Is Mica Powder the best option to add color in homemade soap?
When it comes to adding color to handmade soap, you’ve got options. Mica pigments and Mica powders provide a variety of shades that are quite stable in the soap making process. Although they come in every shade of the rainbow, you don’t necessarily need to buy every color when you are just getting started. The beauty of Mica’s is when they are added correctly you are able to create some truly unique bath and body products. Due to the pricing, quality and options available this is one of the best options for adding color to soap.
What is Mica?
According to the folks over at Blue Bottle Tree, there is a distinct difference between Mica Pigment and Mica Powder. For our soap making purposes we are going to keep our focus on the powder for now. I like the description they provide which is: “Mica is a natural stone mineral with shiny flakes. When mica is ground into a powder, you get mica powder. Mica powders are therefore sparkly, sort of like very fine glitter. They’re used to give a metallic or shimmery pearl-like effect.”
As soap makers we want our customers to have an experience with the senses when they interact with our products and Mica is a great way to create eye appeal and truly fascinating creations. The question people often have is will their cosmetic remain natural if they use Mica Powder.
Is Mica Powder Natural?
The truth is everything in the world is “natural” to some degree, but that’s not what is meant here. Most of the colorant provided by suppliers is of a synthetic nature. This is done to remove any of the harmful chemicals that are naturally occurring in the minerals they come from. This means that if you add mica to soap for colorant, you can’t call it 100% natural.
If you really want to create an all natural homemade soap consider using natural colorants or herbs. These will add color while maintaining 100% natural.
How much color should be added to Soap?
When it comes to adding color to Natural Soap the choices are endless: natural colorants, micas, oxides and more. If you add too much the soap will bleed too little and it won’t appear in the mixture. The “general” consensus is one teaspoon per pound of oil but I will tell you from personal experience that general guideline goes up or down.
In order to achieve those true colors we must remember color theory, chemistry is still in action and those general guidelines. What you initially see may not be the final outcome but the true colors will shine through in the end.
Find Your Inspiration with Color and Mica Powder
Cindy Lauper has a song titled True Colors. As we were driving to Virginia for our family vacation this song came on and the whole car began to sing along. 12 years old to 60 sung along. There was a palpable energy around the words True Colors and Shining Through!
I see your true colors shining through, so don’t be AFRAID to let them show I see your true colors. Your true colors are beautiful like a rainbow.
Like many of my experiences I began to think about how appropriate this is to soap making and the journey many will discover as they begin the craft.
If you have ever watched me make soap you already know that color excites me! Color changes a simple loaf into a work of art or a disaster depending on how it’s mixed, poured or combined in the mold. The true color of the soap cannot be determined until after the cure is complete. This is because chemistry is still at work.
If you are a soapmaker or just getting started with your own handcrafted soap, keep these lyrics in mind. “Don’t be afraid to let them show, YOUR true colors are Beautiful like a rainbow”.
One supplier that offers an incredible Vegan Mica is Nurture Soap. Their colors work very well in soap and are perfect for my Vegan product line.
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Until next time…