Natural Soap Colorants
All natural soap means that the colorants should be natural too!
I've seen a lot of "natural" soaps that had NOT natural soap colorants that are made from petroleum derivatives and synthetic chemicals. The truly natural soap colors are derived from plants, foods and pigments. One of the reasons that the chemicals colors are used is that they tend to have brighter and bolder colors. But for those of us that don't need bright colors to make our lives better, read more on what natural sources can make those natural soap colorants.
Here is a list of some natural soap colorants:
Alkanet Root: a plant with blue flowers and a root with a dark red dye that releases into alcohol or oil. The finished color can be anywhere between a greyish lavender and purple, to pastel blue and dark blue.
Annatto Seed: from a shrub that makes large rose-like flowers, and the red from the seedsis used for the dye. Annatto makes nice shades of yellow and orange.
Beetroot Powder: made from dehydrated beets into a powder, and the finished color could be described as a muddy yellow.
Beta-Carotene: found in carrots, known as the carotenoids in orange or red plants and vegetables. True beta-carotene is expensive, so often the beta-carotene found at soap suppliers is a synthetic version. Yellow-orange shades are created with this.
Chlorophyll: I used this one often for a nice natural tint. Usually in my Tea Tree bars.
Cocoa Powder: Another natural colorant I used often. Use a little for a light tan color, or make a darker brown swirl.
Rose Hip Powder: made from dried and powdered Rose Hips, making a beautiful rosy-peach color.
Turmeric: powdered and made from the roots, this colorant will make shades of peach or orange.
Clays: beautiful and muted shades of green and pink and great for soaps. The pink clay is especially good in facial bars with its super gentle exfoliating properties.
And now for the not-natural colorants:
Ultramarines: originally from ground gem stones, virtually all ultramarines are synthetic and considered safe in soap. Yet these colorants are not considered safe for cosmetics.
Oxides: if they are the synthetic versions. I have used oxides and these do make nice colors, but there are natural oxides and synthetic versions. Try to obtain the natural sourced materials.
Crayons: crayons are made with petroleum products, which are made from crude oil. If you want an all natural bar aim for plant colorants.
Food Coloring: some people use these, but food coloring doesn't mean that it is natural. Food coloring that we all have in our cupboards for cake decorating is made from petroleum oil as well. Also, it is a deep coloring and could leave color streaks on your skin.
Food Grade Coloring: this is often found at soap making suppliers, and I have used this as well. Again, made from petroleum products.