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Basic Red 76: An In-Depth Look at Its Role in Cosmetics

Article last updated: June 13, 2024

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Ever wondered what gives your favorite lipstick its vibrant hue? Dive into our comprehensive guide on Basic Red 76 and discover its fascinating journey from lab to makeup bag, along with its benefits and potential side effects.

What Is Basic Red 76?

Basic Red 76, also known by its chemical name [7-Hydroxy-8-[(2-methoxyphenyl)azo]-2-naphthyl]trimethylammonium chloride (CI 12245), is a synthetic dye primarily used in hair dyeing products. This vibrant red dye is part of the azo dye family, which is characterized by the presence of a nitrogen-nitrogen double bond (N=N) linking two aromatic rings. The “Basic” in its name refers to its classification as a basic dye, meaning it is cationic and can easily bind to the negatively charged sites on hair fibers.

The history of Basic Red 76 in cosmetics dates back to the early 20th century when synthetic dyes began to replace natural dyes due to their superior color consistency and stability. Over the decades, it has become a staple in the formulation of various hair dye products, thanks to its ability to impart a vivid and long-lasting red hue.

The production of Basic Red 76 involves a multi-step chemical synthesis process. It starts with the creation of the azo compound through a diazotization reaction, where an aromatic amine is treated with nitrous acid to form a diazonium salt. This salt is then coupled with another aromatic compound to form the azo linkage. The final step involves quaternization, where the dye is treated with a methylating agent to introduce the trimethylammonium group, enhancing its solubility and affinity for hair fibers. This meticulous process ensures that the dye is both effective and safe for cosmetic use.

The Benefits/Uses of Basic Red 76

In this section, we will delve into the officially recognized cosmetic benefits and uses of Basic Red 76:

Hair Dyeing

Basic Red 76 is primarily used as a hair dye. This means it is an ingredient that imparts color to the hair. When included in hair dye formulations, it helps achieve vibrant red hues. Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement with a bright red or add subtle red undertones to your natural color, Basic Red 76 is the ingredient that makes it possible. Its ability to bond with the hair shaft ensures that the color remains vivid and lasts through multiple washes.

Note: the listed benefits above are exclusively based on the officially recognized and defined functions of the ingredient, as documented by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI).

Potential Side Effects & Other Considerations

Basic Red 76, also known as [7-Hydroxy-8-[(2-methoxyphenyl)azo]-2-naphthyl]trimethylammonium chloride (CI 12245), is primarily used as a hair dyeing agent in cosmetic products. While it is effective in providing vibrant color, it is important to be aware of its potential side effects and other considerations.

Regarding individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, data and research on the topical usage of Basic Red 76 during pregnancy and breastfeeding are lacking. Therefore, it is advisable for these individuals to consult a healthcare professional for further advice before using products containing this ingredient.

Potential side effects of topical application of Basic Red 76 include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Redness and itching

While adverse reactions to Basic Red 76 are not extremely common, they can occur, especially in individuals with sensitive skin or allergies. It is recommended to perform a patch test before widespread usage to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

In terms of comedogenicity, Basic Red 76 has a rating of 1 on a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 is totally non-comedogenic and 5 is highly comedogenic. This low rating indicates that it is unlikely to clog pores and cause acne or breakouts, making it generally suitable for individuals prone to blemishes.

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