Color Additives for Bath Bombs...

There are many sources to purchase color additives to use in your bath bombs online these days. With bath bombs becoming more and more popular, the DIY bloggers, and DIY You-tubers, everyone is jumping on board the bath bomb bandwagon! 

There are some really creative individuals making some amazingly colorful bath bombs. The FDA is probably in a tail spin over all of the color additives that are being added to the bath bombs these days. And companies who want to profit from the making of bath bombs are also jumping on the bandwagon by selling colorants to the makers! Powdered forms of  FD&C and D&C dyes of every color under the rainbow are being offered for sale in small quantities everywhere online.

The problem is that the powdered colorants that you add to your products must be regulated and controlled by the FDA. With the exception of micas, oxides, and ultramarines, and natural ingredients, such as spices, herbs, and clays (to name a few) all powdered color additives that are added to your bath bombs and any other cosmetic must be batch certified. What does this mean?

Batch Certified simply means that a batch of colorant has been tested and approved by the FDA. Once the batch is certified it is sealed and labeled with a batch certification number. That manufacturer can then break down the large container of colorant and resell it using the original batch certification number. However, that is where the certification ends. The buyer of that batch certified portion cannot resell that powdered Lake or Dye legally unless they have been approved by the FDA to do so. They can however add it to a liquid base such as castor oil, glycerin, or water (with a preservative) and legally sell that without a batch certification number or approval by the FDA.

There are a few smaller middle man companies that are now certified to sell powdered batch certified color additives in small quantities. The bath bomb industry is booming and it appears that the big boys realized they were missing out on a huge industry and jumped on board by certifying smaller batches and selling them to a middle man company. I would certainly not purchase powdered color additives unless the company is on the list of vendors here at the FDA website.

Food colors are a no no. There are many different colors that are blended together to make a color. Not all food safe colorants are body safe. Most food color labels do not disclose all of the colors that are used in obtaining that color. Therefore you really wouldn't know if you were using a colorant that is body safe. For example, just try to google the ingredients for Americolor food colors. They give a general "may contain ..." and then a whole list of colors including non body safe.

For the updated list of approved cosmetic Lakes, Dyes, and other color additives visit this FDA page frequently.

Now with all that said, the liquid form of the same powdered colorants approved by the FDA as body safe, do not have to be batch certified. So you can always consider the liquids when in doubt. You can incorporate the liquids by blending continuously in a stand mixer with your baking soda and oil or butter. It may take a while but it will blend in. A water based colorant is best, but glycerin based liquid colorants work just as well. I would not suggest castor oil based as they are too sticky and take forever to blend in.

Don't have time to wait? Spend a day making batches of colors for future use. Fill your stand mixer with your baking soda and oil/butter and begin blending. Add your desired amount (approved percentage) colorant and continue to blend until no trace of clumps or specks are left. Store your premixed colored powder in large bags or containers until you are ready to use. When ready to make your bath bombs, measure out your colored powders, add fragrance, poly, wetting agent and any other additives...then add citric acid.

That's all for today! Happy making!


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