Posted by on 2/13/2020 to Let's Talk: Relax, Soak and Unwind after Work
Bath Bomb Colorants: Learn About Bath Bomb Dyes, Lakes, Mica's and other Colorants
Bath bomb colorants are vital to understand when making bath bombs (or most bath and beauty products) for resale as well as for the family. The most commonly seen bath bomb colorants are dyes, lakes, mica's and pigments, so that's what we'll focus on here.
We not only can combine these colorants directly into the mix, but many people use these colorants (especially mica's) to color or decorate their bath bombs once they are molded and dried to get an artistic or creative type feel to them. We'll discuss that process in another post!
Bath Bomb Dyes
Like with any colorant for bath and beauty products, you want to make sure that wherever you're purchasing are skin safe and from a reputable brand. According to ACS.org dyes are coloring materials that are applied as a solution and cling to whatever they are applied to. The great thing about dyes for bath bombs is that they are water soluble, meaning they will disperse better in water and dissolve without adding any extra ingredients to help them disperse. The other plus is that when bloomed properly (which we will discuss) they give the bath bomb a nice deep vibrant pop of color.
Some bath bomb colorants, like mica's, which are not water soluble (they are water insoluble), can leave a ring around the tub, which we'll discuss shortly.
Sometimes, if you use powdered forms of other colorants they can leave residue on the bottom of the tub when emptied, dyes tend to clean up very nicely because of the water soluble trait in bath bombs. The downside that we've encountered is that they also tend to be a bit pricier to purchase.
This is an extra step that many bath bombers and others making bath products do to there dyes to help really bring there dyes to life. The process consists of mixing the dry dyes with water prior to adding them to the bath bomb mixture.
Simply add 1/8 teaspoon of dye (or recommended amount from manufacturer) with 1/2 teaspoon of warm water and allow it to disperse and dissolve.
From that point you can add the bloomed dye directly to your baking soda prior to mixing with citric acid and incorporate the color.
Bath Bomb Lakes
Lakes are different in there chemical makeup, in which they are not water soluble, however they are water dispersable. The way to use lakes are adding polysorbate 80 to you mixture, which will help them to disperse nicely in water. Lakes tend to add a beautiful pop of color to bath bombs, we tend to use these types of colorants in embeds, within the bath bombs, so that when placed in water, it's sort of a like a surprise color that suddenly bursts out of the bath bomb to make it super fun and vibrant after dissolving for a few seconds.
Again, sometimes when making bath bombs, it's a little bit of trial and error, no one is going to get a perfect professional bath bomb after one try. Using colorants is not different, you have to experiment.
We like using Dyes, and Mica's more then lakes, as we have found for us they are just easier to work with.
Mica Powders for Bath Bombs
Mica's are often times found in cosmetics and is what largely gives that sparkle and shimmer look, they are fine powder. Mica's are a naturally occurring mineral. These type of powders can also be manufactured, in which they can be combined with other minerals like pigments/oxides (which still makes them a natural colorant) or food coloring (like an FD & C, which then would not make them natural any longer). You can find mica's in many different places online to purchase and usually they are relatively inexpensive.
Purchase start packs which will give you a nice array of colors to try, and then when you find the colors you like, purchase those in a larger quantity. The issue with mica's, like lakes, is they are water insoluble.
This means you have to add something to the mixture, like polysorbate 80, for them to disperse in water. Mica's tend to give you a nice color, but not the bold, vibrant colors like with dyes and lakes. Mica's however are a great go to if you are a soap maker as they tend to not bleed like dyes and other liquid colorants.
Mica's however, are beautiful in there own right, and you can purchase nearly any color under the sun, they are a very safe, rather inexpensive way of adding color to your bath bombs.
Mica Tip #1: We usually double to amount of mica then that of dyes in the bath bombs.
Hopefully using these colorants in you bath bombs will get a little easier know about them. We hope you enjoyed our post, be sure to share on social media. Have a great day!