Those big soaps with a pomp of color and nice scents that people buy thinking that they are natural soaps are often not what they assume the soaps to be; the soaps are just like most other commercial soaps.
No More Big Colored Chunks?
Color is often one of the elements that make a soap standout. The colors of pure natural soaps are often sourced from natural sources (clays, herbs, and plant extracts). Do not be made to think that opting to use soaps that have natural colorants is something restrictive; you still can enjoy natural soap that have an array of bold colors.
The Natural Place to Start
You can add color and appeal to soaps using herbs, clays, and essential oils by adding them directly to the mixture when making the soap. Alternatively, you can use steeped and concentrated herbs. Each method has its challenges and benefits, and here is some insight on each to help you appreciate the fact that you can have natural soaps without the artificial pigments.
Essential Oils as Colorants
It is true that essential oils are often used for scents, yet some of these oils have a natural color, a good example being citrus oil. Hence, that natural color in these oils can be all you need to give your soap that exquisite color. The only issue with using the oils that that it is not possible to achieve certain colors or scents using a combination of the oils; for instance, you cannot have a pale yellow soap having a clove scent because clove oil has a dark color.
Adding Color Directly
Adding color directly is the easiest way of giving soaps color. It should be done towards the end of the mixing process. Throw in clays, essential oils, or herbs, or a combination of two of these or all three into the mixture. You can let the color you will get for the soap based on the color of the clay, herbs, or oils you use. Nevertheless, you need to appreciate that there are certain exceptions, which is why you need to do your homework on the color options.
Colors from Steeped Herbs
Some herbs tend not to give up their color that easily when mixed directly. A good example would be madder root powder, annatto seeds, and wildcrafted alkanet root. Such herbs need to be handled with a special extraction method called steeping.
You’ll Love the Results
While coloring natural soaps is not hard, steeping is the most complex coloring method yet the only one that offer more vivid color options. The process involves the addition of an exact amount of colorant to a specific amount of a pre-heated blend of base oils. The length and intensity of the steeping will vary depending on the color you desire to achieve. The steeping process will extract colored oil from the herbs, which is then added to the soap during the mixing process. The first steeping session is often one of trial and error even though the results are always worth every effort.