Colorants handmade soap! Because the soap base is natural, and the scent is natural, is the color natural too? This is one of those grey areas where you don’t know who to believe. If your source (soap supply) is selling natural colorants – their opinion is biased or uninformed or a lie. Think about the word ‘organic’, all that really means is that this material has a carbon molecule. That’s it folks! That means that you and me are organic, rotting garbage is organic, crude oil is organic, etc. A carbon molecule just means that this material or matter was at one time a living organism.
Oxides and ultramarine’s: these are pigments, which are not natural. These are lab manufactured. In the old days, these used to be mined but unfortunately, mined materials often contain unfriendly materials such as arsenic, mercury and lead. So basically these labs have been creating these colors in order to make a less toxic colorant. So you see, the Government is actually looking out for you and lessening your toxic rock intake, lol.
Iron Oxides: same as above, are from minerals (rock) and considered not natural as having not come from a plant.
Micas: generally considered natural organic products from the ground, but cosmetic grade micas are not from the ground. Naturally mined micas are mostly used in the electronics and electrical industry, and because of the mining and processing costs, only this industry really needs this material. But those pretty and colorful cosmetic micas are created in a lab just like pigments. It is also these synthetic micas in your make up.
Mineral-based colorants and colors are supposed to be sold within US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. If some tested minerals come back too high in toxins, then those are to be used in paint and ink. (Lucky us.) But now we need to consider all the imported colorants from countries that couldn’t care less.
Bottom line is, the FDA actually considers that any oxide used to color makes a product not really natural. The Government and importers are in a position of having to believe that imported materials are created and tested to be within government specifications. But really, is anyone checking?
So here we are, wondering what to do. These colorants make our soaps and other bath products very pretty. These colorants are not temperamental and will be the color that they say they will be.
If I were starting my soap business today, I would test and test again all the natural colorants to find the right ones for the right soap. I used to use liquid colorants for my soap because they were dependable. Fact is, natural colorants can be gritty, or have a scent, or don’t mix well, or end up being a different color. For instance, whenever I needed a brown or tan color, I always used cocoa powder, because it worked easily and had the same color always.
Stop by this page to get a list on natural colorants, real natural colorants, from plants.
And sadly, customers don’t think of colorants as being toxic. I lost count of how many times I told my kids that Slurpee’s were ‘cancer in a cup’ because of the fake sugar, fake flavor and fake colors. And yes, I color my hair, (to be fully transparent and not too hypocritical).
Here’s my article on when I did not color the orange soap orange, apparently it didn’t smell as strong – psychology of color.
Still not sure, great article on colorants in make-up here.
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