My first shaving soap is a success!

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songwind

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This weekend I made my first shaving soap. It was a hot process soap, and used a recipe posted by a fellow forum poster at one of the wet shaving forums.

I did a small batch (8 oz). 52% stearic acid, 48% coconut oil, saponified with KOH. I added 1.5 tablespoons of glycerin after it was done cooking, along with 1/4 oz of essential oils: 2/3 lemon & bergamot, 1/3 rosemary.

The soap making went fine, with no surprises aside from the soap never becoming truly translucent like my olive oil soap did. It passed the zap test, though.

I used it to shave tonight, and it was lovely. Nice and slick, and there was no skin reaction to the EOs. My face feels very nice afterward.

The scent turned out too lemony, and the rosemary was lost underneath. Next time, more basenotes and less lemon.

Just after pouring:


After 24 hours to set:


Whipped up a great lather:


It was very stable. This is after sitting 15 minutes while I showered and brushed my teeth:
 

AngelMomma

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That sure does look like great lather. My KOH shipment arrived yesterday but have been swamped with SPRING chores. I look forward to experimenting as well.

So you used only KOH?
 

songwind

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Yep. This recipe is an attempt to reverse engineer the shaving soap from Martin de Candre in France, which many wet shavers feel is the creme de la creme. Potassium only in that, so the guy that worked out this recipe only used KOH. It creates a very soft soap that's easy to load, but is still solid.
 

melstan775

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that looks like some sexy shaving soap! Good on ya,and some questions : Did you mix it with anything to make it whip or just took a small amount and whipped it up? and two, the EOs didn't burn your skin, or make it sting? Do you think it would have had you cut yourself?
 

songwind

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that looks like some sexy shaving soap! Good on ya,and some questions : Did you mix it with anything to make it whip or just took a small amount and whipped it up?
No, I just loaded the brush by rubbing it on top of the soap. My general method starts with a wet (but not dripping) brush. You load the brush until the "protolather" that's being created starts to look like a decent shaving lather. Then you finish up in the bowl or on your face. After loading about 15 seconds, I had to add a bit of extra water to get a nice wet slippery lather.

Here's what the brush looked like after loading:


and two, the EOs didn't burn your skin, or make it sting? Do you think it would have had you cut yourself?
I doubt it. I did have a small "weeper" on my jaw line, and it didn't give me any grief. I have only found a handful of fragrance oils that bother my skin thus far, and no EOs. I have already used commercial shaving products with all the EOs I used this weekend, so I was pretty sure it was safe.

Some people definitely do have a problem with it, however. Eucalyptus, sandalwood, and peppermint (or just menthol) seem to cause it most often, based on chatting w/ other wet shavers.
 

Badger

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Can this be done with CP or only HP? It looks great and I would love to try it, but I have yet to try HP soaps.
 

Badger

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That is good to know.. I have not worked with stearic acid at all before, but I would really like to try and make a shaving soap.
 

songwind

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I'm curious how tallow or palm w/ 10% or so added stearic would do. And maybe some castor oil or coconut for extra fluffiness. That's my next shaving-related soap goal.
 

judymoody

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Looks great!

There are a number of shaving soap threads on the forum, some generated within the last few months. Lindy is our shaving soap guru and has lots of good advice regarding fatty acid profiles and the like.

And yes, I don't believe it's possible to CP a recipe with 50% stearic acid. That would be, um, exciting!
 

fatfacedcharlie

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I made a batch of this yesterday, I was low on coconut oil, so I had to lower it a bit and up the stearic acid a bit, but this stuff is fantastic! I thought all that coconut oil would produce a lather that was too fluffy, but it's brilliant. Put a damp brush anywhere near it and it explodes with rich thick creamy lather. It's nice to shave with too, wasn't at all drying, which given all the coconut oil was surprising. Thanks for sharing Songwind!
 

songwind

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I made a batch of this yesterday, I was low on coconut oil, so I had to lower it a bit and up the stearic acid a bit, but this stuff is fantastic! I thought all that coconut oil would produce a lather that was too fluffy, but it's brilliant. Put a damp brush anywhere near it and it explodes with rich thick creamy lather. It's nice to shave with too, wasn't at all drying, which given all the coconut oil was surprising. Thanks for sharing Songwind!
I'm glad to hear it went well for you!
 

brandi

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Can you share where you found the recipe? Im looking for one for my husband. Thanks!

When do you add the stearic acid? I really want to make this.
 

songwind

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Mark the Box Guy

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Looks great!

There are a number of shaving soap threads on the forum, some generated within the last few months. Lindy is our shaving soap guru and has lots of good advice regarding fatty acid profiles and the like.

And yes, I don't believe it's possible to CP a recipe with 50% stearic acid. That would be, um, exciting!
What do you think would happen?
 
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