Any ideas for a Beard Soap that provides Post-Shower Oiliness

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thejanuaryfallen

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Hello Soapers! I am brand new to soap making and couldn't be anymore excited! I have a whole bunch of different all-natural, organic, high-quality (blah blah blah) oils on their way and I have my mixing supplies ready to go. I have some course salts and some very fine clays also being delivered and I'm making my own wood molds this weekend.

After I experiment and practice a whole bunch with basic recipes I've gathered and create different play batches where I record my formulas and test the results, I really want to formulate a beard soap that not only cleanses and nourishes the skin and hair on the face, but also provides the post-shower beard oiling the beard requires to maintain a soft and clean look and feel after the shower throughout the day.

The first recipe I will be experimenting with is:
- Coconut Oil :
- Jojoba Oil :
- Sweet Almond Oil :
- Olive Oil Pomace :
- Castor Oil :
- Lanolin Oil :
- Sesame Oil :
- Cocoa Butter :
- Shea Butter :

- Lye / Water (using SoapCal for all measurements in grams)

Currently, in my experience, beard soaps on the market tend to dry my beard out too much, as well as the skin underneath. And most beard oils that are applied post-shower are too thick, too oily.

I am looking for any advice or thoughts on this particular topic of creating a cleansing and nourishing, hard soap, that also provides an oily beard.


Thank you!

~Stev
 
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DeeAnna

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Soap functions by emulsifying fats so they become water soluble and thus most or all of the fat can rinse off. What I hear you saying is you want a soap that does the opposite ... you want it to add fats. I'm not sure that's a realistic expectation to have about soap.

If the beard oils you've tried are too heavy or greasy, maybe these products are using the wrong stuff. Have you experimented with lighter oils? Possibilities include meadowfoam, fractionated coconut oil, squalane. If I can make a light facial moisturizer that absorbs fast and isn't greasy, I bet such a thing is also possible in a beard conditioner.
 

amd

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I am not bearded, but my husband is so he has tried many many soaps... and finally we determined that lye based soap isn't good for the skin under his beard. He is currently using a combination of a liquid "soap" (it's detergent based) made for beards and my syndet shampoo bar (not lye based, made from surfactants, you can find the recipe in this thread). He says once the liquid wash is gone he is only going to use the syndet bar. He gets the same results with both, so he likes the convenience of the bar better. Plus it puts him in good graces with his wife... :D He follows up with a beard oil occasionally.
 

thejanuaryfallen

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Soap functions by emulsifying fats so they become water soluble and thus most or all of the fat can rinse off. What I hear you saying is you want a soap that does the opposite ... you want it to add fats. I'm not sure that's a realistic expectation to have about soap.

If the beard oils you've tried are too heavy or greasy, maybe these products are using the wrong stuff. Have you experimented with lighter oils? Possibilities include meadowfoam, fractionated coconut oil, squalane. If I can make a light facial moisturizer that absorbs fast and isn't greasy, I bet such a thing is also possible in a beard conditioner.
DeeAnna,

Thank you for your insight. I see your point. All oils wash away, makes perfect sense. You are correct, I want to try to make a soap that leaves just a small trace of oils in the beard. Is that at all possible? I am a complete beginner and completely naive and ignorant. I don't know what I don't know.

I am not bearded, but my husband is so he has tried many many soaps... and finally we determined that lye based soap isn't good for the skin under his beard. He is currently using a combination of a liquid "soap" (it's detergent based) made for beards and my syndet shampoo bar (not lye based, made from surfactants, you can find the recipe in this thread). He says once the liquid wash is gone he is only going to use the syndet bar. He gets the same results with both, so he likes the convenience of the bar better. Plus it puts him in good graces with his wife... :D He follows up with a beard oil occasionally.
amd,

I assume that the liquid "soap" your hubby's using is store bought? That's why he'd be in your good graces if he used your bar? ;) Ha ha. That syndet shampoo bar is quite the recipe. I am intrigued. Do your syndet bars leave the beard oily after the shower? Are your syndet bars solid? I assume they are because they are "bars". I am intrigued by the "no lye", however, as a beginner soap maker, I should start with lye and really get that down before I diverge into other mediums.
 
