In the still of the night....2 shave soaps

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Johnez

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Alrighty, I know I said the previous update was the last....

i-lied.jpg


The oddities with regards to how this Super RBO soap behaves was just too much to set down, so I gave it another whirl. This time I noticed something that took me back to when I first made this soap-being soft as heck my brush picks up a LOT of soap when loading. Of course, this results in massive thick lather. Of course this stuff requires tons of water. What I thought was some sort of black magic seems to be very simple math, more soap loaded=more lather. Uh doy...

doy-95a60a113a.jpg


With that little embarrassment aside, I believe the soft soap may be a result of SMFcalc oddities per this thread: Citirc acid calculator which details some weird math. Thanks to RO I now know that there are 3 different citric acid. Perhaps I'll just stick with sodium citrate. Now a pic of my lather for the day:

IMG_20211027_104507933.jpg
 

Johnez

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The last of the three Super RBO shave soaps has been tested.

We'll start with a pic of the lather:

IMG_20211031_153604272.jpg


As has been mentioned, this formula is a prodigious lather monster, the sodium citrate version unsurprisingly is more of the same. The soap in the bowl is quite hard and dry, the cook expanded probably due to the air injected while heating and maybe mixing, however it also seems to have shrunk during the cure as it is now loose in the bowl. Just a terribly cooked soap this was, so many errors made.

Performance is again more of the same. The lack of glide and especially missing residual slickness has become more and more noticeable. Attempting to get a super close shave has resulted in some blood. No matter, it shaves acceptably and isn't particularly drying or irritating after the shave.

Closing thoughts, 41% RBO and 50% SA/PA combined isn't a standout soap, but it does present some opportunities. I'm debating on whether to proceed with a yet another RBO series testing various castor oil/coconut oil ratios, SA/PA percentages, and glycerin amounts. A total of eight soaps I have in mind, testing might get difficult and I'm not sure the findings will be revealing enough to justify the effort. It would be worth finding the precise ratios to build off of so I can sub a portion of RBO with another oil in confidence. Might just take a side quest challenge presented to me yesterday and think it over for the week. We'll see if I can make some soap tonight.
 
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Santa Claus is coming your way... 🎅 🛸 via the Oort Cloud! :secret:

I really suggest that you cut Waaayyyyy back on the Rice Bran Oil. Keep your stearic content high, say around 50-55%. Soy wax flakes will get you there since you're concerned about using Palm Oil. Keep the Coconut oil around 15-20%, try adding some Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter. Use Castor Oil at around 10% but not more than that. Try a recipe of soy wax, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter and see how it turns out. Set KOH @ 70% and NaOH at 30%. See what you think?

Then again I am just an ol' Geezer crusin' around the Oort Cloud looking for some sanity in this totally mixed up Solar System.

Whoa.... there went Santa again doin' about Warp 6.5 or so, the elves have found his secret stash of Romulan Ale and they have control of the bridge!

Hang in there it's gonna get better!
 
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Not sure how serious to take the previous post 👽🖖; just to keep it controversial, there is no such thing as too much RBO (read: linoleic acid) in a soap! In fact, earlier when I was revisiting my P/S soaps, the winner was … the 45% cottonseed soap with the “forbidden” PUFA content 🤭. Of course shave soap is a specialty beast with very needs very different to the average hand wash soap. Different shavers, I can imagine, have different sweet spots (they might even not even know yet about them), and not listening to advice (including mine!) means less competition.
 

Johnez

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Not sure how serious to take the previous post 👽🖖; just to keep it controversial, there is no such thing as too much RBO (read: linoleic acid) in a soap! In fact, earlier when I was revisiting my P/S soaps, the winner was … the 45% cottonseed soap with the “forbidden” PUFA content 🤭. Of course shave soap is a specialty beast with very needs very different to the average hand wash soap. Different shavers, I can imagine, have different sweet spots (they might even not even know yet about them), and not listening to advice (including mine!) means less competition.

Regarding sweet spots, this is true. Just some weeks ago a popular wet shaver (creator of the "Marco method") on the forums found a process that's allowed him to enjoy a particular soap that he previously discounted. I've tried in various ways to find a sweet spot with this soap with different razors, preshave routines, and water addition. No doubt there are other variables to test, thankfully I have a TON of each soap should an idea pop out.

