New soaper and some ?'s

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skinnybonedog

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HI All,

I am new here and just made my first CP soap 2 weeks ago. I got impatient and am using it already but I did pH test strip it and it is testing at about 8 after 1 week cure time. So I went for it. It is softer then if I waited but I love it. I am experimenting with it on my face and am not sure...I am not breaking out yet but my roommate did and it does leave my face feeling a bit too "oily" from what I am used to. So I want to try to make a face soap with oils that are non-comedogenic. So the oils I am looking at using are Argan, Safflower (high linoleic), castor, Shea butter and Kokum butter and Meadowfoam seed oil (all are said to be non or low comedogenic). I am not sure what amounts thought I should try. It does not need to be a super hard bar but with all the liquid oils will it be too mushy or should I just up the hard butter amounts? And so then the other question I have is the superfat level....should I leave it at 0% to avoid that oil residue feel that I do not like or will the soap be too drying? Would love any input. Happy to be here and LOVED making my first batch of soap. Now I have to refrain from just making a ton of soap that I just have to give away to coworkers!

This is what I came up with as a start...and plan to use Litsea, Pettigrain and maybe Lemongrass EO

OILS & FATS AMOUNT % Argan Oil 6.60 oz 20.0 % Castor Oil 3.30 oz 10.0 % Kokum Butter 3.30 oz 10.0 % Mango Butter 3.30 oz 10.0 % Meadowfoam Oil 6.60 oz 20.0 % Safflower Oil 4.95 oz 15.0 % Shea Butter (Refined) 4.95 oz 15.0 % Total 33.00 oz 100 %

Thanks for any thoughts!


Oh, and I also have some Zeolite clay I was thinking of adding as well to give me a dryer feel after washing my face....good idea or no??

And to replace water with aloe liquid....sorry, I keep forgetting everything I want to do with this soap to make it good for my oily acne prone face!

OMG, and I forgot to ask....will this mix of oils have any bubbles? I do like a bubbly bar but fear this one will have none and should I use an additive to give me some bubbles?
 
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dixiedragon

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Welcome to soap making! IMO, those oils - argan, kokum, meadowfoam, etc - are far FAR too expensive to use in soap making! We have a saying here "the lye takes what it wants". You may want to consider making a lotion. You recipe will make a very expensive bar of soap that will be mushy and have no bubbles.

Looking at your oils, I assume you want to make an all-veg bar?

The properties that an oil will lend to soap are, IMO, totally different than the properties the oils have on their own. For example, coconut oil by itself is a very nice moisturizing oil. But when you soap it - it makes a hard, very cleansing soap. Most of us use coconut oil at 20% or less in soap, b/c it can be very harsh and drying.

Also, I would really REALLY not recommend washing your face or anything but your hands with 2-week-old soap. It is probably irritating your roommate's skin, which is causing her skin to produce more oil, which is causing the acne. Put it away for AT LEAST 4 more weeks! Or limit it to hands only.

As my sig says, I am a lardinator. Is lard out for you? How about palm?
 

skinnybonedog

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Thanks for the reply. Yep, no animal products and no palm oil....I am not even sure I trust when RSPO is on palm products yet. I work for a Zoo so have issues with palm products....although I know some other oils are also problematic with harvesting. But lets keep this to soap. I hear ya on the expensive oil issue but I guess my question is how to get a bar of soap that is not going to clog my pores and coconut is high on that list (as are alot of the other oils I picked out for my first batch. The first batch I made is listed. I created this recipe myself and really like it just not for my face. So even if the soap tests 8 on ph, I shouldn't be using it? I thought that was THE test for usability not taking into account other qualities as reasons for waiting 6-8 weeks?? So when the saponification takes over, does it render the qualities of the oils on their own no longer valid....ie. pore blocking? I plan to make a 100% coconut soap (15% superfat) for my friends son who is a mechanic. But the face soap thing has me "not getting" it yet.

Thanks

CPSoap.jpg
 

DeeAnna

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You are confusing the qualities of the OIL with the qualities of the SOAP made from that oil. Comedogenic ratings for oils don't apply to soap for example.

I agree with Dixie that argan and other expensive oils are better used in lotions and other leave-on products to get the most good out of these ingredients. Castor over about 5% in soap can (doesn't always, but can) make the skin feel sticky.

You're a beginning soap maker. Why not focus on making a basic, well-made bath soap using classic ingredients and see how that works on your face first? And then you can add special ingredients to see how they work (or don't). When you add unusual oils and other ingredients right off the bat without really knowing what good soap really is all about, you are setting yourself up to be confused and disappointed.
 

kchaystack

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For the most part, yes. You are creating a completely new substance, that has properties all its own.

If you are not going to use lard or tallow or palm, you are going to have to accept the limitations that puts on you - mainly you will need much longer curing times before your soap is ready. I would suggest you stick with an olive, coconut, castor and use cocoa or shea butter. Maybe once you have gotten the hang of it add in some (3 -5 % max) beeswax to help hardness. Remember the higher your % of butter the more it will impact your lather (at least as a general rule)

Our on lovely Saponista shared this blog link on her FB feed today. It has some good objective info on the palm debate. I am not trying it sway you one way or another, just providing info.

http://www.lisaliseblog.com/2013/09/palm-oil-and-politics.html
 

skinnybonedog

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Lol, because I am a fanatic about researching stuff and coming up with my own ideas and because soap has a shelf life. I don't want to make so much soap and spend all the money just to give it away. So to make and make and make so I can test and test seems like alot of money. So I have been researching qualities of oils, fatty acid profiles etc to find oils that should be face friendly but it seems that those qualities don't matter much in SOAP (so I will hold off on the oils that would do better in a leave on product)....as far as knowing soap....I am 50 years old, oily acne skin...I have been testing soap for 40 years and am just so happy I can ditch all those chemical laden products and make my own now. Just can not believe I waited so long to start this. So while I am absolutely a beginning soaper for sure, I am an avid soap user and know what qualities I would like in my soap....I hope I am not sounding rude, I don't mean to at all. I am just super excited about this and am a perfectionist, with a science background....if I wanted a generic soap I would just keep buying the handmade soap from a local place I had been getting it (but when I found out she used palm oil, I vowed to make my own). I want something more special than a generic classic soap I guess.
 

Steve85569

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^^^ What DeeAnna said.

How about a Bastille type soap? Lots of olive oil (70% +/-) with some coconut for hardness (15% +/- )and lather with 3-5% castor filling in the rest with one of the exotics (expensive oils) and a lye discount ( SF ) of 3 to 7%.
Just a thought from this hillbilly.

Welcome to the forum.
If you had no problem with lard I would have suggested a totally different starting recipe.:)
 

Susie

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Hey and welcome!

Throw the pH strips away. They are a complete waste. Soap is an alkaline product. Period. And pH is no indication of cure. Soap needs 4-6 weeks MINIMUM to cure. There is no rushing it.

I am going to second the "start with a good basic bath bar" sentiment. Once you get that accomplished, you can then branch into facial soaps.
 

skinnybonedog

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Hmmm, ok, no pH strips....but then why can it not be used if the saponification, from what I have read is mostly done pretty quickly (other reasons?). I thought olive oil itself creates a super hard bar?? So my first batch of soap is not worthy of a good bar badge? lol....it turned out beautifully, lathers decently, feels silky smooth, smells awesome (I know, wait longer) but I felt so proud of myself and I feel ya all are knocking me down because I used some less common ingredients
:cry: super sad face tears dropping....just kidding. I guess I don't feel the need to be generic and basic just because I am new to soaping....I am meticulous about how I do most things, and this is no different....I got the googles, the gloves, the stainless steel mixing containers, the digital temp gun, the digital scale, the stick blender, the silicone molds, the freezer paper, all the oils and EO.....:) I am not a normal person when it comes to this kind of thing....as I said, science background.
 

shunt2011

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Unfortunately, everyone's skin reacts differently to recipes. And it takes a lot of testing. I too started making soap because of skin issues for both my husband and myself. It took me about a year to create recipes that worked for us the best. Fancy oils are not the way to go. What works best for my husband is lard/co/AO/Shea & Castor. What works for me is Salt Bars alternating with another bar that's mostly soft oils for my face. My standard bar works great for my body. So you will find a lot of different opinions for individual uses and issues.

That's why starting with basic is the best. If you want to make your own you have to be prepared to invest the time (research & Creating recipes) and money. Though the best bars for us were able to be made from the grocery store.
 

Susie

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Pure Olive Oil soap (AKA Castile) takes 6-12 months to cure. Months. After that, it is a hard bar that does not melt away into a slimy bunch of ick in the shower in 3 uses. I said nothing about your ingredients, as I do not use those, nor do I have skin issues that you seem to have.

I did, however, suggest you try making a basic bath bar as the ingredients are cheaper and more readily available for the learning process.

pH strips are still a waste of money. The pH of most bar soaps is between 9-12. And since soap is an alkaline SALT, it throws the ability to measure the pH off even more. You would need to dilute the soap properly in order to measure it with proper lab equipment.
 

skinnybonedog

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My theory with using non clogging oils with a superfat level....is what ever oil is left over needs to be a non clogging oil and since there is no way to know what oil the lye is going to leave free...that is where my thinking was going with this whole face soap thing for oily skin. So it was not so much for whatever properties of the oil IN the soap part of the bar it was for what was left over. Does anyone ever not superfat? What about a face bar with no superfat, that way no oil is left to give me that "greasy" feeling that I get.
 

kchaystack

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Olive oil does create a hard bar - after about a 1 year cure.

As for pH strips - they only tell you what the pH is - this does not tell you if you have lye that has not reacted with oil (or the air). Your soap will have a pH from about 9 to as high as 12 (usually, you know how ranges work if you have a science background). The best way to tell is the zap test.

