural makeup has a final frontier in botanical pigments. The @FormulaBotanica guide to plant pigments opens a new world in natural colour cosmetics. #naturalmakeup #colourcosmetics #organicmakeup Click To Tweet

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How do plant pigments work in makeup?

Colour cosmetics need to have sufficient staying power and yet be able to be removed easily when the wearer desires. Clearly, having a botanical lipstick stain your lips for three days is not desirable, nor is the need to reapply it every half an hour.

The challenge facing the natural formulator is that of creating a foundation formulation in which the plant pigment can function in the middle ground, offering performance without the permanence that is needed in cloth or paper dyeing for instance. Our skin does not have the porosity of paper or cloth and so in theory, a plant pigment could wash off as it is water soluble.

The water solubility of plant pigments could create another challenge too. In lipsticks and lip balms, for instance, we are dispersing hydrophilic plant pigments in oil bases. This is however possible thanks to the way commercially-sourced botanical pigments, intended for use as cosmetic ingredients, are treated. This is one reason we recommend you buy only cosmetic plant pigments and not those manufactured for the food industry. We cover more on this in our note about regulatory issues below.

The Formulator's Guide to Cosmetic Plant Pigments - Formula Botanica (3)

Types of pigments used in cosmetics

It is important to know where plant pigments sit in the list of colorants used in the commercial cosmetics. If you search for natural, or all-natural make-up online, be aware that those you come across are likely to include mineral extracts and may also contain animal-derived and nature-identical ingredients. As a natural formulator, you will need to make decisions about your formulating ethos and what you understand by ‘natural’. For some help, listen to our podcast: What does natural skincare mean?; in it, we discuss four shades of interpreting natural.

To avoid mica minerals and pigments like carmine, a red cosmetic dye obtained from certain types of powdered insects, it is helpful to know where colourants common in cosmetics come from. We have a podcast looking at the issues of sustainable mica mining which gives you a good insight into the problems of sourcing this natural ingredient ethically.

Working purely with plant pigments as colorants is a challenging route to take but a rewarding subset of natural makeup to explore. Below is a brief comparison of botanical pigments and micas.

Plant PigmentsMicas
Obtained from natural sourcesObtained from mineral sources
Can be milled & mixedFragile & don't require strong mixing
Matt onlyCan be matt or sparkly
Need the addition of an opacifierCling to the skin so also works as an opacifier
Soluble in water and dispersible in oilsDispersible in oils
Can be light sensitiveCan be coated with metal oxides

Challenges of sourcing plant pigments for makeup

Food vs cosmetic colouring
While the food industry has a panoply of colourants available to it, we must not be tempted to use food colourings in cosmetic formulation. The food industry does not follow the same regulations as those required by the cosmetic industry in most jurisdictions. Cosmetic ingredients follow the INCI system (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) which is the standard by which cosmetic ingredients are named and categorised. It is regulated by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC).

If a natural colourant is aimed specifically at the food industry, it will be challenging to obtain an accurate INCI for it, and so it cannot be used as a cosmetic ingredient – at least not one heading for the commercial market. It is really important to research a botanical pigment before you include it in your formulations. Also, be aware that cosmetic regulations and requirements vary across the world.

By buying plant pigments from reputable cosmetic suppliers, you will know you are getting safe colourants designed specifically for cosmetic applications.

Colourants masquerading as other ingredients
We have seen examples of botanical colourants being listed in INCI for an alternative primary function in the formulation. Earlier, we said that many plant pigments are anthocyanins, which act as antioxidants to protect plants from harmful UV rays for example. Some ingredient suppliers sell plant pigments primarily as antioxidants simply because they are not listed in cosmetic regulations as colourants.

Retail vs industrial volumes
Another challenge in sourcing plant pigments is their availability and the minimum order quantities (MOQs) they may come in. We suggest some retailers below, but if you find colourant manufacturers online, they may deal only in huge quantities and prefer to supply large cosmetic firms.

(Video) Introduction to Formulation with Formula Botanica

The limited colour palette of plant pigments
The range of colours available in botanical pigment form for use in cosmetics is somewhat limited, and it takes skill to mix the colours to expand your range. You are also limited by the number of cosmetic ingredient retailers offering plant pigments, but don’t forget to search for colour in other ingredient types such as antioxidants ingredients when doing your research.

Smell, taste and look and feel issues
Some plant pigments have a distinct odour and taste to them. You will need to test them first and then create formulations with ingredients that can offset and minimise any unpleasantness of the pigments. The sensory feel of a cosmetic plays a large role in how it is received by consumers. Juggling these aspects is one of the fun, if more challenging roles of life as a natural formulator.