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DeeAnna

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...I want to try to make a soap that leaves just a small trace of oils in the beard. Is that at all possible?...
In my opinion, no.

Many new soapers ask how to make a soap that moisturizes and conditions, so they don't need to use lotion. In the pursuit of this goal, some add more and more superfat to their recipes. Up to a point, the added superfat makes the soap clean more mildly. As the superfat becomes excessive, the soap won't lather well and may be physically softer than desired ... but it still won't moisturize and condition the skin like a lotion or body balm.

You're asking much the same question as these other people, although your focus is on hair, not skin. But the answer is still the same. You can design a soap that is very mild and cleans very gently, but you cannot change the essential nature of soap as a cleanser. It functions to remove fats and dirt to cleanse the body; it doesn't function to add stuff to the hair or skin. A leave-on product like a lotion, balm, beard oil, etc. is the thing to use for adding fats to the skin and hair.

Another aspect of lye-based soap is that it is alkaline. Some people can use an alkaline cleanser like soap to wash their hair with little or no damage, but a fair number of people have found long-term use of soap badly damages their hair, even with an acid rinse after washing with soap. So you may want to research the pros and cons of using lye-based soap on beards before you decide soap is a good product for long-term beard care.
 
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amd

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I assume that the liquid "soap" your hubby's using is store bought? That's why he'd be in your good graces if he used your bar? ;) Ha ha. That syndet shampoo bar is quite the recipe. I am intrigued. Do your syndet bars leave the beard oily after the shower? Are your syndet bars solid? I assume they are because they are "bars". I am intrigued by the "no lye", however, as a beginner soap maker, I should start with lye and really get that down before I diverge into other mediums.
Yes, the liquid beard wash is store bought. I've been using syndet shampoo bars for over a year, it never occurred to him that he could use it on his beard until I made my first bar. Now he's alternating between the two. He did try the shampoo bar on his hair, but his hair/scalp tends to be oily and the shampoo bar made that worse. I think that's why it works on the beard better, his skin tends to be dry under the beard and the hair is thicker. He hasn't had problems with feeling "too dry" when alternating between the liquid wash and the bar. He didn't say anything about his beard feeling oily, and he only uses beard oil a few times a week. I'm not sure if that's necessity, other issues, or he's just not that into grooming his beard lol.

Yes, the bars are solid.

If making beard "soap" is your goal, I wouldn't bother with lye soap, honestly. You don't need to have a concept of lye soap to make syndet shampoo. A concept of melting things - like when making lip balm or lotion bars - is more inline with the process. However, if you're interested in making body soap too, have at it! I would hate to discourage a new addiction. (Because you will be addicted once you start.)
 

thejanuaryfallen

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In my opinion, no.

Many new soapers ask how to make a soap that moisturizes and conditions, so they don't need to use lotion. In the pursuit of this goal, some add more and more superfat to their recipes. Up to a point, the added superfat makes the soap clean more mildly. As the superfat becomes excessive, the soap won't lather well and may be physically softer than desired ... but it still won't moisturize and condition the skin like a lotion or body balm.

You're asking much the same question as these other people, although your focus is on hair, not skin. But the answer is still the same. You can design a soap that is very mild and cleans very gently, but you cannot change the essential nature of soap as a cleanser. It functions to remove fats and dirt to cleanse the body; it doesn't function to add stuff to the hair or skin. A leave-on product like a lotion, balm, beard oil, etc. is the thing to use for adding fats to the skin and hair.

Another aspect of lye-based soap is that it is alkaline. Some people can use an alkaline cleanser like soap to wash their hair with little or no damage, but a fair number of people have found long-term use of soap badly damages their hair, even with an acid rinse after washing with soap. So you may want to research the pros and cons of using lye-based soap on beards before you decide soap is a good product for long-term beard care.

Thank you so much for this. I understand completely and you are right, I need to do more research on long-term solutions that do NOT damage hair.

