Lye or Coconut Oil?

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Hi Everyone

I made a trial soap a week ago (CP) after researching a recipe for a while. It has 50% coconut oil (20 SF), 33% lye solution. I love how the soap has turned out so far, the colour, how hard it is already, the smell. After cutting the soap in half last night I used it on my face and body in the shower. I liked the feel in the shower, and afterwards my body felt moisturised. BUT, my face was super dry.

My question is, could this be because of the coconut oil (as I said the rest of my body felt super moisturised), or could this be because there is still lye in the bar, as it's far from finished curing?

A couple of points to add - I shower and wash my face with quite hot water and soap twice a day. Also, when I cut the bar in half, the middle was darker and still 'wetter' than the outside.

Thank you in advance if you have any words of wisdom :)
 
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There is not likely to be any unsaponified lye left in the bar after one week, but high coconut oil plus a short cure time makes for a very drying bar.

Give your soap at least three more weeks to cure before you decide what to think of it. Just remember that no true soap is going to actually moisturize your skin; it will only be more or less drying, depending on how much of your natural oil it strips away.

Also, besides the 50% coconut oil, what was the rest of your recipe?
 
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There is not likely to be any unsaponified lye left in the bar after one week, but high coconut oil plus a short cure time makes for a very drying bar.

Give your soap at least three more weeks to cure before you decide what to think of it. Just remember that no true soap is going to actually moisturize your skin; it will only be more or less drying, depending on how much of your natural oil it strips away.

Also, besides the 50% coconut oil, what was the rest of your recipe?
Ok, thanks. I was worrying myself thinking maybe it wasn't dry skin but a reaction to the lye ! I'll wait a few more weeks and test again :).

50% coco, 40% olive and 10% canola. 2% ES's and a little clay...
 

Zany_in_CO

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Q: Lye or Coconut Oil?
A: It's neither of those...

I made a trial soap a week ago (CP)
Fresh soap feels drying.
Recommended Cure Time: 4-6 weeks
The longer the cure, the better the soap. :D

Try making a small 16 oz. or 500 gram batch of the Basic Trinity of Oils starter formula. Once you get a feel for what each leg of the trinity bring to the soap, you can tweak to your heart's content.

Since you are a beginner, here's a link to learn more about making CP and a whole bunch of other stuff you may find helpful.

Advice to Beginners
 

Marsi

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As AliOop said, a short cure time makes for a harsh soap (this is for all soaps, 1 week they'll all be harsh with not nearly as much bubbles as they'll end up with, 4 weeks is about the minimum cure and from 6 or more weeks soaps are noticeably nicer). High coconut soaps are about the harshest type if they are used early.

An unusual recipe, but with your 20% superfat, it might cure out to something that is quite nice. :thumbs:
Coconut soaps are funny like that - some people can tolerate them very well and (most?) others can't (olive oil is another one - most people are ok with it, but some find it incredibly drying, doesn't matter how long it cures for).

I would let this recipe cure a little longer than most soaps - at 8 weeks you will get a good feel for how it will end up after a long cure, at 6 months it will either be DOSsy (high superfatting in a non-salt bar brings up that risk), or (more likely) slightly fabulous 😊

(what are ES's?)
 
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Q: Lye or Coconut Oil?
A: It's neither of those...


Fresh soap feels drying.
Recommended Cure Time: 4-6 weeks
The longer the cure, the better the soap. :D

Try making a small 16 oz. or 500 gram batch of the Basic Trinity of Oils starter formula. Once you get a feel for what each leg of the trinity bring to the soap, you can tweak to your heart's content.

Since you are a beginner, here's a link to learn more about making CP and a whole bunch of other stuff you may find helpful.

Advice to Beginners
Thanks for the reply and the advice ! I just had a quick look at the basic trinity of oils and saw that after tweaking you've added shea/mango butter as part of the base oils.

I saw elsewhere (maybe here on SMF, I can't remember) that butters should be added at trace and not as part of the base oils.

Would choosing one method over another make a noticeable difference, do you think ?

I'm going to (try to) step away from my little soaps and stop prodding them for some more weeks :)

Thanks
 
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As AliOop said, a short cure time makes for a harsh soap (this is for all soaps, 1 week they'll all be harsh with not nearly as much bubbles as they'll end up with, 4 weeks is about the minimum cure and from 6 or more weeks soaps are noticeably nicer). High coconut soaps are about the harshest type if they are used early.

An unusual recipe, but with your 20% superfat, it might cure out to something that is quite nice. :thumbs:
Coconut soaps are funny like that - some people can tolerate them very well and (most?) others can't (olive oil is another one - most people are ok with it, but some find it incredibly drying, doesn't matter how long it cures for).

I would let this recipe cure a little longer than most soaps - at 8 weeks you will get a good feel for how it will end up after a long cure, at 6 months it will either be DOSsy (high superfatting in a non-salt bar brings up that risk), or (more likely) slightly fabulous 😊

(what are ES's?)
Thanks, I thought that 6 weeks was really maximum, I didn't know waiting even longer could be even more beneficial !

When you say at 6 months it could be DOSsy, does that mean that the DOS would start to show up after all that time ? I'm going to sell the soap, I would hate for someone to not use it straight away and it turn after they had bought it..

"ES's".... whoops ! EO's :) - this trial was lavender, tea tree and rosemary essential oil specifically
 

Marsi

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Thanks, I thought that 6 weeks was really maximum, I didn't know waiting even longer could be even more beneficial !

When you say at 6 months it could be DOSsy, does that mean that the DOS would start to show up after all that time ? I'm going to sell the soap, I would hate for someone to not use it straight away and it turn after they had bought it..

"ES's".... whoops ! EO's :) - this trial was lavender, tea tree and rosemary essential oil specifically
Old soap is amazing! Good soap gets better with age .
Some recipes even need a cure of a year or more to be at their best (salt bars are one example).

DOS can turn up at anytime (if it is triggered - there are many causes, but exposure to sunlight and contact with metal are two quick ones to watch out for).
The point was more that a high superfat (your 20%) is one of the things that can make a soap more prone to DOS, and that you are likely to know by 6 months (if it is going to happen) for your new recipe.

I stress-test new recipes/ingredients, because I know customers/giftee's will do anything from leaving soap sitting in the sun (kitchen window) to sitting soap in a permanent puddle of water (sink with no soap holder) ... people do horrible things to soaps! 🤣

Selling? You might want to read these two brilliant threads:
 
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Hi Everyone

I made a trial soap a week ago (CP) after researching a recipe for a while. It has 50% coconut oil (20 SF), 33% lye solution. I love how the soap has turned out so far, the colour, how hard it is already, the smell. After cutting the soap in half last night I used it on my face and body in the shower. I liked the feel in the shower, and afterwards my body felt moisturised. BUT, my face was super dry.

My question is, could this be because of the coconut oil (as I said the rest of my body felt super moisturised), or could this be because there is still lye in the bar, as it's far from finished curing?

A couple of points to add - I shower and wash my face with quite hot water and soap twice a day. Also, when I cut the bar in half, the middle was darker and still 'wetter' than the outside.

Thank you in advance if you have any words of wisdom :)
Also, FYI, lots of help for beginners on Beginners Soap Making Forum , see the pinned ones at the top. I also like Soap Queen's beginner videos. Good luck and welcome to the community! ( :secret:And just between you and I, I'm pretty sure most of us are impatient people.)
 

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