There are many different options for coloring your homemade soap. If you don’t want to use synthetic colorants to color your soap, there are a wide variety of natural colorants that you can use.
Natural colorants are sometimes safer, but the reality is that most colorants are processed at some point; if you want to be sure that the colorants you are using are truly natural, do some research into the methods with which they were harvested and processed.
If the natural colorants don’t work for you, or are too expensive or unpredictable, there are a variety of synthetic colorants that can be used. Pigments, micas, and FD&C colorants are some of these.
Pigments are colorants that were originally mined, but now, due to FDA regulations, are manufactured in laboratories. The synthetically made pigments have the same molecular structure as the natural ones, but they have a low enough concentration of toxic metals that they are
considered “safe” by the FDA. Pigments tend to be pretty stable, and the color that they will impart to your soap is predictable.
FD&C colorants are also manufactured in a laboratory. By way of comparison, they are easier to use than many pigments, and provide a much wider range of colors. There is some debate over the safety of FD&C colorants, because in the past, the FDA has recalled some of these colorants due to safety concerns. However, this fear is most likely unfounded.
Micas are a combination of natural and synthetic materials. The micas themselves are naturally occurring; after they are mined, they are then coated with FD&C colorants, or pigments, to provide them with color. Because of their metallic sheen, micas can only display their color by reflecting light; therefore, they work best in translucent soaps.
When the colorant you used transfers unintentionally, and alters the look of the intended design, this is referred to as bleeding, or color migration. Oxides and most micas will color soap without bleeding.
From opaque to translucent, pastel to shimmery, monotone to patterned, there is a way to achieve the look that you want your soap to have. Perhaps an alien-green “cookie” to keep the toddler mesmerized while in the bath, or a warm coffee-brown bar as a birthday gift for your best friend?
Check out the Soap Making Made Easy Ebooks and get started on your creative journey today! You’ll get comprehensive information on the materials you’ll need, sample recipes, tips for getting started, step-by-step instructions, and much more!