Using Natural Herbs to Color Products

Adding color to natural products can enhance their appearance, and the user’s overall perception of the experience.  While there are several ingredients available to color or dye skin care products, none are as unquestionably natural as Tinting Herbs.  Many plants release natural pigment when they are infused into oil or water.  These infusions can be added to the oil or water portions of your formulas, yielding a range of lovely earth toned colors.

Colored_herbsTo create an infusion, simply warm your water or oil, place herbs into the liquid, and steep for 20 – 40 minutes.  After the infusion has taken place, the herbs must be strained from the liquid.  You can use a Cheese Cloth or a Fine Mesh Strainer to strain the plant material from the liquid.  Alternatively, you can avoid the mess by placing the herbs into a Large Tea Bag or a Large Mesh Tea Ball.  The colored oil or water can be added drop by drop to your formulas or it can be substituted for a portion of the water or oil called for in a recipe.

Experimentation is the best way to find your favorite shades of color.  While these herbs are likely to repeat a shade in different formulas, they may react differently in unique oils or liquids.  To give you some ideas, I’ve listed a few of the most popular Tinting Herbs with the colors they are most likely to produce:

Alkanet Root Powder – Dark Red to Purple
Annatto Seed – Orange
Henna Leaf Powder – Orange
Paprika Powder – Orange
Parsley Powder – Green
Red Sandalwood Powder – Maroon to Purple
Turmeric Powder – Yellow

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