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Soap Making Forum > The Soap Making & Craft Forum > Lye-Based Soap Forum > Soap dries out my hands - confusing.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:33 AM   #1
Q-Lee
 
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Default Soap dries out my hands - confusing.

I can't really understand why this soap dries out my hands. Some suggestions to what I did "wrong" ?

Total oil weight=800 grams

15% Coconut Oil ,92 deg
10% Shea Butter
70% Olive Oil (15% of this total is olive infused wheat grass)
5% Castor Oil

Superfat 6%

Additions (given as percentage calculated from total oil weight):
0,85% Sugar, 0,65% Table salt (increasing hardness)
2,3% Kaolin clay and 1,75% Wheat grass powder

Fragrance (EO's) Rosemary, Lavender and Peppermint in a total of 24 grams


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Old 04-21-2017, 08:54 AM   #2
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Couple of questions -

How long has it been curing?

Do you have hard water?

Can you describe the drying? Are the hands actually getting dry and flakey, or just the skin feels tight? Does that feeling last?

Does the soap zap?

On another note, I use sugar at 3% and salt at 2%, I am not sure how much of an impact too small amounts of things like that will have. I haven't, however, used clay or wheat grass powder, so I don't know if they would be having an impact


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Old 04-21-2017, 08:59 AM   #3
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Did you zap test it to make sure it's not lye heavy? If it's not lye heavy, then how long has the soap been curing before you tried it? It may just need more time to be it's best. Also some people; myself included, find clays in soap to be drying to the skin. Your recipe looks ok to me.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:04 AM   #4
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Your recipe looks fine to me - in fact, I have a lot of recipes that look quite similar! How long has your soap been curing for?

I had a similar problem when I first started out soapmaking, and it was a combination of several things:
Testing my soap too early (soap that doesn't zap [~2 weeks] is safe to use but not necessarily mild enough for everyday use)
Hard water leaving soap scum on my skin and irritating it (adding sodium citrate helped MASSIVELY)
Too much coconut oil (some people discover that anything above 5% is too drying, other people discover that their skin does not like coconut oil at all)
Superfat too low for my dry climate
Just literally washing my hands too much
Not rinsing off soap well enough when washing

It looks like Norway wouldn't have hard water or a dry climate, so if those aren't an issue, I'd look into lowering the coconut oil percentage further. Increasing the superfat for such a soft recipe seems risky.

Lastly, your soap may simply get milder over time. Lots of olive oil means more reliance on aging for the quality of the finished bar.

Edit: Beaten squarely to it. Pretty much agree with TEG's initial assessement.

Last edited by aihrat; 04-21-2017 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for very quick response

The soap batch was made 09.02.2017 - cured for almost 8 weeks.
It does not zap at all
My tap water is at ph 7.2 (info found on my towns web site)
The skin of my hands only feels uncomfortably tight - but my husband hands get more dry and...a hint of white shine ( difficult to describe but a bit like when you have dry white skin under your feet - but then again...he has psoriasis)

I do have another soap batch - (the first I made) containing a 30% coconut oil and pretty much many other oils + goats milk that don't act like this one on our hands.
But in that batch I did not add anything except EO's. So..maybe it's the Kaolin clay....
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:43 AM   #6
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It could be the clay. I found that I do not like kaolin clay in any soap because it leaves a fine residue that is difficult to get rid of.

It could also be that high amount of olive oil. Give the soap 4 more months, and give it a re-try, then another 4 months after that. High OO soaps are notorious for taking forever to cure properly.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:38 AM   #7
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Clay can definitely be drying. I use it at 1 tsp PPO without issue though.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:40 AM   #8
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I think it's because of the high olive oil. I dislike high OO soaps unless they've cured 8 or more months. It may also be the clay as Susie mentioned.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:12 PM   #9
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I know soaps with high amount of OO can take quite a time to cure,but didn't know it could cause the drying sensation! Thought OO was one of the gentle oils to use in formulas?
As mentioned I'm quite satisfied with the soap - some suggestions what oils i can use / replace instead of OO in my next batch?
(so I have some alternative soap to use when waiting for this one :P )
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-Lee View Post
...
As mentioned I'm quite satisfied with the soap - some suggestions what oils i can use / replace instead of OO in my next batch?
(so I have some alternative soap to use when waiting for this one :P )
Do you have any requirements we should know about first? Are animal products and palm okay?


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