Yes, the liquid beard wash is store bought. I've been using syndet shampoo bars for over a year, it never occurred to him that he could use it on his beard until I made my first bar. Now he's alternating between the two. He did try the shampoo bar on his hair, but his hair/scalp tends to be oily and the shampoo bar made that worse. I think that's why it works on the beard better, his skin tends to be dry under the beard and the hair is thicker. He hasn't had problems with feeling "too dry" when alternating between the liquid wash and the bar. He didn't say anything about his beard feeling oily, and he only uses beard oil a few times a week. I'm not sure if that's necessity, other issues, or he's just not that into grooming his beard lol.

Yes, the bars are solid.

If making beard "soap" is your goal, I wouldn't bother with lye soap, honestly. You don't need to have a concept of lye soap to make syndet shampoo. A concept of melting things - like when making lip balm or lotion bars - is more inline with the process. However, if you're interested in making body soap too, have at it! I would hate to discourage a new addiction. (Because you will be addicted once you start.)
Again, thank you for your information. I just finished building (2) 3lb molds. I will practice making a simple clay soap for the body, however, ultimately, my long-term goal would be to make a beard soap (whatever form of soap, whether lye-based of otherwise) with essential oils, exfoliants, vitamins, etc., and market it to the same audience who purchase beard supplies oils online. I am JUST beginning, so I assume my first year or so will just be practicing body soap as I am learning that lye is not good for long-term beard care.
 
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Obsidian

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I suggest you also build a 1 lb mold. When testing new recipes, 1 lb is better than 3 lbs if something turns out bad.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Hi Steve and Welcome to SMF!

Now for the other side of the issue...

Many soapers make and use lye-based shampoo bars and lye-based liquid shampoo. Myself included. It's important to rinse thoroughly after shampooing, with increasingly cool water until it's as cold as you can stand it in order to close the hair shaft to prevent frizzies. Follow up with a mild vinegar rinse to restore the acid mantle of the scalp.

When I first tried a shampoo bar in 2004 it took about a year for my hair to get used to it. I even went back to commercial shampoo a few times during that year. This is typical of other soapers' experience as well. Once my hair adjusted, I've used whatever bar that we happened to be test driving in the shower without any negative effects. I now make and use my own Flaxseed (Liquid) Shampoo and just love the results. I don't even need conditioner.

Read more about the benefits of Shampoo Bars on the Chagrin Valley Site. Links:

Why Use A Natural Shampoo Bar?
https://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/blog/posts/why-use-a-natural-shampoo-bar/

Everything About Shampoo Bars
https://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/blog/posts/everything-about-shampoo-bars/

I am looking for any advice or thoughts on this particular topic of creating a cleansing and nourishing, hard soap, that also provides an oily beard.
There is a category of oils that have what is known as unsaponifiables.
UNSAPONIFIABLES are a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. The sterolins in avocado oil have been found to diminish age spots. Oils with the highest unsaponifiables are shea butter, avocado oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and olive oil.
That means, even at 0% superfat, some of the oil remains unsaponified. Very useful if you want a cleansing bar that leaves some oil on the beard. So, working with your list of oils, I would try shea butter, sesame oil, and a high % of olive oil. To that mix I would add 10% coconut oil (for lather & hardness) and 5% castor oil (healthy oil, adds shine and boosts lather).

For a hard bar, I would use faux sea water (<click) to make the lye solution. Beer is great in shampoo bars too, but save that experiment until you have a few basic formulas under your belt.

Here's just one idea to play around with:
Beard Soap.png

If adding fragrance, add 0.85 oz. FO or 0.5% EO /PPO to the castor oil an hour or so ahead of time (or overnight) and a teaspoon /PPO of Clay to help “stick” the fragrance.
 
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amd

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Again, thank you for your information. I just finished building (2) 3lb molds. I will practice making a simple clay soap for the body, however, ultimately, my long-term goal would be to make a beard soap (whatever form of soap, whether lye-based of otherwise) with essential oils, exfoliants, vitamins, etc., and market it to the same audience who purchase beard supplies oils online. I am JUST beginning, so I assume my first year or so will just be practicing body soap as I am learning that lye is not good for long-term beard care.
I agree with what's been said regarding mold size - 3lb molds is a LOT of soap. For tests I would stick with 1lb molds. For testing and sharing soaps, I would expect to be making and handing out a lot of soap. A small mold will allow you to make several variations and then slice it into thinner bars for "subject trials". When I first started messing with recipes and handing out my soap for other people's opinions, I quickly discovered that giving them a full bar was too much soap from the users perspective. Imagine if someone gave you 4 full-sized bars to try, vs 4 thinner slices. You'd be able to give them feedback much quicker. Most people aren't going to be as nerdy as soapmakers are and try one bar one week, one bar the next, etc especially if they still have a full bar of the first left. If it's not horrible, they're going to continue using it until it's gone. Heck, last spring I did a few test batches of sandalwood to find the "best" sandalwood FO for the customers who were asking for it. I gave five people 4 slices (approx 1oz per slice) and it still took me months to get feedback from them. [Random comment: even my regular customers who buy full sized bars have started to ask me if I would make my bars smaller so they can try more fragrance varieties.]