No one is saying your first bar is bad or not good. Most home made soaps will be better than what you buy in the store. We are saying:

1. It will be even better with a proper cure.
2. You can make something just as good without all the fancy oils.

You said you did not want to make a bunch of soap to test different oils because of cost - well - we are telling you that you can save a bunch of money on your oils.
 

skinnybonedog

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I don't mind a bar that is not rock hard. I don't think I would make soap that needed to cure for a year. I just do not have the space. I do not have any intention of selling soap, this is just for me....so like I said, to make and test repeatedly when I can make some bold moves from the start makes the most sense to me. I spent 4 months researching, reading, buying books, reading forums, so I feel I have the basics down and my first soap turned out great with no reasons to complain or change it if I find it works over time. I made 3 pounds of soap and it will take me a long time to use it all so I have to resist the urge to keep making and making soap which is why I want to try something unconventional with the face soap so I don't keep making soap that is going to go bad or be given away (THAT is expensive)....for those of you that sell soap, it makes sense. But for people like me who just want it personally, I would rather invest the money and try to get it closer to right than wrong the first few times. Oils are already bought at this point so I will just play with the ones I have and see what I get.
 

kchaystack

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All right then, I won't bother you with any of my suggestions, even when you ask. Thanks and have fun.
 

skinnybonedog

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Lol, yep, pH goes to 14. So can someone comment on the remaining oil in a superfatted soap? Does it not make sense that is be a non clogging oil as it will still be an oil yes? If I were to make a 100% coconut oil soap with a 20% superfat....20% coconut oil is left loose in the soap, that 20% is known to be a skin clogging oil. That is where my thinking is going with this....if that left over oil is a non clogging oil such as high linoleic safflower oil....that has to be better for oily skin in my thinking.
Oh boy gotta love forums! I guess a beginner is supposed to follow beginner rules and not think outside the box for fear of offending the expert soapers....my apologies kchaystack. That is the feeling I have gotten here....." since you are new, please do not do anything but basic things until you get it" What am I missing here, is there a certain number of batches that takes you from beginner to what status that then gives you the go ahead to be bold. I am sorry, I did not think this would happen here but I guess all forums are like this....signing off and out, did not expect this kind of response.
 
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shunt2011

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My theory with using non clogging oils with a superfat level....is what ever oil is left over needs to be a non clogging oil and since there is no way to know what oil the lye is going to leave free...that is where my thinking was going with this whole face soap thing for oily skin. So it was not so much for whatever properties of the oil IN the soap part of the bar it was for what was left over. Does anyone ever not superfat? What about a face bar with no superfat, that way no oil is left to give me that "greasy" feeling that I get.
You can use a 0 superfat but remember when you stip too much oil off your skin it will cause it to produce more. You want gentle cleansing not skin stripping. I have super oily skin, I have also suffered with acne since I was a kid. (56 now). I use a 80% CO salt bar with 20% SF. My skin is the clearest and in the best condition it's been in my life. So, it took a lot of trial and testing to find what worked for my skin. My kids swear by it as well. I only use it 3-4 times a week though.
 

skinnybonedog

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I guess I can respond to the kind people and not the unkind....so shunt2011, the 20% superfat....that is just free oils that can clog oily skin. Are you using oils known to not block pores? I am seeing no one answer this question and it is leaving me to think that I may be onto something in thinking that any superfat oil needs to be non-comedogenic, which means the whole batch needs to be made with non-comedogenic oils since there is no way to know which oils will be left in the soap.

Plan to look at some salt bar options as those seem interesting
 
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shunt2011

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I guess I can respond to the kind people and not the unkind....so shunt2011, the 20% superfat....that is just free oils that can clog oily skin. Are you using oils known to not block pores? I am seeing no one answer this question and it is leaving me to think that I may be onto something in thinking that any superfat oil needs to be non-comedogenic, which means the whole batch needs to be made with non-comedogenic oils since there is no way to know which oils will be left in the soap.
They have answered your question. When it goes through the soap process the oils change. Just because something is pore clogging in their non-soap form doesn't mean it will be the same in soap. Even with a superfat. Therefore, I can use high Coconut or other oils with no adverse effect on my skin. It's not just the comedogenic factor it's also if you over cleanse your skin you will cause more oil production therefore more clogged pores and more breakouts.

You may find out that you can use any handmade soap with no issues. One of my daughters finds the Salt Soap a bit drying but uses my regular bar on her face and swears by it. Her skin is relatively clear as well. (also subject to breakout/acne).

I highly recommend you let your soap cure appropriately and then see if you like it.

Try keepin your CO relatively low if it's too drying...10%. Just because it isn't super bubbly doesn't mean it won't clean and not strip your skin.

I wouldn't use a 0 SF soap on my face personally.

There is a recipe on this forum for Genny's Shampoo bar and that makes an awesome soap (not shampoo). It's gentle and a wonderful body and facial bar as well.

My salt bar recipe (I've shared it here many times):
80% CO
15% Avocado or Olive
5% Castor Oil
20% SF
30-40% Salt added at trace (I use sea salt).
 

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