As I was putting together some sugar scrubs this weekend, I noticed a big difference between the color of the new lot and the previous lot. You can see the difference in this picture; the scrub on the left contains orange jojoba spheres, which also lend some color, but the color of the scrub itself is more golden, too. This is a great example of the normal variation that occurs when you’re using “natural” and organic ingredients.

We all know what it’s like to pick a handful of berries and have some of them taste really sweet while others are sour. Some might be redder, some bitter. This is just the normal variation we expect in nature. Ingredients like carrier oils and essential oils which are derived from seeds, fruits, flowers, and plants also vary in their properties. I’ve noticed this with the fragrance of different lots of lavender essential oil, for example, as well as many of the carrier oils (almond oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, etc.). Some lots will have a darker color or stronger odor than others. These slight variations have very little impact on the finished product. (Which is to say, don’t worry if your sugar scrub or lip balm has a slightly different color from one order to another! This is perfectly normal and doesn’t indicate a problem with the product.)

Some of the variations between carrier oils are caused by differences in processing and refining. In general, a cold-pressed, filtered carrier oil will have a darker color and stronger odor and flavor than an oil that is further refined. The refining, bleaching, and deodorizing of oils can increase their shelf life while minimizing the odor and flavor and reducing the intensity of their color—often considered desirable in cosmetics. Unfortunately, these processes can also destroy some of the oil’s natural vitamins and introduce harmful free radicals.

In the case of my sugar scrubs, the difference in color was caused by the sunflower oil; the new lot contains organic sunflower oil (in the picture above, the organic oil is on the right) which is much darker in color than the other, non-organic oil that we’d been using. We are looking forward to using this organic oil, even if it does make our scrubs have a bit of a “glow”!

If you ever have any questions about a product you receive, please let us know! We’d be happy to let you know what “normal” or natural variations you can expect from our products.