Typing all this....man I realize I'm quite deep into this thing. Just imagining telling my coworkers of this makes me a little self conscience and laugh. I guess I'm a nerd at heart.


Santa Claus is coming your way... 🎅 🛸 via the Oort Cloud! :secret:

I really suggest that you cut Waaayyyyy back on the Rice Bran Oil. Keep your stearic content high, say around 50-55%. Soy wax flakes will get you there since you're concerned about using Palm Oil. Keep the Coconut oil around 15-20%, try adding some Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter. Use Castor Oil at around 10% but not more than that. Try a recipe of soy wax, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter and see how it turns out. Set KOH @ 70% and NaOH at 30%. See what you think?

Then again I am just an ol' Geezer crusin' around the Oort Cloud looking for some sanity in this totally mixed up Solar System.

Whoa.... there went Santa again doin' about Warp 6.5 or so, the elves have found his secret stash of Romulan Ale and they have control of the bridge!

Hang in there it's gonna get better!

One of the interesting benefits of this study is that I've found out 50% SA+PA is enough, and 41% RBO is not optimal. I now have a TON of room to work with establishing that floor. I'm considering carving out 20% of that RBO and reallocating to various other soft oils. Cocoa butter and Shea are definitely in future plans, probably independently and in combo. I've read cocoa can be slicker but can also be stickier depending on percentage. I guess its like anything really, depends on dosage. Castor seems to be the extreme example in soap.
 
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Typing all this....man I realize I'm quite deep into this thing. Just imagining telling my coworkers of this makes me a little self conscience and laugh. I guess I'm a nerd at heart.
Well, at least you're dedicated. Do what you need to do for your quest in search of the Holy Grail of Shave Soap.

Not sure how serious to take the previous post 👽🖖
I was serious about the oils, being facetious about Santa and The Oort Cloud. Although an elf did tell me that @Johnez is on Santa's list!
 
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BTW, I checked about 30 men's shave soaps online for ingredients, took some time. I did not find any with Rice Bran Oil in them, a couple had Olive Oil.
All of them had Stearic Acid in them. Some had beef tallow and/or lanolin. Some had Sheep Tallow. A lot of them had Shea Butter and Aloe Vera Extract also.
Some of them had so many chemical names too.
 

Johnez

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Fair warning, messy post and soap incoming...

Super RBO 3:

IMG_20211116_011928164.jpg


I took break from RBO last week and put one of Carrie Seibert's recipes on deck, finally incorporating butters. It turned out to be the best shave soap I've tried yet and personally speaks to the importance of following a tried and true recipe and process. I followed this video () to a "T" and have gained quite a bit of confidence going forward. Everything went perfectly! I'll be churning out some more of Seibert's recipes using tallow, lard, kokum, and babassu to get a good idea of what to expect out of them, and maybe turning in a book review.

I decided to revisit the fabled RBO, pairing it with a friend-HO Sunflower oil to up the oleic a tiny bit. I meant to slowly pour in the lye but unsteady hands made it a dump, thank goodness no issues except not being able to use my mini stick blender. And yes, CPing with stearic acid-turns out I've been doing "modified cold process" for some time lol. The heated container of HP really isn't all that necessary IMO, just need to get the SA and butters hot enough to be melted.

With Super RBO 3, major steps forward are the inclusion of butters (a hefty 20% split between shea and cocoa), the inclusion of HO Sunflower at 5% to tip the oleic/linoleic balance towards oleic, the long awaited deletion of coconut oil in favor of castor to the tune of 10% and Stearic/Palmitic percentage has now reached 60%-much of which was accomplished by chipping away at RBO to a sensible 20%.

To wrap up, this is my first attempt at a sensible shave soap that isn't derivative nor testing boundaries but putting to use every bit of soaping I've learned so far. We'll see how it lathers and shaves in 2 weeks. Can't access forum emojis right now so someone will have to post the swing emoji 🤣
 

Johnez

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BTW, I checked about 30 men's shave soaps online for ingredients, took some time. I did not find any with Rice Bran Oil in them, a couple had Olive Oil.
All of them had Stearic Acid in them. Some had beef tallow and/or lanolin. Some had Sheep Tallow. A lot of them had Shea Butter and Aloe Vera Extract also.
Some of them had so many chemical names too.

