They actually loved the cheap soap

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Garden Gives Me Joy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
146
Reaction score
114
Location
United States
Apart from 10% equal parts Olive and sunflower oils, I made a pure 'palm oil (palm & PKO) soap'. However, I used a few additives for slip and conditioning. I had actually thought of using that 'palm oil soap' formulation as my 'cheap' soap for the body. However, I received unexpected responses from multiple people who actually volunteered the word "excellent!" 😮 One such person was a 60-something year old lady who said she loved how it made her face feel. She used an entire bar of over 100g.

I had previously planned to reserve other formulations for the face because they had far costlier ingredients, like butters and 'nicer' oils.

Is it wrong to allow / encourage people to use this 'palm soap' for the face? Of course, I always show my ingredients list. However, people like the 60-something lady appear to disregard the entire list in favor of a single 'nice ingredient' like the fresh avocado puree. Last week, a guy using the word 'excellent' asked whether he could buy some and could not have known that that soap had avocado. He was a guest who simply found and used the soap because it was lying around. So for him, it must have been only a matter of how the soap felt.

Obviously it can be potentially more profitable to sell this cheaper formulation and allow people to use it for the face. However, would I be cheating them if I did that? ... and is it potentially harmful for people to continually use natural soap that has less nourishing base oils as a face soap?
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
7,558
Reaction score
8,423
Location
SE Denver CO
I made a pure 'palm oil (palm & PKO) soap'.
By any chance, is this the one you made? Just curious. ;)
Zany's Palm Olive

As I've written many times before, PKO and palm (regular or red palm) makes a soap with an elegant/luxury feel. That particular recipe was my DH's favorite for hair and body. It made his white hair clean and shiny with no trace of yellow.
 
Last edited:

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,316
Reaction score
11,159
Location
Western Illinois, USA
I recently read either a blogpost &/or watched a youtube video about a palm soap that the soaper makes specifically as face soap. If I can find it, I will link it for you.

I think these may be the ones that mentioned these palm oil soaps specifically for the face:


associated blog or tutorial: 100% Palm Oil Soap Recipe - HerbAlcochete



If I run across any more, I'll add them.

Also of note is that with various skin types specific to the user, certain soap may not be suitable, so I really don't think anyone can safely make a blanket statement the any particular soap is 100% suitable for 100% of the people, face or any other particular body part.
 

Garden Gives Me Joy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
146
Reaction score
114
Location
United States
So very thankful for your responses. I was feeling really torn over this and had already begun fiddling with a calc to see how I could improve the recipe with a little more luxurious oils. Now, I think I will just let that go.

... Also reminded of how thankful I am in general to have found this community. 💐

BTW, can I actually replace solid white palm oil with the softer red type and get the same or similar results re hardness, durability and conditioning qualities, without changing anything in the recipe? I have just under a kilo of largely untouched red palm.
 
Last edited:

artemis

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Feb 27, 2016
Messages
2,087
Reaction score
3,183
Location
Sol system, Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
BTW, can I actually replace solid white palm oil with the softer red type and get the same or similar results re hardness, durability and conditioning qualities, without changing anything in the recipe? I have just under a kilo of largely untouched red palm.
Yes, but some people report that it will stain washcloths. I didn't have that issue, but I have never used much palm in my recipes, so maybe that's why? Search the forum for red palm for more experiences.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
7,558
Reaction score
8,423
Location
SE Denver CO
can I actually replace solid white palm oil with the softer red type
Yes. I made both versions when making soap for a wholesale customer over 10 years. Their regular goat milk soap was made with regular palm. The red palm was used to make "Bible Soap" which also contained date honey and beeswax, to easily distinguish it from the others. Nice.

