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Teach Soap • View topic - Advice on a recipe needed, please

Teach Soap

Soap Making Recipes, Tips and Tutorials
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:17 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:14 am
Posts: 5
Hi, I've only just joined this forum (only just entered the world of soap at all, actually), and hope I'm posting in the right place, but anyway -- here goes...

After a couple of batches following other people's recipes, and then some enjoyable online research, I decided to try to come up with my own ideal facial bar. After reading up on all the oils' different qualities, I decided on:

200g avocado oil
200g coconut oil
200g rice bran oil
200g olive oil
50g castor oil
150g cocoa butter

I superfatted to 15%, and used 313g of espresso coffee to make up my lye solution (123g of sodium hydroxide)

I held back the coco butter until I had reached trace (I know some people think it doesn't make any difference, but I wanted to give it a fighting chance to be represented in the superfat oils). At trace, I also added the grounds from the coffee pot, 1 cup of oats ground to a coarse meal and 2tsp charcoal powder.

Then I waited all those wretched weeks until I could test it out. I'm actually pretty happy with the soap as a hand-washing bar (what was I thinking for a facial bar with all those rough oats?!?!), but I'm disappointed in it as a face soap. I thought it would be really mild and gentle on the skin, but it's quite drying. Even my husband, who always has used commercial soaps on his face, found his skin unusually tight.

I've checked other facial bar recipes, and most of them used coconut oil and at about the same rate if not higher, and I thought 20% was low enough to be outweighed by all the other oils, but perhaps not?

I went for coconut as a hardening oil, as I don't want to use palm oils or animal fats, but perhaps then I should push to 20% superfat?

Would greatly appreciate any insight you experts can share with me!
Many thanks,
Rowan


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Here is what your recipe is in percentages.

Avocado Oil 200 20.62%
Castor Oil 20 2.06%
Cocoa Butter 150 15.46%
Coconut Oil 200 20.62%
Olive Oil 200 20.62%
Rice Bran Oil 200 20.62%
Total Weight 970 gms.

You don't really need the rice bran as it has similar properties to olive oil. I would take the amount of the rice bran and add it as your olive oil.
OR
Take out the coconut oil completely and redistribute the difference between the rice bran and the olive.

For a facial soap, I would not use coffee at all nor ground oats. See if you can find TRUE colloidal oatmeal. The INCI is Avena Sativa (Oat) protein. Do not use ground oats or oat flour. They are both too scratchy for the face.

My facial soap is 95% olive, 5% castor with a 8% superfat. It does need an extra long cure, due to the high olive oil content. I don't add any color or scent.

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Irena
Closed minds are like faulty parachutes; they refuse to open.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:14 am
Posts: 5
Thanks, Irena! Can I please check a couple of things with you:

Firstly, you converted my grams of oils to percentages -- I don't understand why 200g of coconut oil out of 1000g of oil and butter in total doesn't equate to a straight 20%, or why you put my total of oils at 970g. Feel as though whatever I've missed is probably vital to understand!

Also, regarding the drying effect of the soap, is that the impact of the coconut oil? That is, no matter what the superfat rate, is coconut oil just a bad choice for a facial soap?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:14 am
Posts: 5
Oh, possible answer to my own question: you wrote my castor oil as 20g, but I had 50g -- is that what threw all the percentages off? (I'm hoping it's as simple as that, as maths is not my strong suit, and the fewer numbers I have to juggle the better... :D )


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:04 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:27 am
Posts: 22
Yeah it's 20%, 20%, 20%, 20%, 15%, 5%. What are you trying to achieve? And what's with the very high superfat? If you think rubbing all those unsaponified fatty acids on your face is somehow going to "moisturize" your skin while cleaning it, you may want to reconsider what your goal is. Some people are actually sensitive to certain fatty acids contained in oils and flaky, dry, and red skin is often symptomatic.

If you're looking for an environmental barrier for your skin, use a product for that after washing. You can DIY it and use up your expensive oils for a leave-on skin product if you so desire and if you're not sensitive to any of the fatty acids contained in them. I'd suggest adding a UV protection component as well.

