Dumb Superfatting Question

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Gravy, May 24, 2017.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. May 24, 2017 #1

    Gravy

    Gravy

    Gravy

    Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    4
    This is bugging me....

    Soap helps water to wash oil/fat away... Right? It does this by binding with the fat molecule, right?

    So if we superfat, then doesn't that just give the soap something else to bind with rather than the fat/oil on your body?

    In this case wouldn't the superfat just make the soap a less effective soap?
     
    WeaversPort and Susie like this.
  2. May 24, 2017 #2

    ngian

    ngian

    ngian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    458
    Location:
    Athens, Greece (Very Hard Water)
    That's correct! That's why soap with more superfat is less irritating, just like when the recipe has less coconut oil.

    If someone makes a 100% Coconut Oil soap, the 20% superfat, that is suggested in such recipe, will help many coconut soap molecules to clean the superfat besides the lipids on the skin.

    The same is true when someone uses the soap with very hard water (instead of soft water), as the soap molecules are deactivated in such environment (they turn into molecules that cannot clean aka soap scum).
     
    WeaversPort likes this.
  3. May 24, 2017 #3

    WeaversPort

    WeaversPort

    WeaversPort

    Voyages of Curiosity

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    634
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've been thinking about using a lower superfat.. We have incredibly hard water here..
     
  4. May 25, 2017 #4

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,377
    Likes Received:
    8,611
    Location:
    Texas
    Soap makes water "wetter" by decreasing the surface tension. It therefore absorbs into the outer layer of dead skin cells in the epidermis, which helps to loosen them from underlying layers of skin. This carries real dirt and oils away from the skin, and down the drain. This is helped by the exfoliation of the washcloth or shower pouf.

    A soap with a higher superfat still cleans, as it is still a surfactant. Therefore is not "less effective" the way I define it. I have dry skin and soft water, however, so I need a higher superfat.

    I don't know how YOU define less effective.

    I do not, in any manner, ever consider such a well worded, and indeed, well considered, question dumb. Please don't ever hesitate to ask questions. You just asked something that probably five other people wanted to know, but would not ask for themselves. And you probably made at least five more wonder the same thing. Thank you for asking this!
     
    IrishLass and WeaversPort like this.
  5. May 25, 2017 #5

    earlene

    earlene

    earlene

    Grandmother & Soaper Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Messages:
    6,642
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    Location:
    Western Illinois, USA
    Susie makes a good point, well more than one really. But the one I want to address is the condition of ones skin whether clean or dirty. Some of us have skin that is more delicate, while others have skin that is tough and capable of withstanding harsher treatment. And many other variables of skin condition exist. So how much SF is in the soap is only a part of the components that affect how ones skin responds to a particular soap formula. It's not all about the dirt and grime or dirt and germs or dirt and oils we may or may not to remove from our skin when we wash. It's also about how we want our skin to feel after we wash. (Besides being clean.)

    I don't want my skin to feel like I just washed with sandpaper and be reluctant to rub my hand across fine fabrics for fear of snagging a thread because my skin is so dried out from a harsh soap that it snags threads. Now, many will say that soap doesn't moisturize and yes, that is a valid statement. But the skin feels as though it is moisturized when the soap doesn't strip it like I was trying to refinish furniture. That's what I'm after, as little disruption to the skin's acid mantle as possible. Since making my own soaps, I have found that most of the time I don't need to apply skin moisturizing lotions, etc. So I know I am achieving a better soap for my skin's condition than I had before when buying the soap I used to use for many many years.
     
  6. May 25, 2017 #6

    Gravy

    Gravy

    Gravy

    Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thank you all!
     
  7. May 25, 2017 #7

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,377
    Likes Received:
    8,611
    Location:
    Texas
    ^^^This! I now only use lotion and body butters on my hands, forearms, and elbows as I wash my hands very, very frequently. And being a nurse, I wash higher on my arms than most folks.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder