Quantcast

What ingredients do you use and why?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

BWsoaps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
64
Reaction score
24
Hey guys, I'm new to soap making and I've got basic making of soap down to a tee now.

Basic oil+lye+fragrance

I've come to a point now where I want to add other ingredients like exfoliating agents and oatmeal that I have see people use

My question : what ingredients do you use (other than oils and fragrance) and why?
 

galaxyMLP

SPONSOR
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
1,338
Location
Florida
Look at that! A thread started! :)

I like to use salt, to make salt bars, but, I also like apricot seeds for exfoliation. I also use jojoba beads.

I make a soap using goats milk and Oat Flour.

I also love using beer and wine in soap. There are just so many things out there! There was a thread on here about your favorite exfoliants not too long ago. Let me go look.

I use beer and wine becasue they are "fun" but also because they have sugars in them that boost lather in soap.

I use exfoliants to... Exfoliate (apricot seed for more scrub, jojoba beads for less, I used to use poppy seeds but I find them too big now.)

I like the "conditioning" of oatmeal.

I also use clays for "slip" and find that soaps with clays make a creamier lather.

Found it!!

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=54466
 
Last edited:

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,205
Reaction score
10,046
Location
Southern California
Avocado puree is one of my favorites and I tend to only use oatmeal for exfoliation. Seeds, jojoba beads etc are just to scratchy for me
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
My standard additives: 100% aloe liquid sub for water (skin feel and lather), full coconut milk (skin feel and lather), sugar solution (lather), EDTA (to minimize soap scum, though said to boost lather and minimize DOS), sodium lactate (to make bar harder upon unmolding/cutting, also said to boost lather), silk for slip. Also experimenting w/clays as standard additions, for slip/conditioning/scent retention.

The rest kind of just happens depending on what occurs to my little pea brain on a given day :) I do love both avocado and cucumber purees.
 
Last edited:

aprice522

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
105
Reaction score
53
I am new to soaping and this has been my journey is "stuff"

1. co oo, castile and hazel with EOs, orange and cinn (orange is now missing from the scent--I didn't know about the citrus fade thing...)

2. co oo castile jojoba and coco butter with EO mint/rosemary and parsley to color. (this is aging into a LOVELY bar, but is still soft 5 weeks later, but I wash my face with it and not need to lotion....I am sure the scale was way way off!!)

color is barely there -- I learned that my scale was not working well and needed better tools.


3. With my new tools--I made a lemongrass/lavendar of soy, coco butter, co and oo--My first real success.

4. SALT--I did my research and found a recipe 80co/20oo with 40% salt and tried to use turmeric (from my spice cabinet for coloring--didn't really work--just made a light speckle) It is great experience, but I haven't used it yet because it is only at a 4weeks and I want to wait still.

5. BEER soap--still aging--but my first color success using coco powder and coffee grounds for a pencil line.

6. Shampoo bars- I did 3 versions of shampoo and love the first I am testing.
(one no CO, 1 low low CO and 1 5%CO) I used beta carotene and was able to have an orange soap. Nice to have a 2 color successes....

7. Just this week I did the milk, honey, oat flour thing. Went great but not testing.

Plans of things to come: aloe juice--everyone talks about it, I want to try it out.

I would like to do some fragrances and not just EOs but all I have are eos currently. I plan on trying to find a good source for micas to make some colors and try out all the fancy things I see here....
 

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
Oh gosh, this could get long...

For liquid additives, I like using beer, goat's milk, coconut cream, coffee, tea... pretty much anything, as long as it's cold/frozen!

For gentle exfoliation, I use tea leaves, dessicated coconut or ground oats. Honey is a nice additive as the sugar is good for increasing lather. Salt to harden.

I've played around a little with botanicals, but haven't managed to get my hands on any that don't turn brown yet. I read somewhere about grinding up lavender buds for exfoliation, but they do turn brown.

I also like different clays to add colour and slip, same with activated charcoal.

Basically, I root around my pantry whilst soaping and see what I can find, most of the time!
 

PinkCupcake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
579
Reaction score
359
In my standard soaps, I use sodium lactate for hardness, sugar (in the form of simple syrup) for bubbles, and tussah silk. Sometimes I also add clay.
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,182
Reaction score
9,368
Location
Michigan
Milks of all kinds, beer, sodium lactate, sugar and silk. I also like using oatmeal and honey along with some clays and activated charcoal. I have also used ground luffa and jojoba beads. Otherwise I don't get too fancy.
 

Lynusann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
181
Reaction score
108
My standard additives: 100% aloe liquid sub for water (skin feel and lather).
not_ally, I used aloe for the first time, did a 100% sub for water and I'm not thrilled with how the batter worked out for me :( It traced crazy fast and this is a recipe I've used before that I know works well for slow tracing so that I can design in it. Is that normal for aloe to have any impact on trace like that?
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
Lyn, it doesn't trace fast for me. I've read that other people have experienced that too, I wonder the brand contains something that is making it do that? Just checked mine, it contains aloe juice, citric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. I get it from Trader Joe's.
 

