What Types of Bath Bomb Colorants Are Out There?

What Types of Bath Bomb Colorants Are Out There?

There is already so many confusing color regulations when it comes to making bath bombs that we wanted to bring a little clarity into it. We have done extensive research into this and want to spread our findings throughout the interwebs. 

"Each color has a Lot Number and Batch Number issued by the FDA for each batch.  Each batch has been certified with a dye load specific to each batch (color).  We are transparent about the dye load in each of the color additives we carry.  This is an important thing to require of your color supplier.  A low dye load can be very cheap, so if you are finding these for much cheaper, demand the dye load that the batch has been certified for.  The lower the dye load, the less concentrated it is and the more you will need to obtain the color you require.  All documentation will be sent upon request." (source: https://www.madmicas.com/collections/bath-bomb-colors-and-supplies)

The two colorants that we hear about the most when it comes to making bath bombs are dyes or lakes. Dye is a chemical that exhibits coloring power when dissolved. Dyes are water soluble, and will not mix with oils. Lakes are an insoluble material that tints by dispersion. Lakes are produced from the FD&C Dyes and are oil dispersible and can be mixed with oils and fats.  With Lakes (or micas) you should definitely use polysorbate 80 because the powder will end up floating to the surface of the tub water.  

One major key point to consider with all of this, are the colorants approved by the FDA for use in bath bombs? Even if a color is batch certified that doesn't mean it is approved for bath bomb use. Also, just because a color is exempt from certification does not mean it’s not regulated by the FDA or does not have to meet approval requirements per the FDA.

Colors that are exempt from certification and those that are subject to certification must have colorants approved for the reason they are being put to use.

Colors in bath bombs come in contact with mucous membranes. This mean we’re sitting in the bathwater that we place the bath bomb in. Whether you’re male or female, we all have mucous membranes. 

A lot of people out there believe that bath bomb colors must be approved for external use, which is false. For a color to be approved for the use of bath bombs, the colors must be approved generally. The reason why:

Externally applied cosmetics: This term does not apply to the lips or any body surface covered by mucous membrane. For instance, if a color additive is approved for use in externally applied cosmetics, you may not use it in products such as lipsticks unless the regulation specifically permits this use [21 CFR 70.3 (v)].

In other words, if a colorant for bath bombs is not approved for general use by the FDA, then it’s a no-go for bath bombs.

If you are making anything other than what is considered true soap, it is absolutely imperative to learn to read the FDA Color Tables. Believe me when I say that I have seen many reputable suppliers get this information wrong, and pass this bad information onto their customers. This is why it is imperative to learn what colors are or aren’t approved by the FDA. The business and creator are responsible for the product being introduced to the market. Knowing color and cosmetic regulations should be the main thing one learns inside and out before making products intended for sale.

Let’s take a look at two common colors used in micas. Most soap stable green micas are colored with chromium oxide green. Most soap stable blue micas are colored with ultramarine blue.

Chromium Oxide Green Approval:

Eyes: Yes
Generally (includes lipsticks): No
External Use: Yes
As you can see, chromium oxide green is not approved for general use. IT SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN BATH BOMBS.

Ultramarine Blue Approval:

Eyes: Yes
Generally (includes lipsticks): No
External Use: Yes
Just like chromium oxide green, ultramarine blue should not be used in bath bombs.

Look and study the FDA Color Tables so that you can be precise and accurate in what you are making.

The good thing about the FDA is it has stated that they do not see use in this way as a safety issue and will not penalize anyone for use of these colors in bath bombs as of right now. But right now is the time to start preparing, learning and complying with these regulations. The more and more popular bath bombs  become, the more strict regulations will be enforced.

Head over to Bubbly Belle to order some of our one-of-a-kind bath bombs. 

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