Cranberry Cleanser Color Fun

A while ago, I photographed the cleansing gel on the left – shortly after it was produced. The picture is not photo enhanced – it really had that vibrant, magenta-pinky-red color – all because of the addition of powdered cranberry. 

On the right: same product after a month of daily use – the vibrance now replaced by a lighter, orange-tinged hue.

Working with cranberry is educational – to say the least.

Why Cranberry?

Cranberry powder is useful in some cosmetics as a coloring agent but also – according to my supplier – as a cleansing agent. I've been getting to know its limitations and possibilites – mostly because I'm in love with the idea of being able to use an all-natural, powdered fruit as a coloring agent. (And how can you not love that wonderfully girly-pink shade?)

As a Cleanser

After a months use, I can honestly say the cleansing gel works like a dream. It gently and effectively cleanses without leaving the skin dry. It even removes makeup without problem. At this point, though, I'm not entirely sure if it is the cranberry that is doing all of the cleansing magic (I have a cranberry-free batch on my to-do list so I can compare properly).

As a Coloring Agent

Cranberry as a coloring agent is a tad wonky. Correction: cranberry as a coloring agent is so incredibly wonky that you're in for a barrel of surprises. And even though my supplier clearly states that 'the color can be somewhat unstable in some mixtures', I thought I'd show you how it has behaved in this one product so far.

In the LisaLise Lab 

For batch 2 of this product, I decided to change the essential oils from lavender to a more citrussy combo. My thinking at the time: 'now that I know cranberry won't change color drastically when essential oils are added, let's give this fresh, fruity-colored product a more fruity-fresh scent.' 

Little did I know...

The First Thing Cranberry Did

It took under an hour for the mixture to morph from the beloved pinky-red to the color the month-old product had. (on the left – the remainder of the month-old batch. On the right – the hour old batch)

It didn't stop there.

The Second Thing Cranberry Did

The cranberry wasn't quite happy with its initial color change. Over the course of 2 days, it decided to forget its pinky-red roots altogether and join 'the citrus club' by turning into the color you see pictured on the right. It's a lovely color (and actually fits perfectly with the scent of the new batch), but does this even remotely remind you of how it started out? 

Color Comparison Chart

Over a mere 2 batches, cranberry powder has provided a range of warm reds, oranges and yellows.  The color does seem to have stabilized after the 2-day morph and has remained the same shade since.

I do have more products with cranberry planned, and will update as the fun continues.

Do Tell

Have you worked with cranberry powder. What do you use it in? Is it wonky when you use it too?

More Cranberry Fun

For more cranberry shade-changing reading, visit this post.
Read about how the cleansing gel got started right here.


Anonymous said… you think putting it in a dark bottle would make a difference. I have never worked with it. Sure is pretty though.
LisaLise said…
Hey there JNC - I don't think a dark bottle would make enough difference to matter. There are several 'cautions' my supplier attaches to this ingredient: it's undependable in certain pH environments (it definitely hates a high pH, and if it gets below 5,5, it starts acting all kinds of weird too - but in a different way), it's heat-sensitive as well, so it really is a bucket of worms to work with. My supplier says it 'behaves best' as a part of a color powder mixture, where it adds color and adds a bit of antimicrobial action as well. Stands to reason: no heat, no liquids, no pH probs.
Nonetheless, I want to get to know its limitations in emulsions and gels (just because I'm that curious)
Rikke said…
Færre ingen erfaring at dele herfra. Interessant læsning. Det skal du ha' ;-)

Kh Rikke
LisaLise said…
Tak Rikke - man føler en bitte smule som en ingrediens-pioner når man eksperimentere så meget som jeg gør, og det er da en fornøjelse at nogen gider at følge med! Glæder mig at du gider at være med på en 'læser'