Plant pigments will always be matte in look and effect so by using them alone in a formulation you will not be able to replicate the shimmer and gloss of makeup using synthetic, mineral and/or mica ingredients. You will need to be creative in your choice of oils, butter and waxes and ingredients like botanical opacifiers like rice powder to create a desired gloss or shine, as well as slip and sensorial experience.

Can you use your own dried plants as pigments?
No, we don’t recommend using your own plant pigments for the safety and INCI issues we mentioned earlier. A glycerite or maceration you have made could be used for a different function in a cosmetic formulation and also provide colour.

However, once again, if you are to create cosmetics to place on the market, those homemade glycerites and macerations would require analysis and their own documentation such as safety data sheets (SDS) and certificates of analysis (COA). Getting these tests done can prove expensive. See our guides on glycerites and herbs for maceration for more information.

The Formulator's Guide to Cosmetic Plant Pigments - Formula Botanica (4)Preparing and choosing your plant pigments

Cosmetic plant pigments are coated in a way to enhance their use in formulations. Their particle size may even out-perform those of some synthetic colourants which may need milling first. With the plant pigments we suggest below, you can use them straight from the packet, without need to process them first. This is a distinct advantage of these plant pigments for the natural formulator.

In deciding on your chosen plant pigment for a colour cosmetic formulation, you need to think through these criteria in addition to the safety and sourcing issues above:

  • Natural colours – they need to be in on-trend colours and satisfy both our and our customers’ needs as natural and sustainably-sourced and -derived ingredients.
  • Soluble in water – this is a requirement for certain types of cosmetics such as some cream eye shadows and blushers.
  • Dispersible in oil – this is needed for lipsticks, lip balms, certain eye makeups forms and so on.
  • Temperature stable – colour cosmetics need to be stable in a wide temperature and climatic range.
  • Homogenous colour – makeup needs to be applied smoothly, evenly and without blotching or exaggerating the skin’s fine lines.

5 plant pigments every formulator should try

So, having gone over challenges of working with plant pigments, which colourants are ideal for the natural formulator to experiment with? We think this capsule range should give you plenty to try out.

As you work with them, you will build up the expertise to combine some to create a wider palette of makeup colourants.

Use singly

Beta vulgaris rubra, commonly known as red beetroot, is one of the few vegetables that contain a group of highly bio-active pigments known as betalains.

Red radish and purple sweet potato
Both these root vegetables contain anthocyanins that are natural antioxidants found in red, purple and blue fruits, vegetables or flowers. Anthocyanins not only give the vibrant colour pigments but as members of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals, they are also important natural antioxidants.

(Video) How to Start a Cosmetic Business at Home

Use in combinations

Curcuma longa commonly known as turmeric, is a spice with a strong yellow colour. While not ideal to use alone in most cosmetics, it is useful to mix with more typical red pigments to create different shades of lipstick.

Spirulina platensis is a blue-green algae belonging to the class cyanobacterium. While blue would not be a usual colour for a lipstick, it can be useful in eye shadows and to mix with and adjust other plant pigments.

Take your passion for colour pigments further

We hope this article has opened up the exciting if challenging world of botanical pigments for makeup. Researching and trialling them to create the Formula Botanica lipstick formulations has opened our eyes to an untapped part of the cosmetics’ market. If you wish to explore a truly innovative area of natural formulation, then plant pigments may just be the route to take.

Mini Lab: Formulating Natural Lipsticks with Plant Pigments

We are running a Natural Lipstick Mini Lab in our members-only site The Lab at Formula Botanica. The Lab is open for membership now until 15th March, 2022. Register now to gain access to the Natural Lipstick Lab and over 20 other mini courses in organic formulation, natural ingredients and beauty entrepreneurship.

Suggested suppliers

Aroma Zone (EU) – a good range of natural cosmetic powder colourants.

Leave us a comment


The Formulator's Guide to Cosmetic Plant Pigments - Formula Botanica (5)

Rouah Al-Wakeel

(Video) Formula Botanica Review with Coyran

Rouah was a member of the Formula Botanica team between 2020-2022. Rouah is a cosmetic chemist with many years’ experience as a formulator, product and project manager and scientific advisor in the cosmetic industry. Passionate about understanding the science behind raw ingredients, Rouah also has a deep interest in wellbeing, sustainable action, and social influence.


What four pigments are found in most plants? ›

Plant pigments are classified into four main categories: chlorophylls, anthocyanins, carotenoids, and betalains. They account for most of the naturally derived colors from plants.

