In search of your favorite, moisturizing, cold process recipe!

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Meg12!

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Hello all! I'm in search of a very simple and affordable cold process soap recipe that you find very moisturising!

I'd say I'm an intermediate soapmaker, and have tried several different recipes; from ones I've found online, to ones that I've created myself on soapcalc. I find that they're either not as moisturising as I'd hoped for, or are so ridiculously soft they only last a week or two. I did just purchase sodium lactate which will hopefully help harden up my bars and allow me to find the hydration I'm looking for while helping my bars last longer.

Thanks in advance!
 

DeeAnna

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A suggestion -- Why don't you share the recipes you've used and ask for a critique?

That way you can learn more about how to design a better recipe based on the experience you've already had. Honestly, just collecting other people's recipes doesn't necessarily build your skills. And I guarantee what a recipe that another person thinks is "moisturizing" won't necessarily be a recipe that you will think is "moisturizing". So you would be right back at square one with recipes that don't work for you.

IMO, it might be a lot more useful for you to better understand what you've already got and build on that.
 

Meg12!

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The photos above are about what the recipes I was trying to tweak were. Because they didn't work for me I didn't bother saving them. I actually looked at a few different recipes I found online and played around with oils with similar properties and percentages.

The first one was far too soft and I tried using beeswax to harden it a few times but was never able to create a bar that would last long enough without having to use several oz of beeswax. I do have sodium lactate now so I'll have to try that recipe again with that added in.

The second recipe almost left a strange "film" on the skin, which made it feel drying to me.

I'm definitely not a pro at using soapcalc so hopefully you guys will see something that I'm just missing!
 

MarinaB

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My best moisturizing bar is made of
60% hard oils and butters - usually coconut, shea, tallow
40% soft oils - usually olive, avocado
And add milk.
 

KimW

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My 2 cents: How long have you allowed your bars to cure before using?
 

DeeAnna

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Some thoughts --

Don't use fractionated coconut oil to make soap. The fatty acids in this version of coconut oil make a soap that is even harsher and more drying than if you used the same percentage of regular coconut oil. Save the FCO (aka MCT or medium chain triglycerides) for lotions and potions or for cooking.

Very few fats have the shorter-chain fatty acids (FAs) that FCO does so Soapcalc (and many other online calcs) tell you nothing about these shorter-chain FAs -- you don't get a complete picture of the fatty acid profile. It's not generally a problem, but sometimes it is, like in your case.

The softness of the soap from the first recipe may well come from your soap not getting warm enough during saponification to go into the gel phase (the stage where soap is soft and liquidy). If a soap remains soft and clay-like after saponification is over, my first thought would be the soap didn't gel. I would not assume the recipe was specifically at fault.

My guess is your second recipe, the one with the tallow, is far too cleansing due to the myristic and lauric acids in the tallow and the FCO. But without the full fatty acid profile, that's just an educated guess.

Start looking at the fully fatty acid profile to gauge how your soap recipes will perform. You didn't present the full calculated result in the Soapcalc screenshots, so this info is missing -- the fatty acid profile in Section 5 is for one of the oils, not the finished blend of fats.
 

Meg12!

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My 2 cents: How long have you allowed your bars to cure before using?
A month at the very least, I try to let them sit for as long as I possibly can. With the recipe that was too soft, I had to let it sit in the mold for an entire month because it was way too soft to unmold. After I took it out, I let it sit for another month. That was 5 months ago and the bars are still soft. They work well and smell nice but for whatever reason they just did not harden. Could that be caused by the fragrance oil reacting with the ingredients for whatever reason?

Some thoughts --

Don't use fractionated coconut oil to make soap. The fatty acids in this version of coconut oil make a soap that is even harsher and more drying than if you used the same percentage of regular coconut oil. Save the FCO (aka MCT or medium chain triglycerides) for lotions and potions or for cooking.

Very few fats have the shorter-chain fatty acids (FAs) that FCO does so Soapcalc (and many other online calcs) tell you nothing about these shorter-chain FAs -- you don't get a complete picture of the fatty acid profile. It's not generally a problem, but sometimes it is, like in your case.

