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Zing

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You are already getting great advice but I do want to pop in and ask if you used any colorants? I know you did no fragrance.
Also, good luck to you. My skin has never been healthier since I started soaping. Prior to changing, I spent a fortune on prescription and OTC so my budget is also healthier now. I am wishing the same for you. Keep us posted.
 

amd

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Looking at the ingredients for the CeRave bar, it's completely syndet. I have a suspicion that you may not be able to tolerate the high pH of a true soap (lye + fatty acids). You could try using MP (melt and pour) bases to make soaps, or sourcing the ingredients to make a bath base type product - I noticed the main surfactant ingredients and emulsifiers are very similar to what I use to make the bath base for my foaming sugar scrubs.
 

earlene

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Cerave bar, and I stopped using it a while ago, that is why I am looking for options to make a gentler soap.
Is it this one?
1621402659860.png
See the ingredient list here. That link also identifies what the ingredients are and why each is included.
That is definitely a syndet bar, not a true soap, so no lye needed it you do want to duplicate or come close to it's formulation. If it is this bar, it's probably cheaper to buy it at Walmart than to make it yourself. I notice some of the other CeraVe products are more pricey, but this one is a fair price, I believe.

Keep looking to earlene and cmzaha. From what I've read here on SMF, they are two of many who have decades of experience with formulating syndet bars, like your Cerave, as well as soap bars.
Not me. I have not made syndet bars. Besides @cmzaha, @amd and @KiwiMoose who actively post here, as well as a few others have made several different syndet bars. Here is a link to a post that has links to other threads on the topic of syndet bars: link.

My recommendation to anyone wanting to learn about making cosmetic products, is to sign up at Susan Barclay-Nichols' extremely helpful and educational site. As a point of interest, this link is a page where Susan talks about one of the ingredients in the CeraVe bar (SCI), so it's sort of a tease, me linking to that page. In order to read some portions of Susan's site, paid membership is required, but you can read and learn some portions free. Here is another free page about syndet shampoo bars (link).

Anyway, @_Corrine12_ , why have you stopped using the CeraVe bar? I got the impression it was working for you, but I may have misunderstood. Since you started making CP soap a year ago, I wonder if it was in search of a better soap, or if it was cost related? Or maybe you just got interested in this fabulously fun hobby during CoVid lockdown. It is a fun hobby, though.

And as a retired nurse, I cannot let this go by without asking: Have you seen your physician or a dermatologist about your skin? If not, I do encourage you to do so.
 

KiwiMoose

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It could just simply be that you are using too much CO for your skin. I second what AMD has said, and think you should lower it to, say 15%, and try using aloe juice as your full water content (this adds extra bubbles).
Have you considered adding something with more stearic - either cocoa butter, shea butter or soy wax? Unfortunately there is no easy fix except trial and error, but definitely cut back on the coconut milk/CO.
Happy to help with troubleshooting recipes via PM if you like - or you can check out the syndet advice that @earlene has linked.
 

Zany_in_CO

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My skin has never been healthier since I started soaping. Prior to changing, I spent a fortune on prescription and OTC
Ditto!
That is definitely a syndet bar, not a true soap, so no lye needed it you do want to duplicate or come close to it's formulation. If it is this bar, it's probably cheaper to buy it at Walmart than to make it yourself.
No offense to the Syndet camp, but I didn't learn to make soap to duplicate the ingredients in bars that irritated my sensitive skin. When my babies were born in the 60's, the hospital sent me home with Cetaphil Cleanser. It hurt my hands to use that but I did because it was recommended. Now I know better.

Bottom Line: To go to the expense of making a non-soap cleanser when you can buy it cheaper OTC makes no sense to me. :smallshrug: But that's just me.
Are you particularly avoiding animal fats? I notice you haven't listed any but that could expand your options in addition to what and said.
While the OP conscientiously avoids animal fats, FWIW, if I had it to do over again, I would wash my babies with lard soap. Of all the FA's (Fatty Acids) available to us, lard comes closest to matching the natural sebum of human skin. My first soaps in 2003 were made with lard and tallow. I love my lard soaps -- avid Lardinator here! 😁

SHORT STORY:
My friend, Nancy the Nurse, had a mother who was also a nurse back in the 30's & 40's. She was a neonatal nurse. She told Nancy that back then they cleaned newborns with lard! Not the soap; the lard. Imagine my surprise.
Have you seen your physician or a dermatologist about your skin?
Speaking of dermatologists... Back in 2005 I co-hosted an International 100% Olive Oil Swap. (In those days, it only cost $11 Flat Rate (!) to ship to Canada, France and South Africa.) Here's what I wrote in the introduction:
I wanted to start this swap because I really don’t know where I stand with olive oil. I’m aware of its nutritional qualities (this is my main cooking oil) and of its mildness in soap. In my worst itching allergic bout, my dermatologist told me to use Aleppo soap, which is pure olive and bay leaf oil only (no added fragrance, nor colour). It is certainly not as drying as many commercial soaps but the lather is disappointing and it just does not smell nice.
That swap was the beginning of my 12-year journey that ended in 2017 with the creation of ZNSC. During those years, I made uncolored and unscented 100% OO Castile Soap for cancer patients going through radiation and chemo. As one grateful hubby said, it was the ONLY soap his wife could tolerate. I also made it for babies and Baby Showers with infused calendula.

