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Zwal

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Hi,

I started soaping a couple of months ago and have been experimenting with my formula. I made several batches of soap. My first batches had too much CO and were extremely drying, I have adjusted that, bit by bit, but it is still drying. And according to a lot of threads here, it should be 'normal'.

My current formula: OO 35%, CO 25%, Shea 20%, Cacao 10% and Castor 10%. My SF is 5%..


Lowering my CO decreases hardness of the bar, I dont want a 'sponge', but if thats the solution.. Two batches back I superfatted 9% and the lather decreased a lot.

Should I decrease my CO, or superfatting 6% instead of 5%. How can I increase conditioning without making a sponge of my soap. Or is my oil/butter combination just not the right one? I can use some wisdom, thanks!!

I make vegan soap, without palm.

View attachment 17-05-2015.pdf
 

OliveOil2

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First off making a vegan palm free soap presents a bit of a challenge, and I think you are on the right track. I find 25% coconut drying for my skin, and would reduce it to 20%, and reduce the Castor oil to 8%, I love Castor oil, but it can contribute to a softer bar at high amounts. I would also bump the super fat to 6%. I'm not a vegan palm free soaper so hopefully you will get some additional advice on the hardness. Your recipe is going to be much higher in cost, but I don't know a way around that. I would probably add one more oil, maybe play around with some coconut milk.
 

Obsidian

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Have you tried a 100% coconut oil salt bar with 20% SF? 100% coconut will make a hard bar but it dissolves away quickly, adding in salt will make it last longer and the high SF counteracts the harshness.
I would suggest trying 25% salt and using individual molds if you have them, salt bars can be tricky to cut. They need a good long cure though, 4 months is minimum in my opinion.
Another option is a 50/50 coconut/olive oil with a 10%SF. This is turning into my new favorite recipe and I have very dry skin.
 

FlybyStardancer

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The high amount of butters in your recipe could also be contributing to the lack of lather. Personally, I don't go above 10% butters, though I know others go up to 20%.

Yes, getting a hard palm-free veg bar is tricky. Mine is about 70% liquid oils (with the other 30% split between CO and butters). Both sodium lactate and using a higher lye concentration (thus less water) also help.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Aye, other additives such as salt can help make a bar harder. I would keep the castor at 5% if softness is an issue. But there is a difference between softness (sponge-like) and short-lived soap. As has been said, 100% CO is physically harder than Chuck Norris, but will be used up in no time at all.
 

Zwal

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Thanks for the tips guys.

Hardness is not important, but durability is - and those are in certain cases not the same, true. So my bar can be softer, as long as it holds out long enough.

My last batch cured for almost 6 weeks now.

So I can increase my superfat to say 6% or 7%, decrease the amount of CO for extra conditioning. Would that mean that i have to increase my oo? which means I have to cure longer..
 

OliveOil2

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I just remembered that my friend who soaps palm free does use jojoba oil, which is a liquid wax. Maybe you could try to cut back on either butter and add some jojoba. As far as conditioning there are other milks that would be vegan, Hemp, Almond, Rice, and Soy. I know that testing is the key, maybe try some smaller batches with different variations.
 

Dorymae

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Cure time is your solution. I cure my soaps 6-8 weeks and they are lard and tallow based. Soft oil soaps do get very hard but they need more time to achieve the same level of hardness.

My advice is to lower the coconut oil to a level you like. Increase the olive oil since that is your base.

If you want a really hard bar I'm going to suggest you cure for 3 months before you try it. I have a feeling it won't be its best until 4 months or longer, but by 3 months you should be at a medium hardness at least.

A water discount would be a great idea as well.
 

Xazo

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Zwal,
Many people find that they are allergic to coconut oil. OR their skin is simply too sensitive for the fabulous cleanser of coconut. I am one of those people. Try swapping your coconut oil out with Babassu oil.
I've also found that ANYTIME I use a high amount of olive oil (over 10%) I get decreased lather. I have found other ways to offset this. I LOVE a good bastille bar! I use flat beer-the sugar content increases lather. I use aloe juice-not sure about the WHY on this one. I was going for moisturizing and was assaulted with a plethora of frothy bubbles. It's fantastic! Do some research on bubble increasing measures-you'll be surprised at what you find.
Also, for hardness...invest in some Sodium Lactate. I've taken some of my softer recipes and renewed them with this. It's amazing! I also use beeswax. Though it's tricky in cold process as it speeds up trace.
I hope this helps!! Good luck and keep us posted! *Happy Soaping!*
 

Earthen_Step

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I have made a bar pretty similar to this. I would increase the superfat up to 7-9% and let it cure 3+ months.

+1 to what others have said though, lowering the CO might help you quite a bit. Some people are very sensitive to saponified coconut oils - it's a very powerful cleanser which strips your skin of oil. This is the reason to over superfat to compensate that stripping. For some people though, no matter how superfatted you can still become dry after the shower ritual.
 
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green soap

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I make vegan palm free soaps, but can't give you much advice, since I usually include more than 25% Coconut oil.

Some folks have a sensitivity to coconut, so you could get a small amount of babassu for one batch, switch coconut for babassu and see if this makes a difference. Babassu is just an expensive replacement for coconut in soap. Advantages are that babassu is non comedogenic (not so crucial in soap), and can help with people that are sensitive/allergic to coconut.

One of our favorite recipes for bath soap goes like this:
CO 30% - OO 55% - Cocoa butter (or Shea) 10% - Castor Oil 5% - SF 7%
Cure 6 weeks. This formula feels gentle to many people that find most soaps are drying.

For another approach, go to the shampoo bar very long thread (thanks Lindy!...). The bars can be made vegan. I substituted the soy oil with more olive and more avocado, so mine are: Avocado, olive, shea, castor. These can be used for very dry skin (they make great facial bars too) but they are softer and lather less than the formula above.

Good luck with your experimentation.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Hi,

I started soaping a couple of months ago and have been experimenting with my formula. I made several batches of soap. My first batches had too much CO and were extremely drying, I have adjusted that, bit by bit, but it is still drying.
Could you describe more precisely the feeling this soap leaves? Is your skin tight? Powdery? Waxy? Itchy? Smooth? Soaps made from various fatty acids can leave all sorts of feelings on the skin, and people have varying ideas about what "drying" feels like. I'm curious about what exactly you are experiencing.
 

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