The softness of the soap from the first recipe may well come from your soap not getting warm enough during saponification to go into the gel phase (the stage where soap is soft and liquidy). If a soap remains soft and clay-like after saponification is over, my first thought would be the soap didn't gel. I would not assume the recipe was specifically at fault.

My guess is your second recipe, the one with the tallow, is far too cleansing due to the myristic and lauric acids in the tallow and the FCO. But without the full fatty acid profile, that's just an educated guess.

Start looking at the fully fatty acid profile to gauge how your soap recipes will perform. You didn't present the full calculated result in the Soapcalc screenshots, so this info is missing -- the fatty acid profile in Section 5 is for one of the oils, not the finished blend of fats.
Thank you! This was really helpful. The bars from my first recipe are still soft, even 5 months later. So it definitely sounds like gellig was the issue. And good to know about fractionated coconut oil as well! I never really knew what the difference was between all the different types of coconut oil, so I just chose what was most available to me. I can find FCO at my local grocery store for a good price so I just went with it. Thank you!
 

SPowers

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Are you aware there is a page 2 to soap calc? See attached... click that and post the result. I would also advise that you research all the various sections, values, etc to get a better understanding of what it all means. By all means ask questions where you need clarification, etc.

soapcalc.JPG
 

Hope Ann

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Welcome Meg.

How many batches total have you made? What sort of books, videos, blogs, etc. have you used? Have you read through the beginners section here?

Zaneys No Slime Castille can be found by searching the forum. It's easy and lovely. I used it on my freshly radiated skin last year.

100% lard, or high lard with 10-20% coconut oil 76 (solid at room temperature, except hot summer) will be lovely after an 8 week cure.

Sodium lactate will help unmold but won't add longevity.

Canola is lovely in soap, at around 10-15%. It makes a soft soap and is prone to rancidity.

Hope
 

SoapLover1

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I suggest that you or anyone consider joining The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild. They are an invaluable Resource. They have information that you can study and learn all the things you need to know about making Cold Process & Melt & Pour; Cosmetics; Running a Business; Discounts on Supplies & Equipment; etc.. You can also get Certified.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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Moisturizing can be subjective to be honest. I have a good facial soap that I make and sell that people have said they love the way it makes their skin feel but it's not simple and I personally don't like it. It's actually got a list of ingredients with goat milk, hard oils, butters, soft oils, mushroom powder, seaweed, kelp, coffee, and clay. It's taken a lot of us years of trial and error to get the recipes we prefer. You can run recipes through soap Calc to get their properties but really you just have to make the soap to see if it's what you like.
 

TheGecko

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I would hazard to guess that the biggest issue is the Fractionated Coconut Oil.

You are welcomed to try my recipe:

35% Olive Oil
20% Coconut Oil (NOT Fractionated)
20% Palm Oil
10% Cocoa Butter
10% Shea Butter
5% Castor Oil

33% Lye Concentration
5% Super Fat

1 tea Sodium Lactate PPO
1 tea Kaolin Clay

Just try a plain test batch...no colorants, no scent.

I typically don’t gel my soap, just spritz with 99% alcohol and put in the garage. This time of the year (I’m in Oregon) I let it sit in the mold for a couple of days, then bring in the house, unmold and let it get to room temp before cutting. Let it cure for about six weeks.

My Olive and Coconut Oils are from Costco. Palm Oil is PSPO from BrambleBerry. The rest is from a local supplier Shay & Company. The butters are natural, not refined. My plain soap just smells like soap and I haven’t had to use lotions since making my own.
 

Rsapienza

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I suggest that you or anyone consider joining The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild. They are an invaluable Resource. They have information that you can study and learn all the things you need to know about making Cold Process & Melt & Pour; Cosmetics; Running a Business; Discounts on Supplies & Equipment; etc.. You can also get Certified.
I, personally feel that one can get all that information and more right here at SMF and it's free 😉 HSCG is quite pricey, IMO.
 

Lin19687

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Soap is Not moisturizing, it is a cleaning agent.
Once you realise how it all works then you can try to find a recipe that is not as Drying

Since you just joined I suggest you go to the Beginners forum and read what is there. Tons of info to get started.
 

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