You are truly on the right track to making an awesome soap with PKO, Palm and Olive. Many expensive "luxury bars" contain just those 3 ingredients. It's the closest soap I know of (along with the Basic Trinity and ZNSC) that is suitable for most skin and sells well. If my 10-years-experience in wholesale soap sales can attest to that fact. It sold well year, after year, after year. :thumbs:
 
Last edited:

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
2,943
Reaction score
5,576
Location
Oregon
Obviously it can be potentially more profitable to sell this cheaper formulation and allow people to use it for the face. However, would I be cheating them if I did that?

Why would it be cheating? I think that there is a misunderstanding about what is so 'bad' about commercial soap...which is typically made with Palm Oil and/or Palm Kernel Oil and/or Coconut Oil and/or Tallow. Yes, they are 'cheap' oils...especially when you are buying them by the tanker car, but the oils themselves...there is nothing wrong with them. I use Palm Oil and Coconut Oil in all my soaps because I like what they bring to the table.

What makes commercial soaps 'bad' is what they take out, and then what they put in. First thing they remove is glycerol (aka glycerin/glycerine), which is a very valuable...it's widely used in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. A small amount is added back in, which is why it is listed as a separate ingredient. So they add in stuff to replace what glycerol does naturally...which is be a humectant. But it doesn't work very well which is part of the reason why commercial soap is so drying, especially to our face (and lady/man bits).

Then there is the fact that commercial soaps are not "cured"...which as we all know, is a very important part of the soap making process. Freshly made soap can be quite harsh...even the best made bar of soap needs a four to six week cure. In fact, the longer the soap cures, the more gentle it is. Commercial soap is made using the Continuous Method...think HP on steroids. Once it's cooked, it's poured into huge slabs that go in a freezer to be cooled down and then processed into noodles and then run through a milling process where more stuff...scent, colorants, additives (chemicals), then it goes into another machine that extrudes it when it is cut into chunks and the chunks are then placed into a hydraulic press that forms the 'bar' and then it is packaged. boxed, shipping and on your store shelf in less than a week. And no...you can't 'cure' commercial soap. I have a bunch of apocalypse soap under the sink and anytime I think about soap making being a PITA, I only have to wash just once with it to remind myself how blessed I am to be able to make my own soap 'cuz it dries the crap out of my hands.

... and is it potentially harmful for people to continually use natural soap that has less nourishing base oils as a face soap?


Why would it be harmful?

Again, there is NOTHING wrong with either of those oils. With few exceptions, IMHO "facial soaps/cleansers" are nothing more than a marketing gimmick because if it's okay to use on my lady bits, it should be okay to use on my face. Mind you, I used to use them, but I also used commercial soap. And even with facial cleansers specially formulated for 'dry' skin, I was still slathering on the moisturizer. And I continued to use my $20 for 2oz bottle facial cleanser until about a month after I started using my own handcrafted soap, when I noticed that I wasn't using as much body lotion. So I started using it on my face...and found I didn't need as much moisturizer either. And I've quit using shave gel because my soap actually works better.

As for "nourishing base oils"...you do know that what goes IN the pot is NOT what comes out of the pot?

Take Avocado Oil...it's rich in vitamins A, B, D and E and full of healthy fats and great for salad dressings and lotions and conditioners. But in soap...doesn't mean squat because between the Sodium Hydroxide and the saponification process...all that is destroyed. It's why we recommend saving oils expensive oils for stuff that isn't going to get cooked or exposed to caustic substances.

Soap doesn't "nourish", it doesn't 'moisturize'...soap cleans. It will removed dirt, oil, odor, germs...whatever is on the surface of the skin. but that's as far as it goes. But it's not going to make your skin softer, it's not going to heal your skin, it won't remove fine lines because if it did, then it wouldn't be 'soap'...it would be a cosmetic or a drug and say hello to the FDA (USA).
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Messages
2,404
Reaction score
7,623
Location
Minnesota
So very thankful for your responses. I was feeling really torn over this and had already begun fiddling with a calc to see how I could improve the recipe with a little more luxurious oils. Now, I think I will just let that go.