I haven't found conclusive evidence that you can add vitamins to lye based soap, or that vitamins remain during the saponification process. I would proceed carefully down that avenue. Claiming that your soap has vitamins may fall into medicinal claims, which means your soap is no longer "soap", depending on your country's regulations. Here's a brief overview for US regulations.

This thread was on my mind over the weekend so I took the time to ask my husband a few questions. (Best.husband.ever. Not many would put up with having his beard and face poked and prodded and a ton of questions asked for a good hour.) My husband has used handmade soap almost exclusively since we started dating 3-1/2 years ago, his full beard is just a titch older than that. He stopped using soap on his beard about eight months ago because the skin was drying out really bad. He didn't notice any damage to hair itself - we suspect that because beard hair is thicker it's not as easy to damage, and he regularly trims his beard so that it looks groomed, so if hair is damaged on the ends it is getting trimmed off once or twice a week. I also found out that he doesn't use beard daily because it makes the skin around his beard (upper cheeks, nose) break out, which makes sense because the "unhairy" parts of his face are oily to begin with. [note to clarify: I don't think the oil itself is causing the breakouts. It is contributing to other factors that cause breakouts.] When he was using soap, the skin under the beard dried out and he had to use oil daily. He made the switch to the liquid wash, and then recently to alternating between liquid wash and my syndet shampoo bar, and the dry skin has been more manageable so he doesn't feel the need to moisturize as often. So my husband's perspective is to take care of the skin under the beard, and much less about taking care of the hair.
 

thejanuaryfallen

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I suggest you also build a 1 lb mold. When testing new recipes, 1 lb is better than 3 lbs if something turns out bad.
Great idea!

There is a category of oils that have what is known as unsaponifiables.

That means, even at 0% superfat, some of the oil remains unsaponified. Very useful if you want a cleansing bar that leaves some oil on the beard. So, working with your list of oils, I would try shea butter, sesame oil, and a high % of olive oil. To that mix I would add 10% coconut oil (for lather & hardness) and 5% castor oil (healthy oil, adds shine and boosts lather).

For a hard bar, I would use faux sea water (<click) to make the lye solution. Beer is great in shampoo bars too, but save that experiment until you have a few basic formulas under your belt.

Here's just one idea to play around with:
View attachment 33468

If adding fragrance, add 0.85 oz. FO or 0.5% EO /PPO to the castor oil an hour or so ahead of time (or overnight) and a teaspoon /PPO of Clay to help “stick” the fragrance.

Thank you so much for this information. I am intrigued by the "unsaponifiables" and am excited because my very first soap bars contain some of these oils mentioned. Take a look at the pics. I also included a screenshot of my recipe. Next bar will use all of the oils mentioned.

Also, thank you for the tips regarding FO/EO percentages, very helpful.



Screenshot 2018-12-04 20.26.55.png IMG_0418.JPG IMG_0421.JPG IMG_0427.JPG

What about using a melt and pour base and incorporating ingredients into it? I once melted down some base and added a small amount of lotion to it on the suggestion of Anne Marie and it worked (I didn't try it on beards of course but it might be fun to give it a whirl) https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-...oap/12-days-christmas-lotion-melt-pour-cubes/
I appreciate your suggestion.

