Know Your Ingredients: Red 33

red 33

What it is
Also known as Acid Red 33, Red 33 is a red dye.

What it does
Red 33 imparts a red color to cosmetics and personal care products.

Side effects
Red 33 cannot be used in cosmetics designed for the eye area. In lipstick, this colorant can only be present in concentrations up to 3%.

Like this post? Tell your friends!
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook


  1. Kris Dickinson says

    Do you know if red dye 33 contains iodine? I recently had abdominal surgery and my skin is really dry cause of the tape on the bandages and itched so much I was using hydrocortisone cream. Well that dried my skin more so I was using Johnson’s Baby lotion. Well, my skin is still dry after repeated uses and itches for awhile after I apply it. I am allergic to iodine so Im wondering if iodine is in the dye? Ive looked all over online but cant get any answers. Thanks so much!!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Kris, I did a search but unfortunately I couldn’t find any information about it. I am personally inclined to believe it doesn’t because it would have been mentioned somewhere if it did, but I could be wrong. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help and I hope you get better soon.

  2. Kris Dickinson says

    Thanks for trying! My surgery was 2 wks ago yesterday so Im doing pretty well. More healing to do inside but the incisions look great. (I had a laparoscopic removal of my ovaries so I have 3 small incisions and one a few inches long)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Kris, you’re welcome. That sounds awful but I’m glad you’re doing better and I wish you a speedy recovery!

  3. Cindy Pytlinski says

    i believe that I am allergic to red dye 33 because for a few years I have had problems with severe redness, dryness, and itching of my eyes and eyelids. I went to the dermatologist and he told me to stop using all cosmetics and lotions except cetaphil. I
    was given a cortisone shot and my eyes cleared up completely after a few weeks. When the steroid was out of my system then the redness and dryness came back. I realized that the liquid hand soap and bar soap both had red dye 33 in them. I have stopped using both and my eyes have since cleared up again. Have you heard of anyone having this problem?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Cindy, no I hadn’t heard of it. But unfortunately every ingredient in cosmetics can potentially cause an allergic reaction. I’m sorry it happened to you. It must have been an awful experience.

    • Kirsten says

      My daughter was just diagnosed with a contact allergy to Red #33. She had a horrible reaction to Mr. Bubble.

        • Troy Vincent says

          Through mixing and matching different soaps from bath and body works, I was able to figure out that I too am allergic to Red33. When I used any kind of soap, shampoo, washes, or even when I painted a house that was an off green that. I know now had Red 33 in it I break out in severe hives and turn all red swollen and itchy. One time I ate something that had some in it and became ill.

  4. venny says

    Hi..I just bought a raspberry body butter from the body shop last night and I just noticed that it actually contains red 33 and red 4. Somehow, those number just hit me so I looked for the information over the internet. Articles I read all mentioning abt how dangerous these chemicals can be when applied to the skin as it may caused cancer just like paraben. Is it true? Since none of you guys mention about it in here.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Venny, I have never come across any evidence yet that suggests that these dyes can cause cancer in the small concentrations used in cosmetics (and there’s none that parabens are harmful either). I’ve seen a lot of websites claiming they are harmful, but so far none that has shared a link to their sources. It could very well be one of those cases where someone has misinterpreted a study and, in good faith, shared that information. For instance, sometimes people use studies where an animal got cancer for having been injected with high quantities of a substance to claim it is harmful to humans. But ingredients in cosmetics aren’t injected and they aren’t used in high amounts, so the same findings don’t apply to humans. But I will do some research and see if some new study has shed some new evidence on how these dyes work. Should I find anything new, I’ll let you know.

  5. Tammy Gabriel says

    I am Kosher and don’t want to use anything with red dye from the cochineal / carmine insect. Can you tell me if Red dye 33 is derived from them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge