If you are looking to make your own bath salts, or if you are buying bath salts, you may have noticed that the color likely plays a large role in how appealing the salts are to you. Sometimes, the color seems to add another dimension to what you’re already doing with the salts.
So you want to add a little color to those bath salts you’re using. What color additives can you use to add color to your bath salts? Here are some of the most common:
Micas. Micas are interesting, because they are mineral based. Unlike FD&C liquid dyes (which we discuss below), you don’t have a lot of control over the hue, so you want to make sure that you work your way up as to not make the color incredibly intense If you put too much in, you could end up with some very bright, “shiny” salts, instead of the subtle hues you may have been looking for. You can find some Mica that use F&DC to help them “stick” to the salts; but if you don’t want that, you can use basic mica, and then put it on right after you put an oil into your salts (this will help it stick and distribute better). Micas require a lot more tweaking in order to get the colors you want, but once you master them, they’re a great colorant to try out.
FD&C Liquid Dyes. FD&C dyes come in a number of different forms, including an oil base and a powder base. Do not use oil or powder FD&C dyes; make sure that the dyes you are using are liquid. There are some distinct advantages to using FD&C, including the fact that you control the brightness and the ability to play around with multiple colors in order to get the desired effect. The bad thing? The dyes do end up losing their hue after awhile, so if you are going to use it, make sure the batch of salts is small so you don’t lose the brightness. Also, beware of using too much FD&C; the colors can bleed and it will leave your salts and your bathtub with quite a mess.
Ultramarines. Like Micas, Ultramarines (and Oxides, as well) are mineral based and they require some sort of liquid (oil) base to ensure that they stick and are distributed evenly amongst all of your salt. Ultramarines are really finicky, however, and require much more experimentation than even Micas require. If you put too much oil in, it can make your bath salts look and feel unappealing. If you put too much Ultramarine or Oxide in, you can end up with color bleeds, which means your bathtub and your salts will be a mess. So, when you’re experimenting with these, only try a little at a time to ensure that you’re getting the coloration and distribution that you want. Otherwise, you will end up with a bit of a mess. We suggest trying one of the other types first, before getting into experimenting with Ultramarines and Oxides.