I agree with what's been said regarding mold size - 3lb molds is a LOT of soap. For tests I would stick with 1lb molds. For testing and sharing soaps, I would expect to be making and handing out a lot of soap. A small mold will allow you to make several variations and then slice it into thinner bars for "subject trials". When I first started messing with recipes and handing out my soap for other people's opinions, I quickly discovered that giving them a full bar was too much soap from the users perspective. Imagine if someone gave you 4 full-sized bars to try, vs 4 thinner slices. You'd be able to give them feedback much quicker. Most people aren't going to be as nerdy as soapmakers are and try one bar one week, one bar the next, etc especially if they still have a full bar of the first left. If it's not horrible, they're going to continue using it until it's gone. Heck, last spring I did a few test batches of sandalwood to find the "best" sandalwood FO for the customers who were asking for it. I gave five people 4 slices (approx 1oz per slice) and it still took me months to get feedback from them. [Random comment: even my regular customers who buy full sized bars have started to ask me if I would make my bars smaller so they can try more fragrance varieties.]

I haven't found conclusive evidence that you can add vitamins to lye based soap, or that vitamins remain during the saponification process. I would proceed carefully down that avenue. Claiming that your soap has vitamins may fall into medicinal claims, which means your soap is no longer "soap", depending on your country's regulations. Here's a brief overview for US regulations.

This thread was on my mind over the weekend so I took the time to ask my husband a few questions. (Best.husband.ever. Not many would put up with having his beard and face poked and prodded and a ton of questions asked for a good hour.) My husband has used handmade soap almost exclusively since we started dating 3-1/2 years ago, his full beard is just a titch older than that. He stopped using soap on his beard about eight months ago because the skin was drying out really bad. He didn't notice any damage to hair itself - we suspect that because beard hair is thicker it's not as easy to damage, and he regularly trims his beard so that it looks groomed, so if hair is damaged on the ends it is getting trimmed off once or twice a week. I also found out that he doesn't use beard daily because it makes the skin around his beard (upper cheeks, nose) break out, which makes sense because the "unhairy" parts of his face are oily to begin with. [note to clarify: I don't think the oil itself is causing the breakouts. It is contributing to other factors that cause breakouts.] When he was using soap, the skin under the beard dried out and he had to use oil daily. He made the switch to the liquid wash, and then recently to alternating between liquid wash and my syndet shampoo bar, and the dry skin has been more manageable so he doesn't feel the need to moisturize as often. So my husband's perspective is to take care of the skin under the beard, and much less about taking care of the hair.

Thank you so much for such an in depth response! I completely agree with you regarding handing out smaller samples, absolutely great point! I hadn't thought of that. A large bar is too much to use for the purposes of testing and providing feedback. Regarding final bar size, that's really great insight. Means that people like using craft soap, because of the varied additives.

Also, thank you for the heads up on any "claims". I completely understand labeling legalities, I have a marketing and package design background in the food and beverage industry as well as the pharmaceutical industry, very aware of what can and can't be "claimed" on products. I am just a crafter and don't plan on using vitamins, however, wanted to learn other perspectives. I mainly plan on incorporating Essential Oils. My cousin wants me to use her Young Living essential oils!

Thank you for sharing the information you gathered from you husband. I myself have a beard and do not have sensitive skin so I do not suffer from under the beard skin itch. I do however enjoy a nice, groomed, beard with a light clean oil (gives shine, keeps beard inline, looks clean, smells good, etc.) which is why I want to try to make a soap that will provide a light oily moisture to the beard. I am intrigued by the idea of "unsaponifiables" and will experiment.
 
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Misschief

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I mainly plan on incorporating Essential Oils. My cousin wants me to use her Young Living essential oils!
As lovely as that sounds, unless your cousin is paying for it, YL oils are WAY too expensive to use in soapmaking. I had that discussion with a DoTerra rep and even he agreed that soapers would not be his target market once he realized how much EO goes into a single batch of soap.

Most home users use EO by the drop; soapers use it by the ounce, depending on batch size.

Your soap looks great! What did you scent it with?
 

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Even if you buy from reputable EO suppliers who don't charge exorbitant prices like YL and DT, the cost for the EO can easily exceed the total cost of the other ingredients.
 

shunt2011

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Your soap looks nice!

I agree with the others. Don't jump down the rabbit hole of using DoTerra or YL. You'll go broke making soap with it. There are reputable companies where you can get the same quality (maybe better) for a much better cost.
 
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