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coffee soap clears acne (!) but needs bubbly tweak

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cm4bleenmb

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My step-son swears my coffee soap is the only thing that has ever cleared up the acne he gets on his shoulders.

5% CO
70% Crisco (with palm)
10% hemp oil
15% shea butter

PPO: 1 oz finely ground coffee, 1 teas cornstarch, 1 TBSP heavy cream

I also mix my lye with strong coffee instead of plain water. I don't add any scent. It's actually a darn nice soap the way it is, but I use it as a kitchen soap and I would like to increase the bubbliness of the lather a little bit for me.
I used Soapcalc and just left it set to 5% for the superfat discount, I did not factor the fats from the cream into it, and my lye was fresh from Essential Depot.
My thoughts are: 1) mix some sugar into my lye water or 2) replace some of the shea with castor.
It cleans just fine and I don't want to loose any of the conditioning, I don't think either of these would result in a drastic change to the basic formula. Am I on the right track here? Any input would be appreciated.
Oh, and if anyone wants to use this recipe, feel free.
 
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cmzaha

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Upping up your coconut oil, adding in 3-5% castor and lowering superfat can all contribute to lather. Butters such as shea tend to deter lather. Crisco does not contribute much lather factor.
 

lionprincess00

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1 TBS ppo of table sugar
Replace Shea and Crisco (5% Shea up to 2% Crisco) with 5-7% castor (castor stabilizes bubbles, doesn't create them per say)

Add sodium citrate (a chelator that breaks down soap scum and allows free flowing bubbles with less soap drag). I use 2% ppo and bought it off eBay. It's a game changer for bubbles and soap scum I think, and works wonderfully with hard water.
 

TwystedPryncess

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My son and I both have acne issues, and after spending LOTS of money, a bout of Accutane, and I don't even know what on prescription acne drugs, we started noticing a difference in our skin when I started making soap, period.
 

cm4bleenmb

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My son and I both have acne issues, and after spending LOTS of money, a bout of Accutane, and I don't even know what on prescription acne drugs, we started noticing a difference in our skin when I started making soap, period.
Makes you feel good, doesn't it? He's probably the biggest fan of my homemade soaps. I suspect it's due to the slight scrubbing the coffee grounds adds to it rather than one specific ingredient, but because he says it's only the coffee soap that does it, and that's the one he asks for, I don't want to change too much.

I'm thinking I will do a one pound batch and trade out 2% of the shea for some castor for him, and get some sodium citrate to experiment with for me. I think I have harder water than he does and I've seen that recommended in other threads so I'm curious to try it.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Of course, it doesn't actually need a bubbly tweak. Bubbles don't clean or help reduce acne or anything like that. They are used for making funny beards and that it about it - we like them, some more than others (I'm looking at Susie here) but bubbles don't actually do much when all is said and done.
 

cm4bleenmb

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Of course, it doesn't actually need a bubbly tweak. Bubbles don't clean or help reduce acne or anything like that. They are used for making funny beards and that it about it - we like them, some more than others (I'm looking at Susie here) but bubbles don't actually do much when all is said and done.
True. But it's a hard mind-set to change. Besides, I believe if bubbles give you pleasure, that's reason enough to have them. And I've read enough of your posts to know you agree with that sentiment, it's one of the things that has brought us all to this point.:lolno:

John says he likes it the way it is, and while silly beards definitely have their place, all I'm looking for is a tad more bubbles. When I'm lathering up, I like some bubbles to lighten the feel, and it may be all in my head, but it seems like it spreads out faster. If the lather is too creamy, it feels like I'm applying lotion--and that's a whole different critter.

Right now, it feels pretty good on my hands, it's not overly cleansing, and it apparently doesn't over-condition his skin. If it comes down to it, I'll make one version for him, and one for me, but as a very casual, hobby soaper it would be nice to have one formula that we both love. I don't want to end up with so much soap I don't have any excuse to make more. :sad:
 

TwystedPryncess

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It does make us both feel really good, and me especially that I was able to solve his problem some. I just wish I would have picked up this 'ability' ten years ago. Or fifteen. Or heck, let's be selfish. For me, twenty-five.