I missed this post, but yes I have noticed the same. Some popular soaps have avocado or almond oil which have some benefit, but I wonder how much it's inclusion has to do with it's perception and cachet. I'm mainly interested in fatty acids and don't want to discount a perfectly acceptable oil. Eventually I'm going to try pig lard and canola, and heck if that makes a better soap I'm going that direction heh.

I was originally turned on to this oil by RO for the fact that it contributes nicely to the SA/PA total, and also enjoyed the nicely balanced oleic/linoleic numbers. The profile is a kind of interesting oil to me as it invites some fine tuning to recipes. I found the overall profile of the oil also interesting in that it can serve as a sort of "place holder" as it's inclusion does not severely impact the overall profile of a soap, even in very high amounts. I mean as the #1 ingredient I was still able to manage a 50% stearic/palmitic total while not throwing anything else out of whack. Unfortunately while on paper the soap's profile was seemingly acceptable, the soap itself was not optimal. It did serve as a good "proving grounds" for me though. I'm fairly certain the 50% floor with SA/PA may be a tad low, which is why I've moved on to 60% in my last iteration.
 
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Well! Will miracles never cease! John has seen the light! The aliens have landed! 🛸👽 The implant is working!

As per your request... :swinging::swinging::swinging:

Glad to see you're understanding how this all works. I have come a long way in the 9 months I've been making shave soap. It was that video you linked to that got me started on this path. It that a pinkish cast to the soap or is my vision fooling me at 3:10 AM?? I use a blue light filter software on my computer to avoid eye strain at night.

Keep it up and good looking shave soap BTW! I've been going down this road for about 9 months and still a lot to learn.
 
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Johnez

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Well! Will miracles never cease! John has seen the light! The aliens have landed! 🛸👽 The implant is working!

As per your request... :swinging::swinging::swinging:

Glad to see you're understanding how this all works. I have come a long way in the 7 It that a pinkish cast to the soap or is my vision fooling me at 3:10 AM?? I use a blue light filter software on my computer to avoid eye strain at night.

Keep it up and good looking shave soap BTW! I've been going down this road for about 9 months and still a lot to learn.

Your eyes do not deceive you my friend. That HO sunflower oil was originally infused with Himalayan Rhubarb for a pink bar soap I made 2.5 weeks ago. I'm kinda surprised it showed up at 5% here.

And thanks! When I get to using SL they may look as tight and clean as yours eventually.
 

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A report from your friendly neighborhood shave soaper:

I think I've finally hit on something, a vein of sorts. Let's start with the lather pic:

IMG_20211129_111236082.jpg


The castor oil has proven able to stand on its own in the lather department. Lather volume has decreased a noticeable but not by a disastrous amount, however that's plus. You guys might remember that lather volume was far down on the list of priorities. Its not totally surprising castor performs well enough on it's own since some commercial artisan soaps also have omitted coconut oil, but reports from a previous soaper (psfred) had me wondering. Now I know. It takes a tad longer to gather the lather, and there is less in my shave bowl (and less to waste), but my container of soap will probably last longer.

Now for the real test: performance. I will *try* not to exaggerate...but this is the best shave soap I've made yet. The biggest difference is glide. Each tub made has improved one way or another, however glide was always elusive. The first indication was when trying to get rid of soap from my fingers, it took longer to rub off the soap. The lather is noticeably slicker when dragging the blade across my face, I would say enough to call it a slick soap. I feel I've finally cracked it now. I can now blade buff without soap from the residual slickness.

Unfortunately I'm not sure what has contributed to glide, as I've altered three different variables-dropping coconut oil, adding sodium lactate, and of course adding a new oil. On top of that was the realization my SF in previous batches was unintentionally high due to lye concentration being lower than assumed, so four variables! Perhaps I should have spread out the changes in the interest of science. All of these changes are natural evolutions and probably would have taken forever to suss out, not to mention more tedious. I intend to test superfat in the future as I have been wondering if that has been impeding glide. It doesn't sound intuitive, however the thought has nagged me for some time now.

I'm glad that I've finally got an excellent working soap base. I've not decided where I'm going with version 4. It may be the chance to (properly) test variables such as SF and glycerin percentage in a sort of "matrix" format. I might also cycle through some of the many butters I have acquired.
 
