I had some inquiring minds ask about exactly where the colorants from my bath and body products come from. At that moment I realized I've done a pretty bad job of explaining that, even to my most loyal customers! How silly of me. In an effort to explain and educate about such things, I'm going to be starting a series with a little bit of information on where I get my ingredients from! First off, in the spirit of inquiring minds, I'll start with my colorants!
The bulk of the colorants I use are called micas. These are the pigments they use to make eye shadow, foundation, lipstick, lip balm, etc and are also known as cosmetic micas. There are 13 naturally occurring mica pigments that come from the ground. Originally, when the makeup industry started taking off, the pigments were mined. After a while they were testing to be contaminated with lead and other heavy metals, so the method of mining these mica pigments became outlawed by the FDA. All micas are now lab made due to this contamination issue.
I was asked if my colorants were "natural". The short answer is - no. The fact that they are lab made, in fact, makes them by definition not natural, because the FDA no longer allows any non-lab produced mica pigments to be put in any skincare or makeup products. Because they are lab made, they are highly tested and regulated for purity. Which, frankly, they may not be "natural" but the regulation process involved in lab made micas does ensure quality and safety.
I do also use a variety of clays as colorants. For example, my lavender bath bombs are colored with Brazilian Purple Clay. While I am a huge fan of "natural" colorants because of the aspect that they are as natural as you can get, you are extremely limited with the amount of colors you can use. Clays and natural colorants (tumeric, beet juice, carrot juice, etc.) would limit me to roughly 20 color combinations, and get muddy looking very quickly. And for real, I just need more than that.
Using a full range of colors in my products is very much an artistic process for me. The reason I love making soap and bath products is because it is what I like to call "usable art". As I have always been a bit of a dabbler my entire life, I love to paint but I hate the aspect that once you're done, it just sits there collecting dust the rest of your life. With soap, I can make a beautiful rainbow of colors, make somebody feel beautiful and have a deeply cathartic self-pampering experience, and do it all over again by designing whatever I want with a full range of colors at my disposal.
I hope this short article has enlightened ya'll on my thought process and sourcing for my colorants. Please feel free to leave a comment if you guys have any questions. As many of you know, I am a complete open book.
Take care of yourselves <3