Trying for a moisturizing body wash

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jonvance

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I've successfully made some basic liquid soaps, and I am moving on to attempt some super-moisturizing body washes. The idea was to combine my lotion-making experience with my new soap-making skills :)

Well, it isn't working as I'd hoped. I've attempted to emulsify about 10 - 20% extra oil (in the form of shea butter primarily) into the liquid soap using emulsifying wax, similar to how I may make a light lotion. After sitting for a while, the mixture separates.

I must be missing some requisite chemical knowledge to understand why e-wax can hold water and oil together so well, but fail to hold a little extra oil in some soap. Does anyone here have any thoughts on that matter?
 

jonvance

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Interesting info there, thank you.

I'd still love to know why the e-wax isn't working on soap. Anyone have any thoughts on that question?
 

Robert

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I've attempted to emulsify about 10 - 20% extra oil (in the form of shea butter primarily) into the liquid soap using emulsifying wax, similar to how I may make a light lotion. After sitting for a while, the mixture separates.
Is a 2-layer product acceptable at least for your own use? There've even been commercial products like that. There was Twice As Nice shampoo + conditioner, and there've been bath additives too. Typically the 2-layer product was kept in a screw-capped bottle which the user mixed by inverting or shaking several times just before use. Same with some salad dressings. Also, Imperial Leather has a bath and shower product that consists of separate bottles of washing & conditioning liquids, tied in parallel and dispensing together onto a washcloth, similarly to Stripe toothpaste onto a brush.
I must be missing some requisite chemical knowledge to understand why e-wax can hold water and oil together so well, but fail to hold a little extra oil in some soap. Does anyone here have any thoughts on that matter?
The ways of emulsions are tricky. Either the alkalinity or the salt (ionic strength) introduced by the soap could spoil the emulsion that would've formed with oil in plain water with that emulsifying system. Also, if you mixed it in there while the soap was still saponifying, the alkali might've attacked one or more of the components of the emulsifying wax.
 

jonvance

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Yes, the family has been using a separated product since I made it. It's acceptable, but not of course ideal.

I did attempt the emulsification after sequestering and concentrating the soap, so excess saponification wouldn't have been the problem, but I see what you're saying about alkalinity and salts. Is there any emulsifier that is known to work with liquid soap that you know of?
 

whitetiger_0603

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10-20% might be a bit much for shea butter as a super fat. I have to though, are you reheating the soap as well as heating the butter? Generally, the best superfats for liquid soap are soft oils like olive and coconut. The ideal superfat that will also allow you to maintain a transparent soap is castor oil, however, with using the right amounts, meaning small, I've been able to maintain a transparent soap after superfatting with oils other than castor.
 
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