Adding Natural Botanical Colors To Cold Processed Soap
So I was trying to get out of my boring ol' unscented, uncolored, olive, coconut oil and shea butter soap routines. As functional as I am when it comes to soap, I realized the small customer base I was building up and who was purchasing my wares wanted more (of course, who doesn't want a fragrant bar of soap with color?!). So I decided to branch out and first explore with coloring my soaps, naturally.
I began researching ways to color my soap with naturally occurring colors of the earth that could be added to soap. Some color components include clays, mica, botanicals, etc. For my first batch ever of colored soap I decided to use powdered nettle leaf and Moroccan red clay powder. I know from research Moroccan red clay can produce a light brown hue to a deep burnt brick red color and nettle specifically is great for lime greens to darker forest greens.
The trick here is determining what hue you want for your soap and what ratio of color to fats is a good amount to add. For me, I went with a standard estimation which was 1 tablespoon of color to 4 tablespoons of fats/oils in your soap. For this batch it was around 27 ounces of fats/oils to make my soap, therefore it is about 6 tablespoons of color for this specific batch of soap. I added 3 tablespoons of Moroccan red clay and 3 tablespoons of nettle powder right before the soap reached trace.
As you can see from above, depending on the amount of natural colorant you add you can get a different hue each time. For the sage soap, I added a lot of sage powder to get that dark dusky green. For the Moroccan clay only soap, I added a small amount about 1.25 tablespoons for 27 ounce of fats/oils - I got a more brown color than red hue. I am excited to keep finding new natural colors to add to my soaps, including madder root which apparently turns soap pink!