What pigments are in lipstick? ›

Typical examples of inorganic pigments used in a lipstick are iron oxides, titanium dioxide, mica covered in titanium dioxide and bismuth oxychloride. The overall stability of inorganic pigments is good, even if in certain conditions they may sustain chemical reactions due to acidity and alkalinity.

Would you expect the Rf value of a pigment to be the same if a different solvent were used? ›

Would you expect the Rf value of the pigment to be the same if a different solvent were used? Explain. No, the different solubilities of the pigments would change the Rf values.

What are fruit pigments for makeup? ›

What are Fruit Pigments? Fruit pigments are what makes strawberries red, blueberry skin blue and concord grape skin purple – they're the actual fruit colors. 100% Pure uses the pigments of cherries, plums, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, apricots, tomatoes, and more to color our cosmetics.

What are the 3 main types of pigments? ›

The major groups of photosynthetic pigments are: Chlorophyll. Carotenoids. Phycobilins.

What are the three 3 classes of plant pigment? ›

Leaf Pigments
  • Carotenoids. Carotenoids are very long-chain water-repelling pigments that are synthesized in the plastids of plant cells. ...
  • Chlorophylls. The chlorophylls, a and b, are the pigments of photosynthesis. ...
  • Anthocyanins.

What is the rarest pigment? ›

Lapis lazuli, or natural ultramarine, is a rare stone used in art since Antiquity and found only in the mountains of modern-day Afghanistan and Iran.

What pigment makes lips red? ›

"With light skin color, the lip skin contains fewer melanocytes (cells that produce melanin pigment, which give skin its color). Because of this, the blood vessels appear through the skin of the lips, which leads to their notable red coloring."

What lip color is in for 2022? ›

Pantone's 2022 color of the year may be a shade of periwinkle, but you can take the purple cue in a whole other, bold direction with this lipstick from e.l.f. Cosmetics. The lush, creamy lipstick soaks lips in decadent color to make a statement like no other while delivering intense moisturizing power.

Why might Rf values not be accurate? ›

Rf values and reproducibility can be affected by a number of different factors such as layer thickness, moisture on the TLC plate, vessel saturation, temperature, depth of mobile phase, nature of the TLC plate, sample size, and solvent parameters.

Why is my Rf value different? ›

Rf values are affected by the solvent. In paper chromatography, the Rf values are affected by the solvent used. The substances will move at different rates depending on how soluble they are in the solvent, and how attracted they are to the paper.

Does a higher or lower Rf value mean more polar? ›

If you can visualize the spots then the Rf value can be calculated. Based on the Rf values, the identity and characteristics of the different compounds can be determined. More polar compounds will have smaller Rf values since they will have a stronger affinity for the polar solid phase.

Does Hobby Lobby sell pigments? ›

Step into the world of color with Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments. These vibrant powders feature a pearlescent and metallic finish in a safe, non-toxic material. Mix them with gum arabic, acrylics, polymer clay, and more for a dazzling look. Transform your artwork with color that stands out above the rest!

Does Hobby Lobby have pigment? ›

Bright Powder Pigment | Hobby Lobby | 2090850. FREE SHIPPING* on orders of $50 or more.

How do you make homemade pigment powder? ›

How to make natural pigments
  1. Breaking rocks into smaller pieces. First, break the rocks into pieces that can be finely ground using a mortar and pestle. ...
  2. Grinding. Grind the pieces using a pestle and mortar until you have achieved a very fine powder. ...
  3. Sifting. ...
  4. Make paints. ...
  5. Make sustainable art.
Apr 14, 2020

What is the most common pigment? ›

Multiple pigments absorb the different wavelength of light, allowing the plant to capture the maximum amount of energy from the sun. Complete answer: The most abundant plant pigment in the world is 'chlorophyll a'.

What are the 4 types of plant pigments and their color? ›

Types of Pigment in Plants
  • Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is one of the primary pigment found within the plant cells of all green plants. ...
  • Carotenoids. Carotenoids are the pigments in the form of orange, red, yellow colours. ...
  • Anthocyanins. ...
  • Flavonoids.
Aug 3, 2020

What are the two types of dyes and pigments used in cosmetics? ›

Cosmetic color additives can be divided into two broad categories: organic and inorganic.

What are the 3 pigments that contribute to skin color? ›

Human skin colour is influenced by three pigments: haemoglobin, carotenoids, and melanin.

Are 3 pigment colors that Cannot be mixed together? ›

(See Diagram A) These three resulting colors, cyan, magenta and yellow, are the three primary colors of pigment. These are the purest colors, and cannot be produced by mixing other pigment colors.

