If you are looking for a way to naturally color your cold process soaps, herbs may be your answer. The addition of herbs to your soaping recipes not only can provide your skin with different skin loving benefits, but can also give your soaps beautiful color as well.
There are basically three ways to incorporate herbs into your soaping recipe they are:
1. As is. If the herb you are adding is in a powder or small leaf/seed form, they can be added when your soap batter has reached trace.
2. Herbs in tea form. This is done by steeping the herbs in water to create a tea, and then this “tea” is used as the water portion of your soap recipe.
3. Oil infusion. If you are selecting to infuse your herbs this way, you must make your herb oil infusion several weeks before using it in a soaping recipe. The selected herbs are placed into one of your oils (that will be used in your soap recipe) and allowed to set for 4-6 weeks. Then, strain the herbs out and use the oil in your soap recipe. Please Note: This process can also be done by adding the herbs to the melting pot as you wait for your soaping oils to melt.
The choice of how you would like to infuse your herbs is up to you and testing. It is important to keep in mind what the end goal of adding the herb is before choosing your herbal addition method. The answers as to why some people prefer different methods over others various based on easiness, time frame, best color production, or even strongest herbal infusion. However, if you are simply looking to add herbs to your soap recipe for natural color, the herbs are added to your soap batter at trace.
It is also important that you test for discoloration in a soap recipe before adding an herb for colorant. Natures Garden has a list of every fragrance oil they carry and how it preformed in cold process soap. It is on their website under each fragrance oil’s page in the Fragrance Tested area, or for a complete list click Fragrances Tested in CP Soap Results. You want to be prepared when adding herbs to soaping recipes, so knowing a little about how the fragrance oil reacts will only prepare you more for what to expect, especially when it comes to colorants!