It can be hard to find the perfect red colorant that actually shows up red in cold process soap! I’m talking SANTA RED.
It can also be hard to find the perfect red that doesn’t bleed or color the lather pink. Almost impossible, actually.
(Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. I am an affiliate of Nurture Soap but still only recommend products that I LOVE! I get a small commission on sales purchased through my link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra!)
Here are the results I got using this red colorant! No migration in the swirl and no pink lather.
I did only use red for the swirl. If I use it in the entire bar, maybe I’ll get a bit of pink lather? I’m not sure! I’m making a fully-red soap soon and will let you know the results.
So, what colorant do I LOVE to get the most bright and true red? Trial by Fire Blend from Nurture Soap!
A few suppliers offer a pack for mixing your own red that container mica and cosmetic pigment. But I don’t want to do any blending myself. Just give it to me! 🙂
Trial by Fire is a blend of cosmetic pigment and mica. Here is the INCI – Mica, polyester 3, acid red 92, titanium dioxide, iron oxide.
To mix it into your soap, you’ll need to blend using your stick blender or a mini-mixer. It can be hard to mix in my hand.
I used this red in a Christmas soap recently and just fell in love with it! I’ll be sharing the entire tutorial soon.
Here are some tips when working with it!
Base Oils Matter
To show true red, your soap base must be as white as possible. If you are using green-tinted oils, you might not get the best color. Avoid unrefined avocado oil, hemp oil, green-tinted olive oil and even possibly palm oil! All of these oils can create a soap that is tinted a bit. It might not be a big deal to you, just keep that in mind if you’re not perfectly happy with your results!
I’m using Basic Body Bar – More Moisture from my recipe book. It includes olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, rice bran oil and shea butter. My olive oil is regular olive oil (not extra virgin or pomace), my avocado oil is refined and my shea butter is refined. This recipe creates as close to white as possible.
Watch Your EO’s and FO’s
If your essential oils or fragrance oils are heavily tinted, it might mess up your red. Orange eo is tinted orange and patchouli eo can muddy your soap a bit toward the cream side. Just keep that in mind! Some fragrance oils are heavily tinted as well.
And then of course, be wary of fragrance oils that discolor to cream or brown. Avoid those, as they’ll muddy your red color as well.
Do not whiten your soap by adding white mica or titanium dioxide. That will give you more of a pastel red/pink.
Start Small and Build Up
Add a little, then add a little more until you get the red color saturation that you’re wanting! You don’t want to over due it. Start small and build up! The recommended usage rate is 2 teaspoons per pound of base oils.
In the cup below, I added 1/4 teaspoon of colorant to 100 grams of emulsified soap. I went just a bump over the recommended usage rate, but that’s okay! I’ll test it and make sure it doesn’t bleed or migrate. I started by adding 1/8 teaspoon and it wasn’t quite perfect. So, I added 1/8 more. I probably could have added 1/16 instead and it would have been enough to really show red. I’m quite happy with the result, though!
I hope you like this red as much as I do! It really is the most perfect red colorant for Christmas and Valentines soap!
I’ve heard so many good things about Trial By Fire from Nurture Soap! My first order of micas was from them and they sent a sample of “Ruby Red”- I hadn’t thought I would use red, but I tried a little of it and totally fell in love. It’s more of a deep red, as the name implies. I was looking for a truer red and got some of their “Firecracker” and it truly is the bright red color of the paper that wraps those infamous little explosives. I haven’t used it straight up, but mixed with rose clay it is the absolute loveliest deep pink. I was hoping to use it for some peppermint soaps- I hope it doesn’t bleed! Thanks for the article, sounds like it’s time to start testing what I’ve got.
Wow! I can’t wait to try this, Amanda! Your soap is beautiful.