What are the five basic color pigments? ›

Major plant pigments and their occurrence
PigmentCommon types
CarotenoidsCarotenes and xanthophylls (e.g. astaxanthin)
FlavonoidsAnthocyanins, aurones, chalcones, flavonols and proanthocyanidins
BetalainsBetacyanins and betaxanthins

What is the richest color? ›

The color purple has been associated with royalty, power and wealth for centuries.

What is the most expensive pigment today? ›

Google "the most expensive pigment" and you'll find that Lapis Lazuli is believed to be the most expensive pigment ever created.

What is the oldest pigment in the world? ›

Researchers discovered the ancient pink pigments in 1.1-billion-year-old rocks deep beneath the Sahara Desert in the Taoudeni Basin of Mauritania, West Africa, making them the oldest colors in the geological record. According to Dr.

How can I make my lips pink permanently naturally? ›

How to get pink lips naturally
  1. Lip scrubs. Gentle exfoliation can help remove dry skin that could be giving the lips a dull, rough appearance. ...
  2. Lip massage. Massage can boost circulation to the lips, which may make them appear pinker. ...
  3. Lip masks. ...
  4. Peppermint oil lip balm.
May 18, 2021

What causes black lips? ›

Causes of dark lips

excessive exposure to the sun. lack of hydration. cigarette smoking. allergic reactions to toothpaste, lipstick, etc.

What do purple lips mean? ›

Blue skin and lips is usually caused by low blood oxygen levels or poor circulation. It can be a sign of a serious problem. Call 999 or go to your nearest emergency department immediately if you notice an adult or child suddenly turning blue.

What color does Kim Kardashian wear on her lips? ›

Inspired by the glamorous movie stars of the '60s, this light pinky beige nude is a completely classic color. It's no wonder this best-selling Hot Lips tube is Kim Kardashian's signature nude lip!

What lip color is on trend? ›

Now, let's update on the lip color trends for 2023-2024. Blue is the main color in the beauty industry with the intensity that looks alluring and magical like the underwater world. Neutral shades that exude warm, soft and gentle moods like Nude, Camel, Mocha or Taupe represent simple elegance.

What lip colour is attractive? ›

Well, we all knew that Red is definitely the color that attracts men the most, more so the red lipstick. The color red means warmth, positive energy and motivation. Most of all, Red lips look fierce. Several studies conducted towards the color red show that men tend to fixate on women who rock the red lips.

Is a higher or lower Rf value better? ›

The larger an Rf of a compound, the larger the distance it travels on the TLC plate. When comparing two different compounds run under identical chromatography conditions, the compound with the larger Rf is less polar because it interacts less strongly with the polar adsorbent on the TLC plate.

What are the best Rf values? ›

A desirable Rf value lies between 0.3 and 0.7, since it is likely that other compounds present in the mixture will be visible on the TLC plate when the Rf is in this range. Identification of a solid using thin layer chromatography (TLC):

What makes an Rf value higher? ›

The stronger a compound is bound to the adsorbent , the slower it moves up the TLC plate. Non-polar compounds move up the plate most rapidly (higher Rf value), whereas polar substances travel up the TLC plate slowly or not at all (lower Rf value).

What happens if the Rf value is 1? ›

By definition, Rf values are always less than 1. An Rf value of 1 or too close to it means that the spot and the solvent front travel close together and is therefore unreliable. This happens when the eluting solvent is too polar for the sample.

What does a small Rf number tell you? ›

A small Rf indicates that the moving molecules are not very soluble in the hydrophobic (non-polar) solvent; they are larger and/or have a greater affinity for the hydrophillic paper (they have more polar groups) than molecules with a larger Rf.

How can I make Rf more accurate? ›

  1. 210802 - 2739. ...
  2. Increasing the accuracy may be accomplished using several methods.
  3. Use a better calibrated frequency element - crystal, resonator, RC combination, LC combination, etc.
  4. Use a better (higher resolution) frequency trimmer such as a capacitor, inductor, or resistor to set the frequency.

Why should Rf value be less than 1? ›

Because Rf values are the ratios of solute (analyte) migration distances to solvent fronts, they are always less than one.

Can Rf value be greater than 1? ›

(2) Retardation factor (Rf) in chromatographic separation, is the ratio of the distance travelled by the substance of interest to the distance simultaneously travelled by the mobile phase: always less than 1.

How to calculate Rf? ›

The Rf value of a compound is equal to the distance traveled by the compound divided by the distance traveled by the solvent front (both measured from the origin).

