Effective colour formulation for home and personal care products


Michael Schork1, Hermann-Josef Pütz2
1. BASF, Basel, Switzerland
2. BTC Europe GmbH, Monheim am Rhein, Germany


As home and personal care product packaging becomes increasingly stylish and sophisticated, combining an attractive appearance with the required technical properties of colorants presents an even greater challenge. Colour plays a crucial role in design. A basic understanding of colorants can facilitate selection. This article describes the characteristics of dyes, pigments and lakes. While dyes are generally soluble, and produce brighter as well as more transparent shades, pigments have higher opacity, and better resistance to light and bleach, and lakes can give dyes similar features to those of pigments. An overview is provided of the suitability of the different colorant classes for the specific applications

Today’s sophisticated formulations, together with the demand for transparent packaging, make it more and more challenging to combine an attractive appearance with clearly recognizable branding. Colours are an important criterion for the sensory appeal of a product. Colours, as well as scents and overall design, suggest and stimulate emotions, thereby influencing buying decisions. They are used to support product positioning and promote product recognition and are therefore essential for the commercial success of a formulation.

Colours in the home and personal care sector usually follow fashion trends dictated by the textile and automotive industry. Aesthetics and visual aspects convey symbolic messages to the consumer that emphasize specific product properties as well as brand image. A product’s colour stability throughout its life cycle is therefore as important as its application properties.

Colours must be carefully chosen both to meet marketing requirements and to ensure product compatibility and high storage stability without discoloration. In addition to suitable colour selection for the respective medium, stabilizers can be used to pr ...