Soap for sensitive skin

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by SgtSluggo, Jun 8, 2017.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. Jun 8, 2017 #1

    SgtSluggo

    SgtSluggo

    SgtSluggo

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    24
    So, I haven't even made my first batch of soap, but am looking to do my first attempt at cold process soon. I haven't bought anything yet, but I had a question.

    My wife and kids all have sensitive skin. My daughter even has some atopic dermatitis that requires us to grease her up like a pig with Eucerin after every bath. I would love to make a soap that my family could actually use. I know that I will go for a scentless, dye-less recipe but I didn't know if anyone had experience with recipes or techniques that would increase the likelihood that a soap would actually be good for someone with dry sensitive skin.

    Appreciate your help, Thanks!
     
  2. Jun 8, 2017 #2

    styarr

    styarr

    styarr

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    32
  3. Jun 8, 2017 #3

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    9,192
    Likes Received:
    6,429
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    You'll want to keep the coconut oil at a lower percentage since it makes a harsher soap. There are a couple recipes you can try, one is a very basic recipe that I've found everyone likes and can use. It makes a lovely unscented bar.

    Lard 55%
    Olive oil or avocado oil 25%
    coconut oil 15%
    castor oil 5%

    run it through soapcalc with 5% superfat

    this is another that is much gentler. The only thing is shea butter can irritate some skin conditions. I'd check with your daughters dermatologist to make sure shea is ok for her. If its not, you could replace it with lard. Also run this through soapcalc with 5% superfat.

    olive oil 40%
    avocado oil 35%
    castor oil 10%
    shea butter or lard 10%
    coconut oil 5%

    Personally, I would go with the first recipe. Its a bit easier to make since all the ingredients can be found at the supermarket and it will cure faster than a recipe with a bunch of liquid oils like the second recipe has.
     
    Susie likes this.
  4. Jun 8, 2017 #4

    SunRiseArts

    SunRiseArts

    SunRiseArts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,911
    Likes Received:
    1,886
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    In my personal opinion, rice bran oil is one of the best for sensitive skin.

    Check this oil chart, it might help you make a decision. Click on the oil, and it tells you how it contributes to the bar.

    Please post your batch! I love seeing pictures of soaps.
     
  5. Jun 8, 2017 #5

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

    Saponifier

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    3,213
    Location:
    SE Denver CO
    Thanks for that link, SunRiseArts. I bookmarked it for reference. It's the best I've ever seen -- that I can remember! LOL
     
    SunRiseArts likes this.
  6. Jun 8, 2017 #6

    ngian

    ngian

    ngian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    458
    Location:
    Athens, Greece (Very Hard Water)
    All the above wonderful oil charts that where mentioned, are a good source of information about oils and their properties when applied fresh on human skin within leave on products.

    When these oils are used in soapmaking, they are transformed into cleaning agents (fatty acids --> Sodium or Potassium salts of fatty acids) while they are used in wash off products. Thus oils after saponification are not having all the wonderful properties that the above charts claim in the final soap. Even vitamin E that they initially have, is not effective in the alkaline pH of the soap.

    If you are seeking for a mild soap bar, then I agree with Obsidian that a recipe must have a low percentage of cleaning / bubbly fatty acids that are present in coconut-palm kernel-babassu oils along with a little higher than normal superfat %.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
    Zany_in_CO likes this.
  7. Jun 8, 2017 #7

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,379
    Likes Received:
    8,615
    Location:
    Texas
    I started making soap because I was getting outbreaks of eczema from even Dove Unscented (which is actually gentler on skin than the "sensitive" according to the doctors I have talked to). My eczema went away after about two weeks on handmade soap. Not because I used any special oil or recipe, but because I stopped using the synthetic detergents in commercially sold soap. So, before you rush out to buy special oils, just try a basic recipe with oils you can buy at Walmart, or most any larger grocery store. I much prefer the coconut oil to be at 15%, but even at 25%, the itchies did not return.

    Here is my current favorite recipe, but you will have to learn to use a lye calculator. I suggest soapee.com. It is very easy to learn and use, and the recipe changes are all on one page. You can also save your recipes, so no need to have a binder (you MUST get in the habit of saving your recipes with good notes at the bottom so you don't keep repeating your mistakes over and over).

    Lard/Tallow/Palm/Great Value Shortening 65%
    Olive Oil 15%
    Coconut Oil 15%
    Castor Oil 5% (pharmacy section by the laxatives)

    Superfat 5%

    Please do your homework and learn the safety measures needed, and the equipment needed. I might also strongly suggest you read at least 5 pages of threads in the Beginner Forum and the Lye Based Soap forum. Especially the stickies on each.
     
    Zany_in_CO and Arthur Dent like this.
  8. Jun 8, 2017 #8

    navigator9

    navigator9

    navigator9

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,713
    Likes Received:
    3,079
    Location:
    New England
    You might think about adding some colloidal oatmeal to your soap. Or if you have something that will grind regular oatmeal to a very fine powder, that will work too. I would think that if your daughter's skin is sensitive, you wouldn't want the oatmeal to be lumpy at all, or it will feel "scrubby." Oatmeal is very soothing.
     
