Blue Indigo Cosmetic Ingredient. Use our cosmetic grade blue indigo to create home-made make up/cosmetics, sunscreen, skin lighteners, eye shadow, eye liner, bespoke hair dye, blue rinse for hair, body art and temporary tattoos. Our 100% natural premium quality blue indigo is a sublime blue pigment with many creative uses. This Indigo, otherwise known as the King of Blue or Blue Gold, or Indigofera Tinctoria is fully natural and 100% pure. It is made using traditional artisanal production totally without chemicals, suited to wide range of cosmetic applications. It is especially useful for sensitive skin care and it is a go-to for psoriasis management.
What is Natural Blue Indigo?
Blue indigo is an ancient dye derived from the leaves and stems of the Indigo Tinctoria plant. Indigo has been cultivated for thousands of years and traded across India, East Asia and Egypt. With the opening of the Silk Road and Mediterranean sea routes, indigo made its first appearance in Europe during the late 15th century where its popularity eclipsed that of the dye plant woad.
Please note, we have two types of blue indigo –
1. Cosmetic Indigo for adding to cosmetics and for use as laundry whiteners – available in blocks or powdered form.
2. Dyer’s indigo for soap makers and textiles dyers – available in powdered form.
Also we have three different shop pages for our blue indigo – this page which applies to cosmetic uses, a page for indigo laundry whitener and a page for using indigo as a dye for soap makers and textile dyers.
Use the ‘Cosmetic Indigo’ on this page to create home-made make up/cosmetics, sunscreen, a palette of eye shadows, eye liners, skin lighteners, bespoke hair dye, blue rinse for hair, body art, temporary tattoos and as the original laundry blue.
How Natural Spa Supplies Blue Indigo is Made
Indigo harvesting takes place through the summer from June until September as individual ripened leaves are collected. After harvesting, the plant is washed to remove soil. The leaves are crushed into a pulp with a stone mill, and the paste is then gradually dried in a barn until it is judged ready to roll by hand, into fist sized balls, known as ‘cocagnes’. The cocagnes are placed on racks in the curing barn to continue drying for between one and two months. At the end of this curing process, the cocagnes are known as ‘pastel de Cocagne’
Finally, the balls are crushed into a powder which is mixed with water and goat and camel urine for the main fermentation in which the purity of the dye will be enhanced further! The mixture is agitated to control the temperature and to bring about a permanent change. The pigmented sediment is allowed to form a sediment and dry again before being broken into blocks or cubes. By using these ‘slow’ and traditional methods, it means that no caustic chemicals are used in the production of our indigo making it safe for use on the skin and hair.
Indigo, a ‘Leave On’ Cosmetic
In the world of cosmetics there are two major classifications. ‘leave on’ cosmetics and ‘rinse off cosmetics.’ Leave on cosmetics are safe for extended contact time with the skin. For any of the following cosmetic ‘leave-on’ applications use this milder, ‘leave on’ ‘cosmetic indigo’ rather than our stronger, more heavily fermented ‘rinse off’ ‘dyer’s’ indigo.
When testing a new cosmetic always do a skin patch test first.
Use indigo powder as an ingredient in natural sunscreens. Here is a video to show you how easy it is. We are adding a little less than 1/8 teaspoon of cosmetic blue indigo to a 50ml bottle of argan oil and shaking it well.
I haven’t had the Sun protection Factor (SPF) of my homemade Blue Argan Oil tested – With the SPF standard test, scientists apply the sunscreen test product to their skin and book a series of sessions at the solarium. They evaluate the changes in the shade of the skin over the course and then send an invoice for £6000. It doesn’t seem like great value to me and surely, you or I can do a similar test ourselves and evaluate it on our own skin?
Test Method. Apply your normal sunscreen and on a small test area apply your Blue Indigo and Argan Oil mixture. Go outside. Check the skin frequently and evaluate the differences between your store bought and homemade sunscreen. It is best to check the skin out of bright light, indoors. Take photos if it helps you to be certain about the differences.
Skin Whitening / Lightening / Anti-aging
Use indigo powder in recipes to even out skin tones, combat melasma, hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Due to the way indigo reflects light, its use in facial products makes wrinkles are less visible too. Use indigo as well in anti-aging recipes to help reduce the signs of aging.
Use indigo powder in recipes for dyeing blonde or white hair blue or green. Please note, we sell less valuable ‘green’ Indian Indigo for use as hair dye as an economical option and this is used in conjunction with henna to dye the hair dark brown. Indian indigo is the dried green indigo leaf which gives a brown or black dye, whereas blue indigo powder which has been cured and fermented gives a blue dye.
Blue Rinse for Hair
Use indigo powder to improve the appearance of grey hair – a blue rinse counters the yellow tones in grey hair and makes the hair look blue-grey. It works just as well on grey haired men and grey haired women.
Use blue indigo cosmetic powder to create temporary tattoos and body art (we have pure henna too!)
Use the blocks directly as an eye liner or use the powder to formulate an eye liner
Blue Indigo powder can be used to create a very intense and distinctive blue eye shadow. Try blending it with cornflower starch to lighten its tone and improve its coverage. To improve the coverage further, further pulverise the indigo in a pestle and mortar.
Shelf Life of Natural Blue Indigo Powder
If stored under optimal conditions, dry and dark, the shelf life is 10 years.
Packed in glass jars. When selling indigo blocks we wrap each block individually in paper before putting them in a jar. It means the blocks won’t get crushed in the post. If you choose blocks we normally need to send you several blocks to make up the correct weight.
While indigo cultivation is straight forward, transforming a green leaf into an intense blue pigment is challenging. Blue is one of nature’s rarest colours and it takes skill and ‘alchemy’ to transform the green leaf of the indigo plant into a potent blue pigment. The blue indigo made for Natural Spa Supplies deploys time-honoured methods passed from generation to generation. There is only one way to transform green indigo leaves into a blue pigment without synthetic chemicals, such as caustic soda and that is to ferment the leaves in goat and camel urine! We have carried on this traditional fermented indigo production method not just to preserve human heritage, but because in this way we can obtain the purest indigo powder which is safe for sensitive and trouble-prone skin.
While the production level is too small to gain organic status and the indigo plant does not need fertilizers or chemical treatments, in fact indigo plants are leguminous and use soil bacteria to fix nitrogen from the air. In that way indigo plants enrich the soil with nutrients to help other crops to grow well. Indigo plants are used in interplanting and intercropping schemes as well as a cover crop to enrich the soil. It means that indigo is sustainable and helps to support sustainable farming practises.