NOTE: I later learned to make Aleppo Soap. I love it, my skin loves it and it smells really nice with Bay Laurel essential oil to scent it. It's just one of a few soaps I formulated to respond to my dry sensitive skin issues.
 
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Zany_in_CO

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please give the source of the table, so the author(s) gets full and fair credit for their work. That also allows people to find and read the rest of the article if they want to learn more about the information presented.
Thank you @DeeAnna for asking that question. Where would we be without you to step up to get to the meat of an issue! :nodding:
no, Cosmetic Formulation of Skin Care Products, pag 44

witch reffers to:
BLANK, I. H. (1939). ACTION OF SOAP ON SKIN. Archives of Dermatology, 39(5)
And a BIG thank you for supplying this information @veron!
Thank You.gif

While we all have done our very best to advise the OP about soap, I think your reply is the most helpful. A Skin Patch test as well as a Food Allergy test may well be the best course of action for the OP -- to eliminate every other possibility of what is causing the problem. Well done!

I sincerely hope you will continue to participate in discussions like this one so we can not only get to know you better, but also benefit from your knowledge and experience. Many of the SMF members, myself included, came to making soap due to having sensitive skin or other skin issues. I look forward to reading more from you. 🥰
 

amd

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Besides @cmzaha, @amd and @KiwiMoose who actively post here, as well as a few others have made several different syndet bars.
Bahaha... I forgot to mention shampoo bars - while intentioned for hair, shampoo bars can be used for the body as well, and would be easier to manage than a bath base for use - and are fairly simple to make. If you source ingredients carefully and keep it at a simple formulation bar, even purchasing in small amounts it does make an affordable bar. Right now a syndet formulation that I am testing costs roughly $1.20/bar - I expect someone purchasing in smaller quantities would still be able to make a good sized 100g bar for around the $2 mark. A bit more expensive than CP soap, but it would still be a savings for a maker (plus the satisfaction of making something yourself) over purchasing the CeRave bar. I suggest following this recipe More Mango Sulfate-Free Shampoo Bar - Humblebee & Me with some modifications:
1621442443275.png

You could skip the water soluble dye and use mica or leave uncolored without affecting the formulation.
I've been having a hard time sourcing C14-16, so I've subbed in SLSa (this sub does keep the pH at 5.06, so very skin/hair friendly)
You could sub the mango butter with any butter or liquid oil (I used walnut oil as I had it on hand)
You could also skip the fragrance & polyquaternium 7 - add those % into your oil to keep the consistency correct.
There is a nice video that goes with this recipe as well, I suggest watching it as it is helpful to see the consistency.

@_Corrine12_ I really feel for your struggles with finding something to clean your skin that works. My kids and I struggled with skin issues for years until I started making my own products. I am going to (hopefully) be making this recipe again in the next few weeks as I have a customer who has fragrance issues who would like to test it. If you're interested, please PM me and I would be happy to send you a bar to try too.
 

The_Phoenix

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My hunch is the high CO at 30% and using all coconut milk in place of water is the likely culprit for your troubled skin after using this recipe. Coconut milk contains a high percentage of lauric acid, making it a doubly drying bar of soap on top of the high CO %.
 

veron

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Thank you @DeeAnna for asking that question. Where would we be without you to step up to get to the meat of an issue! :nodding:

And a BIG thank you for supplying this information @veron!
View attachment 57416
While we all have done our very best to advise the OP about soap, I think your reply is the most helpful. A Skin Patch test as well as a Food Allergy test may well be the best course of action for the OP -- to eliminate every other possibility of what is causing the problem. Well done!

I sincerely hope you will continue to participate in discussions like this one so we can not only get to know you better, but also benefit from your knowledge and experience. Many of the SMF members, myself included, came to making soap due to having sensitive skin or other skin issues. I look forward to reading more from you. 🥰
🥰 Thanks.

I think that in addition to the fatty acids that remain in the final formula, @_Corrine12_ should also think about what oil they use, there are cases of people who are allergic to coconut oil, etc, maybe it's from the lauric acid or maybe it's another non-fat component. or maybe shea butter. I do not know.

