How to Create More Vibrant Colours in Your Soaps

by | Mar 19, 2020 | Soap Making Tips | 0 comments

If you’re going to sell your soaps you will probably want to make them smell and look as attractive as possible. One way to do this is to use bright colours, which make your soaps stand out and be more appealing to the public.

There are various neon colours on the market, which will produce bright colours in your soap.

When choosing any colours for use in cold process soap, you need to check that they do not morph in cold process soap. This happens when the lye reacts with the colourant and turns into a different colour. Most suppliers will state this in their product description. Some suppliers even have photos to show you how the colours will look in cold process and melt and pour soap.

PIGMENTS

  • Pigments are usually labelled as oxides or ultramarines.
  • There is a large range of colours
  • These are a great choice for cold process soap, as the colours stay true in your soap.
  • Some of the heavier pigments, such as green oxide can clump or cause speckles in melt and pour soap, so mix 1/2 teaspoon pigment with 1 tablespoon liquid glycerin or 99% rubbing alcohol, before adding to your soap.

MICAS

  • These are great in melt and pour soap as they add a beautiful shimmer to your soap. Mix 1 teaspoon mica with 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol and use ½ tsp mica per 1lb  or 450g of soap.
  • In cold process soap, micas can morph or fade. Use 1/16 tsp per lb or 450g of soap
  • Micas are perfect for decorating the top of your soap by dusting the powder on, or painting lines. You can mix the mica with rubbing alcohol, then drizzle it on the top and create swirls.
  • You can also add mica lines between your layers using a fine strainer.

LAB COLOURS

  • These need to be diluted prior to use.
  • Use a high pH lab colour for cold process soap.
  • For melt and pour you can use low and high pH colour

NATURAL COLOURS

You can use natural clays and herbs in melt and pour and cold process soap, however, they produce more muted colours. There are some techniques that you can use to make them brighter: you can use strong colours to make your colour more pronounced – such as adding indigo to make a darker blue, and madder root to make a bolder red. You can also combine natural colours with another pigment or mica to make the colour more vivid. Natural colours often fade over time, so combining them with other colorants helps to reduce this.

HOW YOUR RECIPE CAN AFFECT YOUR COLOURS

The colour of your base oils will affect your finished colours. Using pomace oil or a dark olive oil will give your base a greenish tinge. Using lighter coloured oils like coconut, palm, sweet almond oil and butters will help keep your colours more true. You can also add titanium dioxide to your base to lighten it.

In melt and pour soap the clear base will produce a more vivid colour, whereas an opaque base will give more pastel colours.

GEL PHASE

Encouraging your soap to go through a gel phase in the cold proces method will help bring out the colours, especially with lab colors.

You can also use the CPOP (cold process, oven process) method. Make your soap the regular way, pour into the mold then put it in the oven on 170F for 1 hour, turn the oven off and leave it overnight.

STORAGE

Ensuring you store your soaps out of direct sunlight, will help prevent colours from fading.

TESTING

As with other techniques, it is worth doing a small test batch before you embark on a large production of soap, to see how it will turn out.

Author - Shona O'Connor

Author - Shona O'Connor

Soap Maker, Course Creator & Blogger

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