  9. Jun 8, 2017 #9

    Dahila

    Dahila

    Dahila

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Location:
    Canada, Ontario
    I suffer with the same condition as your daughter, from the moment i was born, it is the reason I started to make my own products. Right now I am using my long cure Buttermilk and zinc oxide soap
    75 Olive oil
    20 Coconut oil
    5 castor
    for 3 lb of oils I used 4 tbsp of zinc oxide and around 4 of buttermilk. 2 tbsp of sugar to water. I cures a long time (mine is like 8 months) unscented, no colour. It is absolutely incredible soap for me, no itching, no drying, skin feels nice, and I do not have to use lotion after shower, it is not slimy, probably due the zinc oxide and buttermilk :)
    Eucerin is not that good, I had it and went to garbage. If you could make a lotion simple one for her it would be the best. My grandchild has eczema and I use my lotion on her for years.
     
    Arimara, BattleGnome and Zany_in_CO like this.
  10. Jun 8, 2017 #10

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Messages:
    10,290
    Likes Received:
    8,821
    Location:
    Southern California
    I have to agree with the Eucerin. Like Dahila I have had Atopic since I was 18 months old. You simply have to find what works for her. I can use synthetic fragrance oils but have to be very careful of EO's. For me greasing me up does not work, my skin hates to be oily and I will just scratch it up, tearing up my skin in the process. Also I cannot use flax at all or oatmeal to often. Can eat oatmeal but it does not always agree with my eczema. Thankyou Dahila for the zinc oxide suggestion, I am going to try some in my next batch. I know this is beating a dead horse, but keep in mind Atopic can be deadly when a severe attack hits. My go to is salt bars, it helps stop the itching. Please test all new products inside your daughter's elbow and allergy testing can be very beneficial, even if allergens can change quickly. I keep CO around 13% in my soap and most soap with women type fo's.
     
    Dahila and Zany_in_CO like this.
  11. Jun 8, 2017 #11

    Dahila

    Dahila

    Dahila

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Location:
    Canada, Ontario
    Cmzaha I think it was even lower than 20% Co.
    Yes the condition is awful, no one will understand what we go through. My parents went through hell with me, I got it around 5 months of my life following with asthma based on allergies.
    I know about itching, Cmzaha I do know, i can control it on daytime but night is completely different story. I am going to make salt soaps for me, maybe it will be answer,
    I modified it but maybe you like it too . no slimy after modification
    OO 65%
    CO 20%
    Lard 10%
    Castor 5%
    Zink oxide 1.5 -3% (For 1400 g of oils I probably use more than 1.5 like 3 rounded tbsp
    Buttermilk, (coconut milk works well too) 1.5%
    Sodium lactate 1.5 tbsp, and Edta
    I swear by this soap, even with 20Coconut it is not stripping oils from skin, Zinc does it's job. I remember when a doc (before I was teenager) made a special salve for me and most of ingredients was zinc oxide :)
    Try it, I try salt bar
    I have to be careful about essential oils especially flower ones. Geranium would probably make me very sick. I use fO at 1 % and so far so good , in soaps a bit more cause it is wash off product. In lotion somewhere from 0.5-1% . Lately I am lowering the scent too.....0.5 in lotion is enough
     
  12. Jun 9, 2017 #12

    SgtSluggo

    SgtSluggo

    SgtSluggo

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    24
    Thanks everyone for the help and advice. Lots to go on and research now. Her current soap and lotion works pretty well for her as long as we don't skip the lotion after a bath. She hasn't shown up with any allergies or sensitivities so far, so she is definitely more on the atopic dermatitis than the true eczema. She is also pretty lucky that it is generally very mild. It is encouraging that others were able to find homemade soaps that helped them. I was afraid that any true soap wouldn't work for her.
     
    Zany_in_CO likes this.
  13. Jun 9, 2017 #13

    fuzz-juzz

    fuzz-juzz

    fuzz-juzz

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    479
    Location:
    Australia
    I have very sensitive skin on my face.
    I can only use certain moisturisers and it was hard for me to find good cleanser.
    I've formulated bar with lard, almond, rice bran oil, shea butter. No coconut oil. It works fine and my skin reacts ok. It's still dry after washing but I moisturise after shower anyway. There's no coconut oil but it's not noticeable. These bars have nice creamy lather.

    My issue is more like sensitivities, allergies etc then dermatitis. I have few constant spots but my skin will break out in red patches, peel, look like burns if I use something I shouldn't have. I have asthma as well.

    I was diagnosed with connective tissue disorder late last year. There's mast cell disorder that comes with it and most of skin issues and asthma are part of it There's no cure, just managing the symptoms. After so long, it all finally made sense in the last year so I understand the frustration of not knowing what's causing skin issues, allergies etc.
     
    Amanda Gray and Zany_in_CO like this.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder