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

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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.
You look much younger than I had imagined.......
 
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I may even record the process. Getting kinda ambitious here heh.
:nodding:

Regarding superfat (I'm asking because I'm too lazy to once again not find an answer in your previous descriptions): Do you do anything to control which oils end up in the superfat? I. e. make a lye-heavy HP main cook and save some oils for the end of the process? I've found for regular bar soap that it does make a difference in skin feel which oils are fully saponified and which not, and I can imagine that this is even more important for shave soap.
 

Johnez

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:nodding:

Regarding superfat (I'm asking because I'm too lazy to once again not find an answer in your previous descriptions): Do you do anything to control which oils end up in the superfat? I. e. make a lye-heavy HP main cook and save some oils for the end of the process? I've found for regular bar soap that it does make a difference in skin feel which oils are fully saponified and which not, and I can imagine that this is even more important for shave soap.

No I do not. Its one of the things I want to isolate and test out. I've got 6 butters and various oils I want to test specifically as superfat. The SF fats, the SF percentage, and glycerine percentage....so many things to test, I wish i didn't have to go to work. 😩
 
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I. e. make a lye-heavy HP main cook and save some oils for the end of the process? I've found for regular bar soap that it does make a difference in skin feel which oils are fully saponified and which not, and I can imagine that this is even more important for shave soap.
I set my SMF calculator for a 4% SF, then I add after the HP saponification is complete another 3% combination of lanolin oil and argan oil when I mix in the glycerin, sodium lactate and essential oils. Lanolin doesn't saponify anyway and the argan oil I don't want it to saponify, just be in the soap paste mixture for improving the razor's glide and skin feel. Overall the superfat is then 7% when all is said and done.

Also my KOH is 85% to NaOH 15% to maintain a softer paste style of shaving soap, which makes brush loading much easier.

For the @ResolvableOwl...
:swinging: :swinging:
 

Johnez

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Hello all, I'm back once again with a report for Super RBO 3. Lately my postings, soaping ambition, and even shaving has been a bit sidetracked due to family issues (tis the season of childhood illness) and also a work promotion-second in a year woohoo! Hopefully when I get into the swing of things I'll be more of a regular. Anyway, enough about me, here's the soap...

First a lather pic:

IMG_20211220_142324865.jpg


I'll preface this by noting of course that this is my "baby" and therefore I just love the hell of it despite any faults. So I'll start with the faults-I get more "weepers" from this soap (2 today) than any other I've made. For those not familiar a weeper is tiny cut that is less serious than a nick and barely bleeds. I'm not sure how or why, it just happens. My working theory is that the additional cushion and slickness makes me a tad reckless. The good news with this stuff is there is no accompanying irritation or redness.

The good-a four week cure makes a marked difference in the feel of this soap vs 2 week. The shave simply feels better, it's hard to describe really. For specifics, the slickness has actually decreased-however the shaves have been very consistent with decent cushion (protection).

Some have noted (sorry RO!) that I have not shared the exact recipe, for those curious here it is fellas:
Screenshot_20211220-152644-403.png
 

Johnez

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A quick update for Super RBO 3:
The extended cure has made this a remarkable soap. The most closely resembling a professional artisan soap I've come across with regards to shave comfort, closeness, and cushion. Previously "weepers" had plagued me with this soap, they seem to have disappeared. For those that aren't aware weepers are tiny cuts that almost appear to spring from nothing without pain and simply "weep" out blood. This is as opposed to "nicks" which can be felt and where the actual cut is visible.

In any case, I'm going to have to remake this recipe as I seem to have multiple Super RBO 3 variations in my soap closet and unfortunately the specific one I'm happy with has had it's label rubbed off! The only saving grace was the fact that I used a HO sunflower oil that I infused with a plant I need to track down but which has tinted the soap pink lol. Oy the joys of the start-stop-start life. Thankfully my current position will allow me an excellent schedule so hopefully I'll be a more consistent contributor to this fair site.

Happy shave soaping all!
 
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A quick update for Super RBO 3:
The extended cure has made this a remarkable soap. The most closely resembling a professional artisan soap I've come across with regards to shave comfort, closeness, and cushion. Previously "weepers" had plagued me with this soap, they seem to have disappeared. For those that aren't aware weepers are tiny cuts that almost appear to spring from nothing without pain and simply "weep" out blood. This is as opposed to "nicks" which can be felt and where the actual cut is visible.

In any case, I'm going to have to remake this recipe as I seem to have multiple Super RBO 3 variations in my soap closet and unfortunately the specific one I'm happy with has had it's label rubbed off! The only saving grace was the fact that I used a HO sunflower oil that I infused with a plant I need to track down but which has tinted the soap pink lol. Oy the joys of the start-stop-start life. Thankfully my current position will allow me an excellent schedule so hopefully I'll be a more consistent contributor to this fair site.

Happy shave soaping all!
Thanks for the report, and glad to see you back.
 

Johnez

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Well, in sad news it turns out the "Super RBO 3" soap I had shaved with yesterday was in fact a Carrie Siebert recipe that I made on a break. What a wonderful recipe, if any shave soapers want to dip their toes in a fool proof recipe (the video is posted in the previous page) I heartily recommend it.

Super RBO 3 (the real one) is in fact still plagued with issues, notably weepers, but also a weird irritation issue that feels like I'm being nicked left and right and could be mistaken for having a bad blade if I didn't know it was only on its second shave. I suspect the HO Sunflower oil to be a culprit, perhaps it's the infusion with Himalayan Rhubarb playing havoc with my face.
 
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I am actually planning to make some shave soap this weekend as a Father's Day present for my SIL. In the past, I haven't been as intrigued about perfecting my recipe, but based on his request, I'm now way down the rabbit hole. 🐇😄

Re-reading this thread has been a big eye-opener. I sure appreciate all the info you have shared, @Johnez. I'm now tinkering with Carrie Siebert's recipe #8 from her book, probably by adding in some post-cook lanolin and argan as recommended by @Professor Bernardo. Will post results in a separate shave soap thread, but wanted to be sure to give credit and thanks here. What a great thread!

EDIT: I did want to ask if you always do the lather-building in a separate bowl, and if that's really important. My SIL shaves in the shower and was hoping to use a single container that both holds the soap and is used for lather-building. I don't know what to tell him about whether that will have any negative effects from leaving partially-lathered soap (and of course, water) in the shave soap container. Appreciate any thoughts on that!
 
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did want to ask if you always do the lather-building in a separate bowl, and if that's really important. My SIL shaves in the shower and was hoping to use a single container that both holds the soap and is used for lather-building. I don't know what to tell him about whether that will have any negative effects from leaving partially-lathered soap (and of course, water) in the shave soap container. Appreciate any thoughts on that!
You can build lather in the same bowl as where the soap stored. However, to build up a good volume of lather a separate bowl is recommended. However, a lot of men do use the same container. Heck there are quite a few that just use the jar that the soap comes in for lather building. That is why I sell my jars that are larger volume than the amount of soap in the jar, i.e., 6 oz of soap paste in a 8 oz. jar.
 

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My favorite shave soap currently is 40% SA, 40% tallow, 10% coconut oil, and 5% each cocoa butter and shea butter. 60/40 NaOH/KOH. citric acid and BHT to prevent DOS, and that works very well. EDTA since I have famously hard water. 5% superfat.

Need to try the soap I made with castor oil a few years back, I've used it once or twice but not for a week or more with a variety of razors and blades, but I don't feel any advantage or disadvantage in the times I've used it, although it's a little slower to lather than my favorite.

All that said, I shave with a thin, wet lather and my main requirement is residual slickness due to my shaving style (lots of repeat strokes against the grain),

Melt and pour soaps on their own make decent shaving soaps because they are stearic acid base. but too many additives can kill the later, especially unsaponified fats.
 
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@AliOop
Stay away from EDTA, it has issues with skin. The FDA says it's "SAFE", but I don't trust the FDA. However, it is a chelating agent. I would rather use Sodium Citrate vs EDTA. However, regardless of water hardness, all that stearic acid and beef tallow makes for rinsing the lavatory sink well regardless of soap scum even when using sodium citrate.

Any shave soap you make should have a fatty acid profile percentage of at least 50%. This is what Carrie Seibert recommends.

I use a 52.5% Stearic Acid and a 22% Beef Tallow in my soaps, along with Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter @ 5% each. Coconut Oil is @ 8% and Castor Oil is @ 7.5%, I use Castor Oil because of it's ability to really boost the creaminess of the lather and the beneficial skin properties it possesses. I do use Sorbitol as a lather enhancing agent though. I superfat the batch @ 5% and then add after the cook and hold in the oven @ 190° F, both Argan Oil and Lanolin each @ 1.5% of total oil weight, plus Vitamin E oil @ 1% of total oil weight.
Total superfat is at 9%. In addition, I add 0.30 grams of Tussah Silk dissolved in the lye water as an additional "slickening" agent.
 
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Wow, awesome info, @Professor Bernardo - thank you! I'm waiting - not very patiently - for a bunch of beef fat from friends who just took their cows in for processing. Not sure I can hold out that long to try your recipe; I might have to buy some tallow from the store. 😆

SC and sorbitol are added at 2% oil weight in all my bar soaps, so it's great to hear that they work well in shave soaps, too. Tussah silk is also standard in my masterbatched NaOH solution. But since I was making up a batch of dual lye just for this recipe, I decided to try the corn silk because... because I have some. :) The jury is out as to performance, especially since I didn't dissolve it in the lye water like I should have. Thankfully the specks seem to dissolve into the lather without any problem. 😅
 
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Well, I have now tested your Mt. Sapo shave soap, @Professor Bernardo, and I have also received a testing report from my SIL, as well. I gotta hand it to you; your shave soap is terrific! The lather is thick and cushiony, the slip (glide?) is a dream, and the post-shave feel is soft and clean, not stripped.

It's a great soap at a very reasonable price, too. If it hasn't already, I predict that this stuff is going to take off big-time!
 
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