I have this formula that I have not tried without coconut oil and a very low amount of short chain acid, hopefully it will help you.
Almond oil 10%, avocado oil 10 %, cocoa butter 30 %, castor oil 10 %, olive oil 5%, shea butter 35 %.

Those percentages of cocoa butter or shea are not recommended but try to see if it helps.
 

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Corrine12

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Thank you everyone for your advice. It baffles me that my bars are great in my hair and on my body, but not on my face.
Doctor gave me an antifungal cream because that’s what he guessed was the issue, but after using it I do not think it is.
 

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TashaBird

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Thank you everyone for your advice. It baffles me that my bars are great in my hair and on my body, but not on my face.
Doctor gave me an antifungal cream because that’s what he guessed was the issue, but after using it I do not think it is.
Oh! I didn’t realize you were talking about using it on your face! How often do you use soap on your face? I can barely use super gentle soap on my face once a week. Usually I just use a wet washcloth, oil cleanse, or a cream to cleanse. Soap is too intense for my face.
 

amd

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Post 28 above. Making your own syndets is possible. I would start with melt and pour (MP base) first though - it's cheaper and easier than buying the syndet ingredients. Depending on the MP base that you buy, it may be all syndet, or a mixture of syndet and "true soap", either way the pH of the base will be more skin friendly than "true soap", which your face will probably like more. Facial areas tend to be more delicate, so sometimes what works on the body will not work on the face, that's why the facial cleanser industry exists.
 

KimW

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I'm with @TashaBird. I know many folks wash their face with soap, but I can't. The only time I washed my face with soap past the age of about 30 was after playing sports - and even then my face would have to be right filthy. Otherwise, I use only water, water with a washcloth, or a weak vinegar gel I make. I wonder what would happen if you washed your face with just water for a week?

You haven't mentioned it, so please forgive me, but I also wonder what sort of moisturizer you use for your face. I never got rid of all my blemishes until I also stopped using purchased lotions, and some of the stuff I tried and loved (the feel of) was really spendy.

ETA: You say you may have discovered the issue. I'm all ears to know of your discovery! :)
 

Zany_in_CO

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Can I make something gentle enough to wash my face?
Yes! I wash my face AM & PM daily with ZNSC. I use the 85% Olive Oil, 10% coconut oil, 5% castor oil variation. I start using it at the 2-week cure mark but the longer the cure the better! Here's a link:
ZANY'S NO SLIME CASTILE

I follow up with with an ACV mist:
Try 1/2 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar in 3.5 oz. distilled water in a 4 oz. spray bottle. It is a natural "anti-fungal". I do my face, decolletage and scalp daily. It takes time to see the difference but now I can't believe how healthy my face, neck and hair look.

This is just me but I am appalled by the medical profession's inability to offer natural alternatives to the (more often than not) ineffective drugs and pharmaceuticals they inflict on their patients. Oh, the stories I could tell! NOT meaning to start a brouhaha... just speaking from my experience. My brother ("His Royal Highness" LOL) was a doctor and we used to go round and round about this. GAH!

ETA: With all due respect to @amd and @KimW, commercial bars aka "syndets" were horrible for me and they were the main reason, like so many other SMF members, that I learned to make soap that my skin likes! I'm eternally grateful that I did.
 
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KimW

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ETA: With all due respect to @amd and @KimW, commercial bars aka "syndets"
I hear you there, Zany! I never used syndet on my face ETA: as an adult (my well-intentioned mother had me try so many things). Syndets have always caused rashes everywhere on my body. Hubs likes them so I'd like to learn about them for him and for things like laundry and shampoo for him, but I can't use them. :)
 
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KimW

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I somehow feel the need to reiterate what @amd and @cmzaha mentioned: Just as not everyone can use syndets, it stands to reason that not everyone can use soap.

Also, what @TashaBird has said in that facial skin can be more sensitive than the rest of our skin.

See this article (search for the word "face"):

"Factors that contribute to this are probably the greater use of cosmetics in this area, the presence of thinner skin barrier and the existence of a greater number of nerve endings on the face."
 

amd

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ETA: With all due respect to @amd and @KimW, commercial bars aka "syndets" were horrible for me and they were the main reason, like so many other SMF members, that I learned to make soap that my skin likes! I'm eternally grateful that I did.
The only reason syndets were suggested is because that is what Corrine was using before with the CeRave bar. Personally I found that after years of using syndets and commercial face washes and suffering from horrible cystic acne, when I switched to handmade soap my acne issues cleared up to where I only get one cystic spot during my monthly cycle (sorry guys), and even that has started to clear up now with supplements designed for menstrual health. Back to topic, in the Corrine's case syndet was working before and the switch to handmade soap caused the issues.
 

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