... Also reminded of how thankful I am in general to have found this community. 💐

BTW, can I actually replace solid white palm oil with the softer red type and get the same or similar results re hardness, durability and conditioning qualities, without changing anything in the recipe? I have just under a kilo of largely untouched red palm.
I frequently use red palm oil. It has the same SAP as palm oil. My maximum is 5% which results in a Dial-yellow soap. When I unmold and wash my silicon molds, the mold will be stained yellow temporarily, even after washing. However, it does not affect the color of the next batch and disappears after the next use. Do a search on the forum here because several members have posted photos of various percentages.
 

WeLoveWabiSabi

Active Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
34
Reaction score
43
Location
Texas
Why would it be cheating? I think that there is a misunderstanding about what is so 'bad' about commercial soap...which is typically made with Palm Oil and/or Palm Kernel Oil and/or Coconut Oil and/or Tallow. Yes, they are 'cheap' oils...especially when you are buying them by the tanker car, but the oils themselves...there is nothing wrong with them. I use Palm Oil and Coconut Oil in all my soaps because I like what they bring to the table.

What makes commercial soaps 'bad' is what they take out, and then what they put in. First thing they remove is glycerol (aka glycerin/glycerine), which is a very valuable...it's widely used in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. A small amount is added back in, which is why it is listed as a separate ingredient. So they add in stuff to replace what glycerol does naturally...which is be a humectant. But it doesn't work very well which is part of the reason why commercial soap is so drying, especially to our face (and lady/man bits).

Then there is the fact that commercial soaps are not "cured"...which as we all know, is a very important part of the soap making process. Freshly made soap can be quite harsh...even the best made bar of soap needs a four to six week cure. In fact, the longer the soap cures, the more gentle it is. Commercial soap is made using the Continuous Method...think HP on steroids. Once it's cooked, it's poured into huge slabs that go in a freezer to be cooled down and then processed into noodles and then run through a milling process where more stuff...scent, colorants, additives (chemicals), then it goes into another machine that extrudes it when it is cut into chunks and the chunks are then placed into a hydraulic press that forms the 'bar' and then it is packaged. boxed, shipping and on your store shelf in less than a week. And no...you can't 'cure' commercial soap. I have a bunch of apocalypse soap under the sink and anytime I think about soap making being a PITA, I only have to wash just once with it to remind myself how blessed I am to be able to make my own soap 'cuz it dries the crap out of my hands.



Why would it be harmful?

Again, there is NOTHING wrong with either of those oils. With few exceptions, IMHO "facial soaps/cleansers" are nothing more than a marketing gimmick because if it's okay to use on my lady bits, it should be okay to use on my face. Mind you, I used to use them, but I also used commercial soap. And even with facial cleansers specially formulated for 'dry' skin, I was still slathering on the moisturizer. And I continued to use my $20 for 2oz bottle facial cleanser until about a month after I started using my own handcrafted soap, when I noticed that I wasn't using as much body lotion. So I started using it on my face...and found I didn't need as much moisturizer either. And I've quit using shave gel because my soap actually works better.

As for "nourishing base oils"...you do know that what goes IN the pot is NOT what comes out of the pot?

Take Avocado Oil...it's rich in vitamins A, B, D and E and full of healthy fats and great for salad dressings and lotions and conditioners. But in soap...doesn't mean squat because between the Sodium Hydroxide and the saponification process...all that is destroyed. It's why we recommend saving oils expensive oils for stuff that isn't going to get cooked or exposed to caustic substances.

Soap doesn't "nourish", it doesn't 'moisturize'...soap cleans. It will removed dirt, oil, odor, germs...whatever is on the surface of the skin. but that's as far as it goes. But it's not going to make your skin softer, it's not going to heal your skin, it won't remove fine lines because if it did, then it wouldn't be 'soap'...it would be a cosmetic or a drug and say hello to the FDA (USA).
If you can cook with, for instance, avocado oil, and it doesn't destroy the nutrients, then I would think soap would still include those nutrients, considering it doesn't get as got as in cooking and doesn't even come close to reaching the smoke point. Not to say that's an advertising claim or anything, just some thoughts.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
6,949
Reaction score
12,730
Location
US
If you can cook with, for instance, avocado oil, and it doesn't destroy the nutrients, then I would think soap would still include those nutrients, considering it doesn't get as got as in cooking and doesn't even come close to reaching the smoke point. Not to say that's an advertising claim or anything, just some thoughts.
The difference is that once you add the lye solution to the oil, it actually deconstructs the oil molecules into separate chemicals to make soap, glycerin, etc. That process completely changes the behavior of that oil. Coconut oil is a great example; most people find it moisturizing as a standalone oil, but very drying in soap. And avocado oil -- as opposed to soap made with avocado oil -- will not clean your hands.

Thus, making soap with an oil is not really comparable to cooking with it. We just can't say what pre-saponification qualities of that oil are really left post-saponification.
 
Last edited:

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
2,943
Reaction score
5,576
Location
Oregon
If you can cook with, for instance, avocado oil, and it doesn't destroy the nutrients, then I would think soap would still include those nutrients, considering it doesn't get as got as in cooking and doesn't even come close to reaching the smoke point. Not to say that's an advertising claim or anything, just some thoughts.
It's not just the heat the destroys a lot of the 'benefits'. As noted by myself and @AliOop, you’re forgetting the Sodium Hydroxide which breaks down the fats and then turns them into something completely different.

I make a Mechanic’s Soap. It’s just my Regular Recipe with Pumice Powder and is generally unscented in earthly colors. Sometime I get a wild hair and give it fresh scent…lemon or a mint. I got into a um…discussion…with some guy here who said my Mechanic’s Soap was not a “real” Mechanic’s Soap…like LAVA with it’s extra grease fighting ingredients and special grit. Poor, poor man…does not know me well. So I copied the ingredients from LAVA and three other ‘popular’ ones…basic soap ingredients and pumice…and that nasty orange smell.

Here’s the deal…if you have a good basic recipe that you like and it produces a well-balance bar of soap, go ahead an jazz it up a little an Essential Oil and a little Activated Charcoal and call it “Facial Soap”…then that is what it is and I hope you sell the heck out of it.
 

WeLoveWabiSabi

Active Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
34
Reaction score
43
Location
Texas
The difference is that once you add the lye solution to the oil, it actually deconstructs the oil molecules into separate chemicals to make soap, glycerin, etc. That process completely changes the behavior of that oil. Coconut oil is a great example; most people find it moisturizing as a standalone oil, but very drying in soap. And avocado oil -- as opposed to soap made with avocado oil -- will not clean your hands.

Thus, making soap with an oil is not really comparable to cooking with it. We just can't say what pre-saponification qualities of that oil are really left post-saponification.
Yes. I totally get that. And also what @TheGecko said. But unless we have a PhD in chemistry, and have studied soap exclusively, we can't really know. I can say that I do not have a PhD in chemistry (I wish I did, but my career path unfortunately didn't take me in that direction, and if it did, I probably wouldn't be making soap. Lol) And of course we wouldn't make any claims that anything remains in the soap that we don't know for sure. I personally just find the science and chemistry fascinating and enjoy reading the research. While we might assume that nothing could survive lye, I wouldn't think that's always the case. For instance, if something added does not contain enough fats to be saponifiable, like herbs.

Here's is something I took a screenshot of recently while I was reading up on what survives saponification. I thought it was interesting.
 

Attachments

  • F8716A8F-9121-451F-AD97-D9D05C1CAF5B.jpeg
    F8716A8F-9121-451F-AD97-D9D05C1CAF5B.jpeg
    119 KB · Views: 0

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
2,943
Reaction score
5,576
Location
Oregon

Latest posts

Top