Carmine is a pigment that provides brilliant, cool-toned pinks and reds to cosmetics and personal care products. Other names for carmine include CI 75470, cochineal extract, crimson lake, carmine lake, and natural red 4. In addition to use in cosmetic products, carmine is used in the manufacture of artificial flowers, paints, crimson ink, and some medications.
Carmine is derived from the cochineal beetle, which is native to Mexico and Central America. The female cochineal beetle is harvested and the exoskeleton is crushed to create a brilliant crimson red dye extract. It is often used by brands of natural beauty products that want to achieve specific cooler ranges of pinks, purples, and reds while avoiding the use of synthetic red, purple, and pink FD&C and Lake dyes