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OK. I got the excitement. And that it apparently has to do something with the amount of castor and/or coconut oil, and some unnamed new oil (?). But you have somehow managed to not tell at all what exactly you are raving about (what is different compared to your previous recipes).
 

Johnez

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OK. I got the excitement. And that it apparently has to do something with the amount of castor and/or coconut oil, and some unnamed new oil (?). But you have somehow managed to not tell at all what exactly you are raving about (what is different compared to your previous recipes).

Hello RO, I'm sorry for the confusion, but this is the shave soap I reported making 2 weeks ago. I interrupted that post with noting the side quest into butters, here is that post cleaned up:

Super RBO 3:

View attachment 62591


I decided to revisit the fabled RBO, pairing it with a friend-HO Sunflower oil to up the oleic a tiny bit. I meant to slowly pour in the lye but unsteady hands made it a dump, thank goodness no issues except not being able to use my mini stick blender. And yes, CPing with stearic acid-turns out I've been doing "modified cold process" for some time lol. The heated container of HP really isn't all that necessary IMO, just need to get the SA and butters hot enough to be melted.

With Super RBO 3, major steps forward are the inclusion of butters (a hefty 20% split between shea and cocoa), the inclusion of HO Sunflower at 5% to tip the oleic/linoleic balance towards oleic, the long awaited deletion of coconut oil in favor of castor to the tune of 10% and Stearic/Palmitic percentage has now reached 60%-much of which was accomplished by chipping away at RBO to a sensible 20%.

To wrap up, this is my first attempt at a sensible shave soap that isn't derivative nor testing boundaries but putting to use every bit of soaping I've learned so far. We'll see how it lathers and shaves in 2 weeks.
 
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You could try a mini batch of each with only one change per batch (shame on you for changing multiple things!) but it may actually be a mix of them. The coconut would surprise me, as MdC is pretty glidy and is very high coconut, albeit a very different recipe from what you have.

Of course a lower superfat results in more glycerine in the recipe, which is very important in giving glide
 
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Lather volume has decreased a noticeable but not by a disastrous amount, however that's plus. You guys might remember that lather volume was far down on the list of priorities
I have noticed that it's not the volume of lather but rather the density of the lather that matters for the quintessential razor glide and smoothness of shave. One does not need to pile on a 1/2" thick layer of lather to achieve a great shave.

@Johnez - we've both noticed a lot of YouTube lathering videos where the person is using way more lather than is necessary. Some go overboard to the extreme.

As in the following example:

ef3a66846cc92a5b940898c7eae49337--training-exercises-boys.jpg


On top of that was the realization my SF in previous batches was unintentionally high due to lye concentration being lower than assumed, so four variables!
I go no more than 7-8% on superfat and half of that percentage is added after the trace and HP process when adding the glycerin, essential oils, SL and such.
 

Johnez

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You could try a mini batch of each with only one change per batch (shame on you for changing multiple things!) but it may actually be a mix of them. The coconut would surprise me, as MdC is pretty glidy and is very high coconut, albeit a very different recipe from what you have.

Of course a lower superfat results in more glycerine in the recipe, which is very important in giving glide

I know, I know, just throwing caution to the wind here and look what happens! 😆

I purchased 6 round individual silicon molds for this purpose, I'll definitely update you all since I've been dying to do that for ages now. Keeping track of six sets of ingredients should be fun, I may even record the process. Getting kinda ambitious here heh.

Regarding the Songwind recipe, it was my first, and was an excellent result, but I just didn't get the glide I was hoping for. I've got the untouched tubs though so maybe aging it has helped.

I have noticed that it's not the volume of lather but rather the density of the lather that matters for the quintessential razor glide and smoothness of shave. One does not need to pile on a 1/2" thick layer of lather to achieve a great shave.

@Johnez - we've both noticed a lot of YouTube lathering videos where the person is using way more lather than is necessary. Some go overboard to the extreme.

As in the following example:

View attachment 62959



I go no more than 7-8% on superfat and half of that percentage is added after the trace and HP process when adding the glycerin, essential oils, SL and such.

Lol, yep, volume is not king-I mean look at Barbosol lol. I was afraid the lather would be depleted before my shave was through and that didn't happen-success! My superfat may have been on the high end, I haven't run the numbers but man what an oversight that was. Learning process I guess.
 
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