Recipe's how many is to many

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KiwiMoose

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KiwiMoose, Does this include butters?




Also one mistake I made in asking this is, I should have clarified better. I'm referring to Oils/butters/wax that is saponified.
I have shea butter in my main recipe at 10%. I have also used cocoa butter in the past as part of my recipe trials but it is too expensive here in NZ.
 

Primrose

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To be honest 95% of my customers dont actually give a rats about the ingredients in the soap. All they care about is that it smells pretty, it lathers well, and it doesnt disappear too quickly.

Although the one caveat to that is they do want to know that its all palm free
 

Kiti Williams

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I run with 3 soaps, 1 shampoo, and 1 conditioner bar. Yes, additives do make them different, but the base is the same.

I have shea butter in my main recipe at 10%. I have also used cocoa butter in the past as part of my recipe trials but it is too expensive here in NZ.
Have you tried Bulk Apothecary? I get de-scented Coco Butter in a 7 pound bucket for $50.00.
 

Susie

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Just to clarify: when I say recipes, I mean base oils only.

When I started making soap... I had about 10 recipes before I found one my skin loved, but even then I kept trying different recipes - especially after opening my business (because I knew if I wanted to keep my prices stable, I would need to change recipes as costs changed, and I wouldn't always have time to test recipes for shelf storage). I think over the 6-7 years I've been soaping, I've probably tried 100 recipes. But in my business, I have...
one vegan
one non-vegan
Castile
pine tar
rebatch mechanic soap

My family has various favorite recipes that I only make for them (hubby loves salt bars, but they have no customer base for me), and a few specialty recipes that I pull out for custom orders.

But generally speaking, for selling you want to keep the recipes as simple as possible. It makes your life 1000x easier for labeling. For example, I have an aloe line that I only make for vegan soaps. When I print my labels, the only thing I need to do is change the scent name and description, check if I added clay to the soap or not (sometimes I do sometimes I don't) and add to the ingredient list and print. I use the same molds for all of my soaps, so my weights are always consistent. Same deal for my OMH line, because I always use the same oils in the same qty, I only need to change the scent name and description, check if I used clay or not, and hit the print button.

The other thing for selling is that customers will expect the soaps to perform the same regardless of the scent. And as a maker who makes a lot of soap, you will eventually lose track of which soaps have the same recipes and it can be time consuming at shows to find the same recipes in different scents. You'll be doing yourself and your customers a huge favor by keeping it as simple as possible. (I have five soap lines... and I'm starting to wonder if that's 3 soap lines too many...)
That's what I am talking about. To me, additives do not change a basic recipe. Just what oils get saponified. I would not call it a different recipe just because it smells differently.
 

Susie

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A little off topic, but I’ve been searching for facial soap recipe ideas. Can you share your basic ingredients?
I don't have one yet, LOL. Everyone in the family raves over how my "regular" soap makes their skin clear up and look healthier. But I am well aware of how slight percentage changes can make a soap feel different, and I am perfectly capable of adding a bit of whatever the "miracle" ingredient of the season is. Even if it is just a tiny bit. Perception is everything in selling.
 

shermluge

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I don't have one yet, LOL. Everyone in the family raves over how my "regular" soap makes their skin clear up and look healthier. But I am well aware of how slight percentage changes can make a soap feel different, and I am perfectly capable of adding a bit of whatever the "miracle" ingredient of the season is. Even if it is just a tiny bit. Perception is everything in selling.
I have a couple, but my main portions are Higher CO, with what ever oils you prefer with 1 tbsp PPO of activated charcoal and bentonite clay. I've had good luck with this mix after testing. I usually only super fat to 3-4% with this. If this is a bad idea, let me know why.
 

Susie

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Higher CO is going to make people's face lose more natural oils and feel dry. Low CO is the way to go. Superfat depends on personal preference.
 

shunt2011

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I agree with Susie, the more coconut in a recipe the more stripping and that's not good for facial skin. The more oils you strip the more oils it will produce. The exception for me is salt soap. It's been wonderful for me and many in my family. Mostly because of the salt. I use them 3 time a week or so.
 

shermluge

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Higher CO is going to make people's face lose more natural oils and feel dry. Low CO is the way to go. Superfat depends on personal preference.
I should have specified, I designed it for my sons oily face. It worked so well I thought that is what others might want, Susie, thank you.. I'll drop the CO some (except for the custom bars).
 

mishmish

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I experimented with lots of different recipes when I was learning, then narrowed it down to five different ones: a 20% shea butter one that I load up with extra goodies and charge a little more for, a cocoa butter soap that is the recipe that I usually try new scents out in, a facial soap that I tweak with different additives, a salt soap, and a Castile. None of the fragrances are repeated. People choose by scent or by type, or by what color matches their bathroom decor! I've thought about streamlining my offerings but each one is nice in its own way. I've been selling for 14 years.

Oh, I forgot shampoo bars. And shaving soap. So I guess that's seven kinds.
 

Susie

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I used a very measured approach to dialing in a favorite recipe, so I changed 5% of two oils beginning at 10% (I think, it has been years and my notes all got lost in one of the moves) to dial in exactly what % of which oils I preferred. That meant I had about 15-20 batches per two oils. Not to mention all the recipes with far too many oils, the recipes with fancy oils, all the milk soaps, the salt soaps, etc.
 

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