Autumn Color Challenge Soap

Color is one of my favorite things to experiment with and I was excited to see that Amy was doing a color challenge this month. There were two color palettes to choose from and I chose the Mineral Autumn palette below.

Mineral Autumn Color Palette

Mineral Autumn Color Palette (Source: Design Seeds)

I decided to do a side-by-side challenge between 2 sets of colorants: oxide pigments vs. natural colorants (spices/botanicals/clays). For the pigments, I used burgundy oxide, brick oxide, black oxide, and yellow oxide. For the natural colorants, I used paprika mixed with red clay, madder root, activated charcoal, and yellow clay. Below are the colors after mixing. Some colors are similar, others – not so much.


This soap recipe used coconut, canola, palm and castor oils. In addition to the 8 colorants, I used the uncolored soap for the last neutral color in the palette.

I wanted to see the differences between the 2 color sets so I divided a slab mold in half and did a design with the oxides on one side and another design with the natural colorants on the other side. I mixed and poured the oxide colored soap first so the soap emulsion was very fluid. I then mixed and poured the natural colors on the bottom half of the mold. The second set of soap colors was considerably thicker but still pourable. Below is a picture of the soap after it was just poured. Interesting how light the paprika, madder root and clays look. I was curious to see what the colors would look like after gel phase. I covered and insulated the soap to keep it warm and let it go though gel phase.

Color Challenge Soap Just Poured

Color Challenge Soap Just Poured

Wow – what a difference after 24 hours! The madder root morphed to a dark red color and the yellow clay and paprika/red clay sections look richer in color too. The oxide colored soap looked like the initial pour but had a little ash on top. I notice I tend to get more ash when the soap mixture is poured very thin. I am happy though that the batter was fluid enough to get workable design so that is the trade-off. 😉

Color Challenge Soap After Gel Phase (24 hours)

Color Challenge Soap After Gel Phase (24 hours)

The soap was still very soft today so I will let the batch harden for a few days before cutting the bars.

Thanks Amy for another fun challenge! It was interesting to experiment with various colorants and it took a few trials to match the color palette sample. I may try the other (summer) palette someday. I look forward to seeing the other color challenge soaps! 🙂