Soap is for cleansing. That being said, you don't want something that's a super-surfactant that will strip away all the natural oils deep within your skin, but this is more a function of the fatty acid salt makeup in your finished bar - not rubbing yourself with oil in an attempt to clean at the same time. Attempting to lower a recipe's surfactant quality by adding a lot of unsaponified oil is the wrong approach and one that will just make your soap unpleasant to use. At worst, all those unreacted fatty acids will oxidize within a year, leaving you with a semi-toxic mess. Instead look at the lauric and myristic acid content. Those acid salts make particularly strong surfactants. You can safely remove them all together if you like. Personally 20% coconut oil is the highest I go, and I have very oily skin! Ignore the "hardness" quality provided by most online soap calculators as they have nothing to do with how hard your bar is after full saponification.

I use a lot of recipes, but the one that consistently gets the highest ratings for gentleness, conditioning, and "moisturizing" is an aged, unscented, uncolored, 100% virgin olive oil castile I make with ZERO percent superfat! It also makes the hardest bar ever! The whole "superfat" thing came about early on, not as something to "moisturize", but as a way of offering home-based soap makers a good margin of error to lesson the chance of free lye within the soap for those makers silly enough to use it without curing time. At the time home kitchen scales were less accurate, and remember that saponification values for various oils are a rough approximation. Somehow this turned into the myth that the extra oil would be "moisturizing", perhaps due to those 1950s Dove commercials. Then this somehow morphed into the fable that adding an expensive "magical" oil last after trace will give it a fighting chance for those magical properties to be transferred into the finished soap. Soap making is chemistry - nothing else.

One thing to consider in determining the properties of your soap is the portion of unsaponifiables contained in each oil and what they are. This topic is way beyond the scope of this forum (see Gunstone's "The Lipid Handbook"), but suffice to say that only 85-98% of the content in your oils are the fatty acids that react with lye to combine to form soap. The rest is a very complex mixture of alcohols, esters, and other organic compounds that likely participate in oxidation-reduction reactions long after the 6 to 8 weeks of curing time most people give their soap. This is a largely unstudied aspect of soap making but there is no denying that something is going on in soap after the requisite 8-week cure. For example, shea butter has an unusually high unsaponifiable content and many who incorporate it find that it makes for a more gentle cleansing bar after an adequate cure time. My own castile will make a slimy mess if used 2 or 3 months after initial curing. After 1 year, it's nearing perfection but continues to improve with even more time. I would not use even the most "balanced" soap recipe on my face that's less than 3 months old.

Plus I'd forget using other additives until you gain more experience, then experiment with just one at a time to see if you like the properties (or even notice) what they bring to your soap. I would never use those scratchy exfoliates for my face. All exfoliates are meant to cause damage through abrasion, and doing that to your most sensitive skin that's most exposed to environmental factors (UV, pollution, etc.) is just asking for trouble.

Sorry for the long post, but I hate to see myths perpetuated via the internet when science should have prevailed 20 years ago.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:32 am 
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Irena
Closed minds are like faulty parachutes; they refuse to open.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:14 am
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Wow! Thank you both for the information!

I went for a 15% superfat because, when trying to understand what superfat was and how to pick a level, I found a discussion about different superfat levels for different uses -- shampoo vs body soap vs facial soap -- and 15% was mentioned there.

I can see your logic though, and yes, it makes perfect sense that you can't clean and moisturise with the same handful of suds. I was trying to understand how to make a bar that cleanses, but very gently, and your advice about looking at the specific fatty acids in each oil was great. Thank you.

Massively appreciate the amount of time you guys put into helping others, xxx


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:27 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:14 pm 
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Irena
Closed minds are like faulty parachutes; they refuse to open.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:40 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:36 am
Posts: 7
Well that explains a few things. Run away from any site that promotes a lye based soap for your hair. Soap is much too alkaline to use as shampoo.[/quote]

Thanks for the valuable information. I do not want to use commercial shampoo. Is it possible to obtain liquid soap shampoo?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:06 am 

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:44 am 
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Linda
I know the voices in my head aren't real, but they sure have some great ideas!



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:25 am 

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:14 am
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Wow -- had never heard of syndet-- will look it up immediately!

Having said that, yes, I'm one of those people who can use soap on my hair with no ill effects. Maybe that's because my hair is short and i wash it only every couple of months?! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:13 pm 
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I can only use a syndet bar on my hair. I make a modified version of this one. http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2 ... rview.html

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