Hot process soap burning skin on face

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dbailey14

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I made my first batch of hot process soap on Saturday using just coconut oil, water, and lye to keep it simple. I used a tried and true recipe by an experienced soapmaker and ran it through a calculator so I know my proportions were correct. I had no problems blending to trace, I cooked it in the crock pot for an hour, it seemed to have the right texture. I tried the zap test and it did not "zap" but did make my tongue tingle some about 15 seconds later. It tasted like soap for the most part. I figured that was normal and put it in the molds. It hardened up fine and looks uniform in texture.

Last night I tried using it to wash my face and body and it burned on my face, but didn't harm my body at all. Luckily it didn't leave any severe physical burns but my face felt like it was sunburned for the rest of the evening. I am used to using other people's handmade soaps on my face with no problems. I guess I am here to try to figure out what went wrong. If I leave it to cure longer will it mellow out? Did I maybe not cook it long enough for all the lye to saponify? Please help, thank you!
 

shunt2011

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Hello and welcome! What kind of superfat/lye discount did you enter into it? Also, I wouldn't use freshly made soap on my face ever. I would give it a cure of 4-6 weeks then try it out. 100% CO soap can be extremely drying without a high SF.
 

dixiedragon

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Your soap is WAY too new to use, especially on your face! In the future, wash with your hands first, rather than jumping in to your face and body. The tingling 15 seconds later is a bit weird, though.
 

DeeAnna

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What the others are saying. Also it's possible your face may be sensitive to the soap depending on the fats used. For the best advice, please give the recipe.
 

dbailey14

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I used 16.5 oz coconut oil, 2.72 oz of lye, 6.27 oz of water. If these proportions seem reasonable then perhaps I do just need to let it cure. I guess I just got a little too excited to use it, haha.
 

Susie

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^^^What they said!!!

Coconut oil soap is very drying to some people's skin. There are much more skin friendly oils out there to make soap with. 100% coconut oil soap is what people use to clean laundry and dishes. NOT skin.

Try something more like this:

Lard or tallow or palm 65%
Olive Oil 15%
Coconut Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

Superfat 5-8%

You will still need to cure this 4-6 weeks before using. If you live in a humid area, I would actually suggest 6-8 weeks as a minimum.
 

kchaystack

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I used 16.5 oz coconut oil, 2.72 oz of lye, 6.27 oz of water. If these proportions seem reasonable then perhaps I do just need to let it cure. I guess I just got a little too excited to use it, haha.
Well that is only a 10% superfat/ lye distcount.

For a coconut oil only soap, most of us go from 15 to 20 percent.

Soap made from just coconut is VERY good at removing the oils from your skin - so it can leave you feeling very dry. But that is very dependent on your individual skin type.

But the other reason is it is a new soap. You need to let it cure for 4 -6 weeks minimum - and some might say 3 - 6 months. But the longer the better for sure.
 

dixiedragon

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The soaper you get this recipe from - have you ever tried this soap? This 100% coconut oil is very harsh and drying. Let this soap cure for 6 weeks, then try again. I think you will still find it to be very harsh and drying - if so, use it for handsoap in the kitchen.

Here's a recipe that I use a lot. I think you will find it much gentler.

50% lard (or palm or tallow, but IMO lard is best)
20% coconut
25% olive (I like to use the cheap Grade A from Costco. Virgin OO is not really beneficial in soap)
5% castor (find it in the laxative section)
 

DeeAnna

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Yep, I think it's a combination of a recipe that's far too cleansing for general use on any skin, a soap that is not cured, and perhaps some facial sensitivity to soap high in lauric acid (one of the main fatty acids in coconut oil).
 

dbailey14

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I just used only coconut oil for simplicity since it was my first attempt. After it cures I'll use it for my laundry since I do normally make my own with grated soap. I'll try a different recipe for a general body/face soap.

I was mostly worried I had not cooked out all the lye. I am happy to hear that you guys mostly think it needs to cure.
 

kchaystack

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I just used only coconut oil for simplicity since it was my first attempt. After it cures I'll use it for my laundry since I do normally make my own with grated soap. I'll try a different recipe for a general body/face soap.

I was mostly worried I had not cooked out all the lye. I am happy to hear that you guys mostly think it needs to cure.
I would not use this for laundry. While the superfat is not high enough for most ( tho it might be fine for your body after cure ) it is too high for laundry. You dont want all that extra oil in your wash.
 

Seawolfe

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That level of CO with low superfat and lack of cure would just kill my skin. Yeah I wouldn't use it for laundry either - I use zero or slightly negative CO soap for laundry.
Give it to a mechanic or fisherman after a good long cure, or grate it up for confetti or chop it up for embeds in a properly balanced soap.
 

dbailey14

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Okay so not for laundry soap. I'll give them to my boyfriend who is a blacksmith. He's always in need of a decently strong soap for his hands.
 

lenarenee

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Also know that freshly made soap, is at it's highest pH. That alone can facial and/or sensitive skin.
 

Dahila

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100% Coconut oil soap is laundry soap not for the body with 10% SF it is still very cleansing and not good, that's my opinion
 

Arimara

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I just used only coconut oil for simplicity since it was my first attempt. After it cures I'll use it for my laundry since I do normally make my own with grated soap. I'll try a different recipe for a general body/face soap.

I was mostly worried I had not cooked out all the lye. I am happy to hear that you guys mostly think it needs to cure.
When soaping, there are a few instances where "simplicity" can bite you in the butt. This is one of those instances. I get that you wanted to keep it simple but without a knowledge of the properties of the main fatty acids in your oils, you can and most likely will make a poor balanced and/or overly harsh soap.

Using at least 3 different oils is usually ideal when you're starting to soap. You'll be getting a feel for what you're doing and you would be learning what oils bring what benefits to the soapy mix. using one straight oil is more of a intermediate task. You'd have to really be prepared for ANYTHING that could happen with that single oil soap (things happen). Lucky for you, you used coconut oil, albeit with a lower than ideal superfat. I find that oil easier to deal with than olive oil (please don't do that to yourself yet).

As was stated before me, confetti soap is a nice way to reuse that soap. Me personally, I'd melt that soap down,add another 1.67oz of oil and maybe 8oz of fine sea salt. You already have the makings of a fine salt bar (I'm totally not helping here, am I? :mrgreen::twisted::mrgreen:)
 

lenarenee

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What about 100% lard soap? Would that be a decent simple starter recipe?
What are you trying to accomplish? Just to experience the process of making soap before you move on, or are you also hoping for a pleasant soap?

I wouldn't recommend a 100% lard soap unless you have very dry skin, nor if you are experiencing handmade soap for the first time. Many handmade soaps don't lather they way store bought soaps do, so a pure lard bar will disappoint you in that department.

If you are a beginner and want a simple but really nice performing soap, then go for 80% lard, 20% coconut. Or 75 lard, 15 co, 5 castor. 5% superfat is standard for a beginner.
 

Susie

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What about 100% lard soap? Would that be a decent simple starter recipe?
No, that does not make a good bar of soap, either. It is what I tried for my first bar, but it was better once I confettied it into a soap with coconut oil and olive oil. You got a couple of great starter recipes, try those, then come tell us what you think once it has cured.

And you would really benefit yourself if you read about 5-10 pages of the beginner forum. Especially read the stickies.
 
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