Testing reds and pink micas this week

Reds and pinks are probably the most popular colours in soap making, yet for all their popularity it is often difficult to get the exact shade you desire. Many reds morph towards the purple part of the spectrum or even into browns. Some of the problem lies with the yellow undertone of the soap base, but more often it is the dyes used to colour the mica in a particular shade of red, which react in the high pH environment of cold process soap making. To help you take the guesswork out of soap colouring and prevent unhappy results, I’ve tested the micas available at Pure Nature to help you choose your shade of red and pink for your next soap project!

The soap recipe I’ve created for the colour tests contains olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil and castor oil, which gives the soap a creamy off-white base colour, and will hopefully most naturally reflect the colour of the micas. I, purposefully, did not go for a near-white soap, because only few soap recipes are truly white.

The micas I’m testing are all from Pure Nature. The colours this week are: red mauve, red pearl, red wine, sweetheart rose, juicy pink, and magic pink. Usage rate is 1 teaspoon per 500 g of soap.

As you can see, there are no true reds here. I have to admit, I have yet to find a mica that will give me a true red. I’ve tried previously to mix different red and orange micas, but without satisfactory results. Here are some tests I did last year trying and failing to create a red for my Christmas soaps.

Your best bet for a true red is to mix different micas with soap pigments or lakes.

Check back later this week for a gorgeous cold process soap tutorial and a vibrant lipstick tutorial!

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