Cosmetics and Natural Dyes

There is a growing interest in the development of soaps, shampoos, balms, scrubs, bath bombs and many other products using only natural ingredients, colours, fragrances, and essential oils.


In this blog we discuss the benefits of using plant dyes as natural colourants in natural cosmetics, and the added benefits conferred by using them such as natural conditioning, moisturising, astringency, and even antimicrobial properties - many delivered through the rich antioxidant properties from plants.


The most prominent advantage of using plant dyes in cosmetics is their beautifully natural colour palette. A rich array of pinks, reds, purple, blues, greens, oranges, yellows and golds can be achieved from plant dyes, so there is no need to reach for the synthetic options. Natural plant dyes are also good for the environment as they are fully biodegradable and eco-friendly to water ways, wildlife and anything else that can be impacted by chemicals and synthetic alternatives. Natural plant dyes are also vegan and cruelty free (that is not tested on animals).


The uses of plant dyes in cosmetics products are vast. They can be used to naturally colour soap and shampoo bars to achieve an array of colours. The plant powder can be left in the bar to offer texture and the added function of gentle skin exfoliation. Plant dyes can be blended together and then mixed with water offer natural ayurvedic skin scrubs or blended further with other ingredients such as Epsom salts to make a rich and energising scrub.


In addition to adding colour, many plant dyes offer great benefits to the skin as follows:

  • Madder - confers healing properties and effective for healing acne, skin rashes, boils, skin irritations and other skin conditions.

  • Turmeric - reviving to the skin, enhances glow, and due to anti-inflammatory properties is soothing, detoxifying and exfoliating.

  • Indigo - anti-inflammatory and know to be antimicrobial, helps detoxify and cleanse the skin.

  • Sandalwood- contains anti-oxidants so perfect for maintaining skin buoyancy and elasticity, natural moisturising, and reduces dryness.

  • Alkanet - has astringent and antimicrobial properties, helps skin healing and relieves skin irritation.

  • Himalayan rhubarb - contains antioxidants including Vitamin C, beta-carotene, phenolic acid, anthocyanins and more, helping keep the skin plump, refreshed, and elastic.

  • Annatto Orange - rich in antioxidants, helps heal minor skin wounds and promotes healing.


When using natural dyes it is recommended to mix the powder with water or lightweight oil to extract the pigment (usually 1 teaspoon of powder with 1 tablespoon of oil/water). Add 1 dispersed teaspoon at a time to reach desired colour. As an example you can use up to 1 tablespoon of colour per pound of soap.


Take a look at our Revivy range of products on our website for some inspiration. These are pre-mixed blends of plant dyes which can be used on their own as a body/face scrub or blended with other ingredients to make other hand made cosmetics products, such as handmade soap or handmade shampoo bars.


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