What do you colour your soaps with?
The cosmetic micas used by Oola Body Care (with occasional oxides) are considered nature identical and is the industry standard (since the 1960’s) with approval by CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), The Department of Health Canada and the the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, America). Mica is the name given to a group of silicate minerals which can be ground down to a powder. Micas are most often a powder which usually contain a slight shimmer . They are extremely fine which makes for easy mixing with soap batter. They can be bought as liquid, but that is simply pre-mixed powder in glycerin. Cosmetic micas are used in cosmetics from lipstick to eye shadow, blush and or other makeups.
True micas are natural organic deposits in the earth itself, but mining them has major issues, including lack of child labour laws and creating both poor processing and social conditions. As far as mining mica goes, there has been no sustainable solution as of yet; therefore, it is better to use a natural identical product. Like essentials and aromas, the regulations are clear, and given that soap remains on the skin for such a short period of time, they are safe to use. Mining true mica is extremely expensive.
More on nature identical Mica powder.
It can be opalescent, sparkling or matte. It is available in a myriad of colours that can be used on their own or blended with other micas to create deeper or lighter colours.
‘All Natural’ oxides are strong pigments but are processed and refined and are often combined with toxic metals like lead, arsenic and mercury, to name a few. Regulations for lab based oxides, are as above for micas and used in the cosmetic industry. They are produced in labs to prevent any chance of bacteria or other harmful compounds from contaminating the mix and must follow extremely strict guidelines.
Titanium Dioxide is a pigment powder that is both bright and refractive and is soothing to the skin. It can be used to brighten colours, especially when using some essential or aroma oils in a mix. Some additions, take orange essential oil x10 for example,will cause a soap batter to turn dark. Using titanium dioxide will lighten the batter to keep it white. Titanium dioxide can be used to brighten any colour really. Blue too dark? Add a wee amount of titanium dioxide and it will turn a lighter shade.
All of the above are used proportionally within the required guidelines of the above mentioned administrations. Meaning, there are formulas on how much of one mica or oxide to add to a specific quantity of soap batter.
Other natural colour additions
Yes, absolutely one can add things such a chlorophyll, annatto seeds (need to be processed), paprika and turmeric to name a few. One must keep in mind that some ‘natural’ ingredients/colours can be super irritating to many skin types and that the colour will fade very quickly. Adding petals to soap is beautiful, at first, but the petals will turn brown rather quickly. Oola has experimented with some of these lovely ideas but find they do not fill the needs of customers. Just because something is ‘natural’ does not make it better. Arsenic is natural but i would not put it on my skin or ingest it!
Infusing flower petals in oil is another way to create colour but one needs to understand that the infusion takes a few weeks to achieve and it will fade in the end product.