I am determined to drill this one down, because our customers would love to start using botanical additives for color cosmetics. The fear is that the FDA would act against them if they did.
The FDA strictly regulates color additives and their approved uses in cosmetics. Per the FDA, the definition of a color additive is a follows (source: Sec 201)
(t)(1) The term "color additive" means a material which—
(A) is a dye, pigment, or other substance made by a process of synthesis or similar artifice, or extracted, isolated, or otherwise derived, with or without intermediate or final change of identity, from a vegetable, animal, mineral, or other source, and
(B) when added or applied to a food, drug, or cosmetic, or to the human body or any part thereof, is capable (alone or through reaction with other substance) of imparting color thereto; except that such term does not include any material which the Secretary, by regulation, determines is used (or intended to be used) solely for a purpose or purposes other than coloring.
So, if one included a botanical which is used for a purpose other than coloring, that would be OK.
Recently I contact a vendor of natural products which they market heavily for use in coloring cosmetics. I asked them to explain how this was possible. Here is the response:
"These are not classified as colorants – only color enhancing extracts"
Well, I'll keep you posted. I'm still in conversation with the vendor and I'll also put in a call to the FDA.