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Zany_in_CO

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what many people don't know (at least the average consumer) is to avoid PG (Propylene Glycol) – these are skin allergens and comes in many other names.
:thumbs: Good to know!!!
I found that to be true when I tried Stephenson's bases many years ago. They all irritated my skin. I avoid Propylene Glycol in anything (exception: Antifreeze & Coolant).
Stephenson is top dog of M&P base, they can't afford bad or inconsistent performance.
Actually, here in the USA SFIC was "top dog" for "natural" M&P until a few years ago when they added propylene glycol to their ingredients. :(

I just did a quick check. Stephensons organic is indeed PG free but the rest of their bases still have it.
 
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Zing

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Welcome, welcome! You've already got expert advice and tips so I'll just add my affirmation. For years and years, I did melt & pour. A few years ago I decided to do cold process and I was only motivated by creativity and intrigued by the science.

I was completely unprepared and surprised to see what an incredible difference CP soap made on my skin! My lifelong rashes almost all but disappeared and I've saved a fortune on OTC and prescriptions. You won't go back and you're on the right track! Keep us posted.
 

Baltar42

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Hello @Baltar42 ,

I've just joined this forum and also been making MP for under a year. I've had similar experiences like you and just recently switched to Stephensons organic range to try and see if that's any better.

In terms of skin sensitivities, avoiding Sulfates like SLS and SLES can help. And what many people don't know (at least the average consumer) is to avoid PG (Propylene Glycol) – these are skin allergens and comes in many other names.

I hope this helps.

Adz
Hello @TrueGold

Thank you for the tip re. PG.

I think part of the problem for me might be that I live in an area where the water is very hard, which doesn't help.

That said, based on the really helpful tips and advice I received here, and having spoken to Stephensons, I knew I was doing something wrong, so I did the following things in the past few days, and that has helped tremendously with the lather.

1) Not add any extra oils to the base (which I'd been doing before)
2) Started giving the soap bars a chance! Sounds obvious, I know, but I was so used to commercial soap lathering up in an instant that I didn't realise I need a pinch of patience! (I mistakingly equated quick lather with quality, which I now realise isn't true.) I've also now learnt to be patient, to make sure that I wet the soap bar properly with warm water and then rub for about 30 seconds, after which it's starts lathering up quite nicely.
3) Add Pink French Clay Powder to my soap bar (not my boys', as I worry about skin sensitivity and don't know enough about clay powder to take the risk)
4) Use a natural sisal soap bag with the soap.

This last point, especially, has made a HUGE difference to the lather -- I mean really luxurious bubbles and lather, and lots of it. So I'm guessing it's just a case of me not knowing initially how to properly use the MP base -- that, combined with the hard water, didn't help. But I'm so happy that I've got lather and bubbles at last; and my little one is too. Hurray! :)

Welcome, welcome! You've already got expert advice and tips so I'll just add my affirmation. For years and years, I did melt & pour. A few years ago I decided to do cold process and I was only motivated by creativity and intrigued by the science.

I was completely unprepared and surprised to see what an incredible difference CP soap made on my skin! My lifelong rashes almost all but disappeared and I've saved a fortune on OTC and prescriptions. You won't go back and you're on the right track! Keep us posted.
Hello Zing,
Thanks for sharing your journey. It's very encouraging as I've spent a lifetime with bad skin and I didn't realise that by changing my soap I can fix the problem. Like you, I'd spent a fortune on prescriptions and expensive creams. But now a whole new world of soap-making science and creativity has just opened up. I'm reading voraciously about it, and I just can't wait to try my hand out at CP soap-making. I spend hours upon hours looking at photos of soaps LOL -- It's so exciting, it's like being a kid again in a candy store!
I'll keep you all posted :)
 
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TrueGold

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@Zany_in_CO – Yes, I plan to educate as many people as I can about Propylene Glycol (PG). I sell my soaps and I carefully select manufacturers with ingredients that I really believe in and there's definitely NOT a lot of options out there when it comes to avoiding PG!
(And I don't really want to do CP at this stage as I can't be bothered waiting 4-6 weeks curing time ha!)

@Baltar42 – No worries, have fun with your new found lather!
 

jarofdreams

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Hello, not sure if this has been suggested, but you might try combining the sls/sles free base with an sls/sles base, so that there will be more lather, but a smaller amount of sls/sles than typical store-bought soaps. The proportion of each type is up to you depending on what your ideal balance between gentleness and latherability is.
 

Baltar42

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Hi Jaroofdreams, Thanks for the tip. I've tried doing 50/50 but still got a slight itchy sensation after using the soap (my little one has very sensitive skin). I've been experimenting recently with the clear SLS/SLES Free base, which is very high lather. So I now make soaps with layers: one layer (approx. 1/3rd of the soap bar) with Clear SLS/SLES Free base, and then the rest with SLS/SLES Free Shea base, and that's worked really well. I'm getting lots of lather due to the layer of clear soap base, and the remaining 2/3rd SLS/SLES Free Shea base provides gentle cleansing without irritation or itchiness. This produces a really good lather that's very gentle and mild. I've tried it on my little one and he's not had any problems so far. The weather's been cold here recently, and I wonder if seasons and cold weather contribute to his skin sensitivity.
 

TrueGold

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@jarofdreams – Thank you for the suggestion, however, I avoid sulfates on my soap.

@Baltar42 – It's the SLS and SLES that's causing the irritation, no matter what level/ratio/percentage you use because skin needs natural oils that those ingredients strip them off. I personally avoid these sulfates because of this. It may not also happen immediately but overtime and regular use, your skin can bust out with acne, rashes, redness, etc...
 

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