I had to teach the kids when I started making my own laundry soap (especially my son) that bubbles do not equal clean, but we are creatures of habit. They eventually became okay with it laundry-wise, but everyone wants bubbles with shower soap.

My daughter's boyfriend had to be 'taught' to rub the bar soap a few extra times (like 2-3) around in his hands and that the later was creamier, because at first he was telling me 'it didn't make bubbles'. Now he loves it and he won't use anything else either, and I am starting to get 17-19 years olds I don't know begging for soap. So it could too, become an adjustment of preference, because we have all these years been accustomed to the detergent fluffy beard bubbles.
 

cm4bleenmb

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1 TBS ppo of table sugar
Replace Shea and Crisco (5% Shea up to 2% Crisco) with 5-7% castor (castor stabilizes bubbles, doesn't create them per say)

Add sodium citrate (a chelator that breaks down soap scum and allows free flowing bubbles with less soap drag). I use 2% ppo and bought it off eBay. It's a game changer for bubbles and soap scum I think, and works wonderfully with hard water.
While looking for info on sodium citrate I discovered several threads where it's discussed and found out I can "make" my own by using citric acid and increasing my lye. (I started at this thread and pretty much found everything I needed from there. http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53330&page=2)

This is wonderful. I already have CA for making cheese, and lye for soap, obviously, so I don't have to buy anything new. And, because I don't soap enough to justify buying a bunch of exotic ingredients it's nice to learn that I can use an inexpensive, and easy to find substance.

Also, everyone seems to agree on the efficacy of this. Thank you, lionprincess00, and everyone else who has been willing to take the time to share their hard-earned knowledge and experience. :clap::clap::clap:
 

girlishcharm2004

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Of course, it doesn't actually need a bubbly tweak. Bubbles don't clean or help reduce acne or anything like that. They are used for making funny beards and that it about it - we like them, some more than others (I'm looking at Susie here) but bubbles don't actually do much when all is said and done.
I have to disagree with this. Bubbly and cleansing (removal of oils) are directly related. The more bubbly a soap is, the more cleansing, drying, stripping it will be. If you are referring to disinfecting (the killing of microbes), then you are correct to say that more bubbles does not mean that more pathogens will be killed.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I have to disagree with this. Bubbly and cleansing (removal of oils) are directly related. The more bubbly a soap is, the more cleansing, drying, stripping it will be. If you are referring to disinfecting (the killing of microbes), then you are correct to say that more bubbles does not mean that more pathogens will be killed.

As you say, bubbles and cleansing often go hand in hand, but that does not mean that the bubbles do the cleaning, or that a soap with no bubbles would not clean.

What I was saying is that the soap in question seems to work very well indeed and that changing the recipe because it 'needs' bubbles is to misuse the word 'need'. It clearly doesn't need them as it is well liked. Changing a winning formula to much to add in something that is not actually needed can sometimes reduce the parts that made it a winner in the first place. As an example, adding more cleansing oils might well increase acne as the body works over time to replace the lost oils, whereas the recipe as it stands works fine, so by chasing bubbles we have done away with what it was that made the soap good in the first place.
 
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cm4bleenmb

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As you say, bubbles and cleansing often go hand in hand, but that does not mean that the bubbles do the cleaning, or that a soap with no bubbles would not clean.

What I was saying is that the soap in question seems to work very well indeed and that changing the recipe because it 'needs' bubbles is to misuse the word 'need'. It clearly doesn't need them as it is well liked. Changing a winning formula to much to add in something that is not actually needed can sometimes reduce the parts that made it a winner in the first place. As an example, adding more cleansing oils might well increase acne as the body works over time to replace the lost oils, whereas the recipe as it stands works fine, so by chasing bubbles we have done away with what it was that made the soap good in the first place.
Point taken Gent. I guess it would have been more accurate to say "more bubbles wanted by me." But my thoughts have run pretty close to yours, as I've mulled over my strategy "if it ain't broken . . ." kept running through my mind. I suppose a part of me finds it hard to believe that I hit on a winner with the ninth batch of soap I'd ever made.

It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of trying something new, but the bottom line is, if I'm making a batch for John because he has requested it, then it should be made the way he likes it. That doesn't mean I can't share my other experiments with him, but he's one of the few people who actually gives me honest feedback, so I'd better be willing to listen to it.

Thank you for making me think a little deeper.
 

Earthen_Step

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Higher coconut oil is my favorite source of bubbles. Like others have said going too high can make the bar a bit too harsh. Castor oil helps at 5-15% at 15% the bar can be a little gooey though. Sugar added I've noticed doesn't seem to add a lot of initial bubbles. But, when you rub the lather together with medium vigor the bubbles go crazy with a little sugar in the mix. I've only gone as high as 1tsp ppo for sugar, it's not my favorite way to boost bubbles but it works. Time is another thing, I've taken a bar that is terrible with lather and bubbles and used it many months later and it's completely transformed.

+1 Efficacious Gentleman, bubbles aren't necessary. Some of my favorite bars have very little bubble action.
 
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JayJay

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I have to disagree with this. Bubbly and cleansing (removal of oils) are directly related. The more bubbly a soap is, the more cleansing, drying, stripping it will be. If you are referring to disinfecting (the killing of microbes), then you are correct to say that more bubbles does not mean that more pathogens will be killed.
Disclaimer- I'm just a beginner. But I thought that what makes cleansing more cleansing soap cleansing is the length of the fatty acid chain. Please someone speak up who knows what I am trying to say here. I am probably doing a terrible job of repeating something Dee Ann wrote.

In my own words, Is it possible that the properties that make soap cleansing are the same properties that also create bubbles? Do the bubbles themselves have to be the cause of the cleansing? I understand that they help to carry away the dirt off of our skin, but isn't there another mechanism at play in soap that actually dislodges the oil and dirt from the skin in order to be carried away by the bubbles?

One more slightly related thought. With hair care, it is possible to cleanse hair with conditioner. It can break up oil on the hair shaft sometimes better than introducing water and detergents. I've seen tests done with microscopes. You can conduct your own test by putting olive oil on your hair then combing through conditioner on one side and doing a regular wash in the other. With hair, bubbles aren't needed to clean. But of course most people would feel like they aren't cleansing their hair unless they could lather up with bubbles.

So really, what is the function of bubbles? I LOVE bubbles because they are fun and feel luxurious. But in the winter, I was happy to use a low lather bar that didn't dry out my skin while getting it clean.

Again-beginner here. I'm not interest in being correct. Rather, I am interested in the discussion.
Sorry for the the detour from the original question. I can start a new thread if that would work better.
 

JayJay

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1 TBS ppo of table sugar
Replace Shea and Crisco (5% Shea up to 2% Crisco) with 5-7% castor (castor stabilizes bubbles, doesn't create them per say)

Add sodium citrate (a chelator that breaks down soap scum and allows free flowing bubbles with less soap drag). I use 2% ppo and bought it off eBay. It's a game changer for bubbles and soap scum I think, and works wonderfully with hard water.


I would like to try this if you don't mind. Is this 2 tsp PPO? Are there any other effects of using this additive in soap? Any warnings about mixing into the batter?
 

lionprincess00

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Well, let me start by saying sodium citrate needs no adjustments in your lye amount like citric acid does.
So if you buy sodium citrate, take your oil amount...say for example 25 oz oils in your recipe. Multiply it by 2%, and that's your 2% per pound oils (ppo). This example would have 1/2oz sodium citrate.

I pour it into my water and dissolve. I usually add 1 TBS ppo sugar to my water as well. Since I struggled dissolving the sodium citrate alone and especially along side the sugar, I warm my stainless bowl on a burner and stir. Once the sugar and sodium citrate are fully dissolved, I then cool briefly and add my lye to this water mixture.

