The Best Color Measurement System for Bath Bombs and Multi-Colored Soaks


Posted on October 13, 2017

A bright fuschia bath bomb hits the water and immediately starts to froth. Long streams of pink, purple, and red leak into the water, coating the top of the bathtub in a thick layer of colorful bubbles. But as the bath bomb dissolves and shrinks, unexpected colors begin to appear, from deep blues to rich emerald greens. This surprise pop of color is what draws thousands of customers to bath bombs every year.

Unlike traditional bath salts and soaps, which are usually just one color, bath bombs can contain as many as a dozen different layers of color in a single package. For cosmetics manufacturers, this poses a challenge: how do you ensure that these colors will look appealing to customers, both before and after they hit the water? To solve this issue, you need an accurate color measurement system for your bath bombs and multi-colored soaks.

You’ll Need to Measure Color Twice

When you’re working with large batches of any commercial product, you need to ensure that your colors are consistent batch-to-batch. But a color measurement system for bath bombs has to measure more than just consistency of each ingredient; it also needs to measure how the colors interact with water and with the other colors in the mix. For instance, if you add too many similar-looking colorants into a bath soak, you will likely end up with a product that looks muddy rather than multi-colored. Similarly, even if your bath bomb looks perfect when it’s dry, its colors might not mix well together in the water or could be duller in appearance than you expected. 
Without testing how your colors mix together in water, you might accidentally release a product that looks brown in tone after customers put it in the water. This is a common problem when making bath bombs because companies often like to mix a primary color with its complementary color, causing the mix to turn brown.1 However, you can counteract this if you use colorants that can’t interact with one another in water or if you carefully measure the colors you use to ensure that their final blend is an appealing new color. By measuring your colors twice (once during the dry, powdered stage, and again as a dissolved liquid sample), you guarantee that your bath bombs will look equally beautiful on the shelf as they do in the tub.

Natural Soaks Can Be Challenging

Natural bath bombs are gaining in popularity, becoming a hot ticket item for cosmetics companies specializing in bath products.2 Customers enjoy these natural soaks because they often contain fewer skin irritants than soaks that use traditional dyes or perfumes, and in turn, cosmetics companies find these products easy to make, with low overhead costs. The main ingredients in most natural soaks include corn starch, mineral salt, baking soda, vegetable oil, essential oils, food coloring dyes and citric acid. To make their bath bombs stand out, some manufacturers even add flower petals, seeds or skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera to their mixes. As the baking soda and citric acid mixes with water, the product starts to fizz, releasing all of the solid ingredients and dyes into the bathtub.3.  

Although these natural bath bombs are easy to produce, finding the right ingredient combinations for these products can be a challenge. Many bath bombs appear more vibrantly pigmented in solid form than they do once dissolved, leading to disappointed customers. The nature of the natural ingredients themselves contribute to this problem, as they tend to be less saturated than their synthetic alternatives. Because color saturation will have the greatest impact on your final product, it essential to identify the most saturated natural ingredients possible to facilitate the production of intense hues in both dry and dissolved forms. The more saturated your ingredients are, the bolder your bath bombs will appear on the shelf and in the water.

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