Lynusann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
181
Reaction score
108
Lyn, it doesn't trace fast for me. I've read that other people have experienced that too, I wonder the brand contains something that is making it do that? Just checked mine, it contains aloe juice, citric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. I get it from Trader Joe's.
I'm glad to know I'm not on my own on that one at least. I will have to recheck the ingredients list when I get home but I was pretty sure it said 100% aloe vera. Unless I just made that up in my head *sigh* Maybe I'll have to try subbing aloe for water in an otherwise completely liquid recipe and soap even lower than 80F. I guess we'll see how it turns out when I unmold it tonight (it was practically soap on a stick when I went to pour last night so the swirls I attempted are probably just all muddled)
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
9,887
Reaction score
7,241
Location
Idaho, USA
At some point I've tried just about everything in my soaps, some are ok, some I quite dislike and others are a staple. My favorites are aloe juice and coconut milk. For the aloe juice, get the kind made to drink for digestion or health reasons, not the drinks from the grocery store. Even better is fresh gel but my plant can't support use like that. I use aloe for 100% of my liquid most of the time.

I was using canned coconut milk but recently started using powdered. I haven't decided which I like better. The powder is convenient but I don't know how it will perform in the soap.

I also like beer but only in certain soaps since I use dark stout and it colors the soap a medium brown. I don't care much for animal milks, never noticed any benefits and it makes soap smell weird.

I've tried nut milk/oat milk a few times and had a lot of problems with separation, seizing or other things going wrong. One of these days I'll try a batch with homemade almond or hazel milk.

I'm not a fan of clays, they dry my skin and I don't much care for the colors they make. I am trying white kaolin though, its supposed to be none drying and it doesn't color the soap. I dislike botanical, most discolor to ugly brown or black and they are too scratchy. I do like the speckled look of finely ground lavender in a white HP but again, its too scratchy for me to use. A little bit of petals on top of soap is ok.

egg yolk is a really neat additive, especially for a facial soap. Makes a really nice creamy lather, kind of smells weird for a few days but it cures out. Must be tempered before adding to the batter or you will get cooked egg bits.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,984
Location
So Cal
I like to add sugar for bubbles, and have recently started adding citric acid to help with hard water (and doing the lye calcs so as not to increase the superfat). I have realized the value of using distilled water, especially for liquid soap. I like clays and charcoal, natural colorants and am learning more about oxides. I have no urge to try mammal milk, I have tried coconut milk once and wasn't impressed, but I do like beer. I want to try coffee and oatmeal next.
 

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
406
I use clays as I love them in my facial masks, turmeric powder, ground orange zest and ground calendula petals in addition to the usual sugar/ honey, citric acid, sodium lactate and such.
Recently I started adding 100* aloe powder in the lye water to make it 100% aloe juice.
I will also be trying AC pretty soon.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
Spenny, except for calendula, all botanicals will turn brown in soap. Don't know what it is about calendula that allows it to withstand the lye, but it is something really unique. Botanicals even generally turn brown on top of the soap for me, except for calendula and blue corn petal flowers. I see soaps that have all the pretty rose petals on them and wonder if people are doing it differently, or if they are just freshly poured and they end up turning later.
 

amd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
3,509
Reaction score
4,736
Location
South Dakota
My question : what ingredients do you use (other than oils and fragrance) and why?
I'm in the same boat - been experimenting like crazy! So far I have done:
liquid subs:
coffee. I brewed at double strength, used for 2 different style bars and they both smell like heaven! I've read that coffee is great for skin conditions, although it's debated how much of the good stuff survives saponification.

apple cider. Does not make your soap smell like apples btw. I had this in the fridge so... why not make soap out of it?

coconut milk. Love this for moisturizing. Although my next go round with it I am going to reduce my CO by 5% to get more moisturizing out of the milk.

And I have aloe vera juice to try out as soon as my new NaOH order gets here.

A few experiments still on my cure rack:
ground lavender buds with kaolin clay (oddly the ground buds are not turning black - I ground them with the clay so I don't know if that's holding them or they just need more cure or I'm color blind...) I made this for my pastor's wife who loves lavender and wanted an exfoliating bar too.

Colloidal Oatmeal: doing an exfoliating material comparison.

Coffee Grounds: see above exfoliating experiments and coffee notes.

I always add some kind of clay to my soap (1TBSP PPO), but I'm experimenting at the moment with different methods of adding it, such as putting it in the lye water (pre adding the lye) and straining before adding oils, or adding 2x or 3x for color and slip comparison. I haven't used charcoal yet, but I'm on the hunt for it in my local stores. I also have adding salt to my bars on my experiment list (for a harder bar).
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
amd, how long has the ground lavendar been curing? It would be great if it stayed purple. The actual buds in soap turn into mouse turds pretty fast, so it will be encouraging if it has been a while ....
 

amd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
3,509
Reaction score
4,736
Location
South Dakota
My calendar says it will be at 6 week cure (which is when I start giving things away, lol) on Aug 20. I hadn't read about the black thing until after I made the soap, otherwise I probably wouldn't have done it. I'm going to have the bf check the color tonight to make sure I'm not pretending they're still purple. LOL... there have been a few times I've been in denial about things that are obvious to others.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
So a month, or so, that is pretty good! Def. keep checking - and please do post - to see if it stays, that would be v. good to know.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
Obsidian, just tried dead sea mud a few days ago (five?) and although obviously it is way, way too early to get a real sense, the little bitty piece I tried just now felt pretty good and non-drying. Maybe I am imagining this, it seems to have an almost indiscernible briney smell that I kind of like, although others may not. I am waiting for kaolin to arrive, started my great clay experiment a few days ago and was staggered to realize that w/all the samples of weird clays I had, I had forgotten to get the best/most-widely used/least stripping/cheapest of all.
 

Latest posts

Top