It is supposed to help break up soap scum which is a bigger problem if you have hard water. The ability to break the scum helps "ring around the tub" as well as the scummy drag you can feel on your arms (or I was feeling). It also frees up the soap, so to speak, to increase lather. The soap isn't binding with the hard water elements and is free to be soap (so to speak).
 

not_ally

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JayJay and LP, I use EDTA as a chelator b/c I have super scummy water. From past research I think EDTA might be the best chelator around if you are OK w/using non-natural additives, but sodium citrate is also good and helps with DOS as well. In terms of easy use, I make distilled water solutions of both the EDTA and sugar solutions which I keep in squeeze bottles in the fridge, I find it much easier than mixing them up each time for each batch since I add both of them to every batch. I have learned wisely at Irish Lasses' knee :)

EDTA needs to be mixed at a 39% solution rate, I make the sugar at a 50% solution rate. Both stay suspended in water and are super easy to add that way.

Oops, sorry to derail, mods pls advise if we should start another thread if this continues.
 
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lenarenee

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Makes you feel good, doesn't it? He's probably the biggest fan of my homemade soaps. I suspect it's due to the slight scrubbing the coffee grounds adds to it rather than one specific ingredient, but because he says it's only the coffee soap that does it, and that's the one he asks for, I don't want to change too much.

I'm thinking I will do a one pound batch and trade out 2% of the shea for some castor for him, and get some sodium citrate to experiment with for me. I think I have harder water than he does and I've seen that recommended in other threads so I'm curious to try it.
I'm following this thread with interest because I have 3 special teenagers in my life who all have acne. I can't argue with your nephew's results, but I'd like to put this caution out there for those who might start adding coffee grounds to their acne bars: dermatologists recommend gentle washing, ie., not scrubbing with washcloths and abrasives as it irritates already inflamed skin. It can also force the bacteria deeper into the skin and cause cysts.

I've been lazy; never tried to make a pine tar soap. But as I've got leftover coffee in the pot and the house to myself today....well, you can fill in the blanks! ;-)
 

soapmage

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My hubby has horrible acne and I formulated 100% CO salt bars for him which he loves and they do great at tackling those stubborn pimples. I keep the SF relatively lower than most would do an all CO, only around 12% because he doesn't like the moisturizing effect. But that amount seems to keep his body from overly producing more oils to compensate. I also add AC to them as well and no scent as he hates smells. I use 100% sea salt to oils in the recipe as well and it softens his skin nicely. I personally don't use that formula for myself as I prefer more conditioning salt bars and usually add shea butter at 10% for my recipe and cut the CO by that amount and I SF mine between 15-20%. I like to use my salt bars for my face since I have combo skin and they make my face baby soft without making me more oily, nor too dry.
 

lenarenee

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Disclaimer- I'm just a beginner. But I thought that what makes cleansing more cleansing soap cleansing is the length of the fatty acid chain. Please someone speak up who knows what I am trying to say here. I am probably doing a terrible job of repeating something Dee Ann wrote.

In my own words, Is it possible that the properties that make soap cleansing are the same properties that also create bubbles? Do the bubbles themselves have to be the cause of the cleansing? I understand that they help to carry away the dirt off of our skin, but isn't there another mechanism at play in soap that actually dislodges the oil and dirt from the skin in order to be carried away by the bubbles?

One more slightly related thought. With hair care, it is possible to cleanse hair with conditioner. It can break up oil on the hair shaft sometimes better than introducing water and detergents. I've seen tests done with microscopes. You can conduct your own test by putting olive oil on your hair then combing through conditioner on one side and doing a regular wash in the other. With hair, bubbles aren't needed to clean. But of course most people would feel like they aren't cleansing their hair unless they could lather up with bubbles.

So really, what is the function of bubbles? I LOVE bubbles because they are fun and feel luxurious. But in the winter, I was happy to use a low lather bar that didn't dry out my skin while getting it clean.

Again-beginner here. I'm not interest in being correct. Rather, I am interested in the discussion.
Sorry for the the detour from the original question. I can start a new thread if that would work better.
The term "cleansing" used on soap calc doesn't mean how well your soap will actually clean, it has to do with how much it disturbs (not the best vocabulary) the skin's acid mantle which includes the skin's natural oils. Its the lauric and myristic acid that make the large, but "drying" (as in removing skin's natural oils) bubbles.

Soap cleans, bubbles or not, because it contains two types of molecules, hydroscopic and hydrophilic....well here...http://chemistry.about.com/od/cleanerchemistry/a/how-soap-cleans.htm. They can explain it better than I. Hope that helps.
 

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