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Annatto

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Bixa orellana

 

Annatto seeds, obtained from the tropical Bixa orellano tree, are used primarily as a natural orange colourant, either ground or infused in vegetable oil. When added to skin care products they provide the added benefits of being emollient, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. 

 

To make annatto oil to use for colouring skin care products, place 15ml seeds and 250ml soft oil of your choice (such as almond/olive) in a slow cooker or double boiler and heat on the low setting until the oil is deep orange in colour. Allow to cool and then strain and pour the oil into a dark glass bottle.

 

Annatto seed powder and oil can be used to colour skin care preparations such as creams, lotions, soaps, gels, balms and lip balms. It is alkali-stable, so the colour will not be distorted in soap formulations.

 

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