When it comes to adding color to soap, I only use natural clays, powders, herbs and extracts. It adds variety and expands creativity in the final product. Some powders and herbs are readily available in your home. Though they may be not as vibrant as synthetics, but with natural colorants you get soft deep muted tones that nature intended. They also have their own unique properties and benefits to the skin.
Here are just a few of the natural colorants I use:
Activated Charcoal – adds black to grey or bluish color, depending on concentration. Some coarse brands add an element of exfoliation as well. Great for acne.
Cinnamon – adds a nice light brown color. Some people are sensitive to it though.
Beet Root Powder – grey to brown color. It does not keep it’s beautiful pink color.
Cocoa powder – light to dark brown, depending on concentration
Spirulina – This is a blue-green algae used as a supplement by many people. It makes a pretty green color. Will fade over time in soap when in direct sunlight.
Alkanet Powder – alkanet powder can do wonders for acne and other skin issues. So it’s definitely a good option. It will make everything from a deep purple to a bluish purple. It needs to be steeped in oil before adding at trace. If added at trace it will be a dark brown color as you an see with our Shave Bar Cleanse.
Black Walnut Hull – This is good to mix with the entire batch, giving it dark purple specs that are good at exfoliating as well.
Sandalwood Powder – creates a purple red color, depending on the ph level of the soap.
Hibiscus Powder- if added at trace, ends up being a darker tan/brownish color as soap cures. It also turns blended oils and lye green while getting to trace. I use for the skin benefits, exfoliates and hydrates the skin
Calendula Powder – calendula has a lot of great medicinal purposes, makes a pretty yellow, and can also be added as a flower instead of powder. The flower will give your soap yellow spots and streaks.
Indigo Powder – creates a deep blue.
Madder Root – add at trace, can be vibrant red or more muted pink depending on how much you add.
Tumeric - Go easy on the amount added. Color ranges from pale pink to deep burnt orange.
Kaolin Clay - adds silkiness and creaminess to soap bars, and creates a whiter bar.
Australian Pink/Red Clay: ranges from soft pink to deep red/maroon color. Balances out the complexion and adds radiant glow to dull skin.