What pigments did da Vinci use? ›

The main pigments used by Leonardo da Vinci were azurite, lapis lazuli and indigo for the blue colours, malachite, copper acetates and green earth for the greens, lead tin yellow type I (and type II), ochre, orpiment for the yellows, vermillion, red lake, iron oxides, natural earth such as raw Sienna, realgar and ...

Why is pigment so expensive? ›

It is the pigments that make oil paints expensive. Good paint is loaded with good quality pigment; highest quality oil paints are loaded with as much as 75% of pigment. Most sought-after pigments have been difficult to discover and produce, making them worth more than their weight in gold.

Is pigment better than dye? ›

Advantages of pigment ink

Pigment inks tend to be lighter in colour than dye they are more water-resistant while producing a truer solid black than dye. Es-pecially when the label is exposed to UV light for many months, the pigment ink holds its colour, quality and vibrancy better than dye.

Is pigment powder the same as mica powder? ›

What's the difference between mica powder and pigment powder? Pigment powders are either natural or synthetic colorants used in art projects. The biggest difference between mica and pigment powder is in appearance. Pigments have a matte finish, whereas mica adds color along with a natural shimmer.

Can you mix acrylic paint with pigments? ›

Place a small amount of pigment onto your surface. Add approximately twice the amount in acrylic medium and a few drops of water. Using a palette knife, continuously work into a smooth mix. Some pigments may mix easier than others.

Can you mix pigment powder with acrylic? ›

The answer is: Yes! Mica Powders blend effortlessly into acrylic paints. However, translucent acrylic mediums are recommended because the pigment needs light to show its luster and metallic undertones.

What can I mix pigment powder with? ›

Pigments simply need to be mixed with water to make a paste before adding to paints or plasters. We recommend to use soft water like purified water.

How do you make glow in the dark pigment powder? ›

The procedure is relatively straightforward: 1.875g of aluminum nitrate nonahydrate with 530mg of strontium nitrate, 10.7mg of europium nitrate pentahydrate, 21.9mg of dysprosium nitrate pentahydrate and 30.9mg of boric acid are dissolved in 3mL of distilled water. 3.9g of pure urea is added and shaken until dissolved.

What are the 4 types of pigment found in a plant leaf and what colors are they? ›

These are the different pigments in the leaves. The ones you may see on your paper towel strips are: green chlorophylls, yellow xanthophylls, orange carotenoids and red anthocyanins.

What are 4 accessory pigments? ›

The accessory pigments are chlorophyll b, carotenoids, xanthophyll, anthocyanin, phycoerythrin, and phycocyanin. These accessory pigments broaden the range of light that can be absorbed by the plant.

What happens if leaves of a green plant are coated with green paint? ›

Solution : 1) Leaves contain tiny pores on the surface of the leaf, called stomata. <br> 2) If leaves are painted with green paints the stomata openings get closed.

What is the most common pigment in plants? ›

Chlorophyll a: This is the most abundant pigment in plants.It gives green colour to the leaves.

What are the 3 primary colors of pigment paint? ›

The primary colors of pigment are cyan, magenta, and yellow, which can be mixed to make many other colors, but demonstrating this can be difficult if you want to use markers.

What are the 3 pigments plants use to perform photosynthesis? ›

The set of wavelengths absorbed by a pigment is its absorption spectrum. In the diagram below, you can see the absorption spectra of three key pigments in photosynthesis: chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and β-carotene.

What is the most common pigment in green plants? ›

Chlorophyll is a pigment that gives plants their green color, and it helps plants create their own food through photosynthesis.

How many types of pigments are there? ›

There are basically two types of pigments and they are: Inorganic pigments. Organic pigments.

How many classes of pigments are there? ›

There are three basic classes of pigments.

What is the difference between primary pigments and accessory pigments? ›

The primary Photosynthetic pigments are the chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b which absorb the green light while accessory pigments are the ones which a sort different wavelengths of light and pass it to the primary pigments.

Which are the most common pigments? ›

Carotenoids and carotenoproteins

Carotenoids are the most common group of pigments found in nature. Over 600 different kinds of carotenoids are found in animals, plants, and microorganisms.

What pigment makes leaves red? ›

Anthocyanins. A third pigment, or class of pigments, that occur in leaves are the anthocyanins. Anthocyanins absorb blue, blue-green, and green light. Therefore, the light reflected by leaves containing anthocyanins appears red.

What pigment makes leaves orange? ›

Yellow and Orange Pigments are Carotenoids

The yellow and orange pigments in fall leaves are known as carotenoids.


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