Shave soap recipe

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FrayGrants

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I am planning on making my first shave soap and was hoping for some feedback on my recipe. I am going to do this as a cold process and was curious about superfat, lye concentration, and anything else that needs adjustment. I was going to be adding Kaolin clay at 1 Tbsp PPO, tsp sodium lactate PPO, and 3.13% vegetable glycerin after trace. What do you all think of this recipe?

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No I haven’t tried it yet, waiting on the KOH in the mail. Do you think that the cleansing oils are too high as well as the superfat? I was also thinking of ditching the clay. How about the lye concentration?
 
No I haven’t tried it yet, waiting on the KOH in the mail. Do you think that the cleansing oils are too high as well as the superfat? I was also thinking of ditching the clay. How about the lye concentration?
Not at all. In fact, you have the same cleansing numbers as my most recent shave soap.

Edit: I use a 4 to 1 lye concentration, mostly because of the stearic. I've never used soy wax however, so I'm not sure.
 
I would echo the comments by @Kcryss. It looks like a solid recipe, but I haven't used soy wax, either. Using 4:1 water:lye ratio can help you keep it fluid enough to pour. You could also think about adding some glycerin and/or sodium lactate at the end of the cook. That will help it remain fluid and add some humectant properties, as well.
 
I like the fatty acid numbers for a shave soap. Have you tried it yet? I do a hot start with stearic that high. When I say hot start, I mean lye and oils temperatures over 140F when mixed. Maybe even up to 160F. Let us know how it turns out.
 
Well I just made the recipe with a few tweaks and it was interesting to say the least. I did a 4:1 lye concentration as you all mentioned and a 7% superfat with 2% sorbitol and sodium citrate as well as 10% glycerin added after trace.

I mixed the oils and lye just above 140 as @cjisler mentioned. It took a long time to trace and went through several weird consistencies, which I expected, until I got it to smooth out. I then poured it into containers and I noticed it began to separate, so I poured it back into a wider pot to be able to get better contact with all the soap batter. This worked really well and it came back together very very smooth like a thick pudding and poured nicely into the containers.

It was by far the strangest soap making experience i have ever been through to date, but it was a nice learning experience and I had plenty of time to fix it. Now I just hope it is a good recipe that makes a nice shave soap. I will report back with details on the performance and feel. Thanks for all the help!!!
 
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So here’s how she turned out. I think that it’s pretty good, but could be better. I think that I will drop the glycerin lower to maybe 3% as soy wax creates glycerin unlike stearic acid, and the glycerin kills lather.

I also think that I will raise the lye concentration just a bit to create more of a paste to allow for better solubility. It will be a long road to success, just as CP soap was, but I will get there. Thanks for all the hehelp and advice, and feel free to keep it coming 😄
 
I think it looks great! How does your skin feel after using it to shave?
I think I would be more inclined to drop the superfat a bit as that also decreases lather. I wasn't aware that soy wax creates glycerin. Good to know. :)
Thanks for sharing your results. :winner:
 
I think it looks great! How does your skin feel after using it to shave?
I think I would be more inclined to drop the superfat a bit as that also decreases lather. I wasn't aware that soy wax creates glycerin. Good to know. :)
Thanks for sharing your results. :winner:
It feels nice when I shave but it doesn’t work up a lather easy enough and does leave behind a bit of a residue on my skin. I thInk lowering the superfat and glycerin as well as increasing the cleansing oils should help as it is not drying at all.
 
Well I just made the recipe with a few tweaks and it was interesting to say the least. I did a 4:1 lye concentration as you all mentioned and a 7% superfat with 2% sorbitol and sodium citrate as well as 10% glycerin added after trace.

I mixed the oils and lye just above 140 as @cjisler mentioned. It took a long time to trace and went through several weird consistencies, which I expected, until I got it to smooth out. I then poured it into containers and I noticed it began to separate, so I poured it back into a wider pot to be able to get better contact with all the soap batter. This worked really well and it came back together very very smooth like a thick pudding and poured nicely into the containers.

It was by far the strangest soap making experience i have ever been through to date, but it was a nice learning experience and I had plenty of time to fix it. Now I just hope it is a good recipe that makes a nice shave soap. I will report back with details on the performance and feel. Thanks for all the help!!!
Making shave soap is not for the faint hearted! It’s like you can toss out the window most everything you have learned about soapmaking! 🤣🤣🤣

I am surprised by your comment about taking a long time to trace. I use stearic acid instead of soy wax in my soap, and it traces almost immediately because it is a free fatty acid. I may have to try soy wax instead.
 
I may have to try soy wax instead.
Upon further research I have discovered that the majority of soy wax is partially hydrogenated, coming in at a much lower stearic acid content which is not suitable for shave soap. Fully hydrogenated wax is very hard to find and is probably why my results are less than spectacular.

I chose to use wax as it is less expensive and I have multiple uses for it. I am going to have to break down and buy some stearic acid if I want better results. I’m not giving up though!!!
 

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