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Natural Colorants

The ingredients below can be infused in vegetable oil to produce natural shades for use in soaps.

Basic method:

  • Place your chosen colourant and the vegetable oil in a heat-proof glass jug and heat in the microwave for two minutes on medium.
  • Alternatively, place the heat-proof jug, or a small stainless steel pan, inside a larger pan of water and heat on the cooker for three minutes.
  • Leave to cool and infuse.
  • Strain the liquid through a sieve into a clean jug.
  • Pour the oil into a clean sealable glass bottle and add a label for reference.

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Alkanet Root 

Infuse as follows to make a medium purple colourant:
  • Crush 3 teaspoons of alkanet root with a mortar and pestle.
  • Place the alkanet and 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a heat-proof jug.
  • Sit the jug in a pan of water and bring to a simmer. 
  • Infuse the alkanet for around 40 minutes
  • Leave to cool completely then strain through a sieve into a clean jug.
  • Transfer the oil to a clean, sealable glass bottle and add a label.

Use less alkanet/more oil for a paler shade.

INCI name: Alkanna tinctoria

Annatto Seeds 

Macerate half a teaspoon of Annatto seeds in 100ml of vegetable oil to produce a natural orange colourant that works well in cold process soap. Paler shades down to a light yellow can be achieved by using fewer seeds or more oil.

Beetroot Powder 

Cayenne Powder 

INCI name: Capsicum frutescens

Cinnamon Powder 


Paprika Powder 

Combine Paprika and Turmeric to make a nice orange colour.
Infuse 4 teaspoons of Paprika and 2 teaspoons of Turmeric in 9 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

INCI name: Capsicum annuum

Rose Hips - Fine Cut 

Rose Hips produce a redish-brown shade.

INCI name: Rosa canina

Spirulina Powder 

Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green vegetable algae found in tropical oceans.
Infuse 2 teaspoons of Spirulina in 4-5 tablespoons of vegetable oil for a natural green colour.

INCI name: Spirulina maxima