lyeless soap

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Huh, I would have never thought the lye would dry your skin out! I have never had that problem. Are you sure that it is not the type of oils you are using?
Correct me if I am wrong, CP is not my area of expertise, but I thought all of the lye left (evaporated,etc) during the curing process. There is no lye in a finished bar of CP, HP, CPOP soap.

I am also pretty sure the very definition of soap is lye+oil=soap

No lye, no soap. Technically M&P is not "soap", it is a detergent or a cleaning agent but not literally "soap" though we commonly call it that.

Here is how Websters defines soap:
"soap /soʊp/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sohp] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a substance used for washing and cleansing purposes, usually made by treating a fat with an alkali, as sodium or potassium hydroxide, and consisting chiefly of the sodium or potassium salts of the acids contained in the fat. "

If your soap is drying I am pretty positive it is not due to the lye.
Hey all

I call my soap soap. I handcraft mp and my soap does not contain detergents and I still call it soap.
I call my M&P soap too pepper. Everyone does, but *technically* I don't think it meets the definition.
Here is what the FDA says about soap.:

How FDA defines "soap"
Not every product marketed as soap meets FDA's definition of the term. FDA interprets the term "soap" to apply only when --

The bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product's detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds, and
The product is labeled, sold, and represented solely as soap [21 CFR 701.20].

If a cleanser does not meet all of these criteria...
If a product intended to cleanse the human body does not meet all the criteria for soap, as listed above, it is either a cosmetic or a drug. For example:

If a product --

consists of detergents or
primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids and
is intended not only for cleansing but also for other cosmetic uses, such as beautifying or moisturizing,
it is regulated as a cosmetic.

If a product --

consists of detergents or
primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids and
is intended not only for cleansing but also to cure, treat, or prevent disease or to affect the structure or any function of the human body,
it is regulated as a drug.

If a product --

is intended solely for cleansing the human body and
has the characteristics consumers generally associate with soap,
does not consist primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids,
it may be identified in labeling as soap, but it is regulated as a cosmetic.

You can read more here.:
That is what I mean about interpretation.. it is not real clear cut.

I think M&P falls into the part I underlined... but I wouldn't swear to it.
It's sord of hard b/c I want to sell good soap but I do not want to make cp yet. Well so far no one complains about my soap!
I only make M&P. (I made about 8 batches of CP, OP in the begining but it was not my thing) Some people prefer M&P while some prefer CP. I find my customer base prefers the M&P. Over the Holidays I bought 6 loafs of CP from another soaper, just so I could offer it to my customers as an alternative. I did find a few people really prefered the CP, but my regular customers were M&P fans.
It is comforting ty. Hopefully If I can learn to make it properly i'm going to offer handmilled and mp

I am new to "soap making". Can you please tell me what some of the acronyms mean that you are using? (M&P, CP, etc)

Thanks a bunch!

It is definitely not lye that is causing the dryness as no free alkali remains after the process is complete. It is the balance of oils in the recipe. Having said that, some people find that even a well balanced recipe will make their skin dry. Different recipes have different effects on different skin types/ages.
Hello - as others have posted, it could be the oils used in your recipe; for example, too much % of coconut oil can be drying. I assume you used a lye calculator for your recipe? I personally superfat my soaps about 6%, but if you don't measure very carefully, you could end up with a bar that's lye heavy in the recipe, and that could be drying/harsh to your skin.
Not "Soap"??

I was under the impression that M & P soap is originally made the regular soap way. They just somehow make it so it can be melted down. My M & P Soap has no detergents in it, I searched for a base that only contained natural ingredients, and I don't think its at all synthetic. My ingredients are:

Glycerin Simple Soap- Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Castor Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin (kosher, of vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent), Sorbitol (from berries, moisturizer), Sorbitan Oleate (emulsifier), Soy Bean Protein (Conditioner).

I also carry Organic M & P Soap :

Organic Oil Soap- Blend of 100% Certified Organic Palm and Coconut Oils (Saponified), Purified Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol

Not fake soap I wouldn't think.
It should not be the lye that is drying your skin out. If there was residual lye left in your bar, you would know it as your skin would burn. Therefore, it has to be the oils or butters you used. For example, if you have a bar that is especially high in cleansing properties, you can have a very drying bar. The oils and butters that are for cleansing and help us create a harder bar with bigger bubbles are typically those oils and butters that used at certain amounts/percentages can be very drying. I refer to these as my hard butters. So to counteract this, we use other oils and butters to add more conditioning properties to our soap. These oils and butters though used at a certain amount/percentage can create a softer bar. I refer to these as my soft butters. A soapers ultimate goal is to balance it and create a bar that is hard (for longer lasting bar) with loads of bubbles and very conditioning/non drying. To achieve this most soapers in their recipe will use 50% hard butters and 50% soft butters or a 60/40 split. You can play around with this to find what you like best. For example you could make a recipe like (This is just off the top of my head and I've not run this through any calc to see the properties I get but this is just an example of determining how to balance the soft with the hard - it's for illustrative purposes):

35% olive oil (soft but when let to cure for a few months will create a very hard bar)
15% coconut oil (hard)
15% pko (hard)
10% palm oil (hard)
10% sunflower (soft)
10% shea (soft)
5% castor (soft)

This recipe would use 60% soft/40% hard

You can play around with the percentages using different oils and butters and plug your numbers into the soap calc to see what your soap properties look like. It is a lot of fun to design your own recipe. The soap calcs will give you properties ranges but these ranges are not set in stone but can be used as a guideline. Once you become more familiar with oils and butters and their properties and decide what kind of bar you want (more cleansing, more conditioning, facial, gentle etc), you will figure out what ranges you prefer. Here is the addy for the soap calc:

I hope this all made sense.
soap/lye calculator

I am very new to CP soapmaking, and LOVE it. I found a great lye calculator on Magestic Mountain Sage guess they refer to the percentage of lye to your fats as superfat.
If you have too much lye then I guess it would stand to reason that it would hurt your skin (dry it out or worse!).

I read in an e-book on soapmaking that you should keep your superfat at 4-5%--absolutely no lower than 3% (some oils and butters will allow you to have it that low.)
I am just learning too, but does that sound right?