What to try next (castile?)

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Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2015
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Berlin, Germany
Hi everyone,

I'm making small batches at the moment to try and find out which recipe works best for me and my skin type. I tend to have dry skin in the winter but this may also be due to daily showers.

So far I have made these three recipes:

100% CO
20% SF

50% lard
30% OO
15% CO
5% castor oil
7% SF

80% lard
15% CO
5% castor oil
5% SF

All three of them are still curing so I don't know how well they will turn out.

There are tons of recipes out there but I feel like most of them are just variations of a few basic formulas. I'd like to try at least one recipe for each of them, so I can then go from there.

Now I'm wondering what kind of soap I should make next.

Is it worth making castile soap (which will obviously not be ready in time with the rest)? It has a long history and the whole curing for several months thing makes it kind of special - but is it actually a really good soap that might turn out to be my favorite? I found very conflicting opinions on that.

Or should I try tallow?

I don't want to use PKO but otherwise there are no limitations. Of course I would love to do without exotic and expensive oils that are hard to get, but if they're truly worth it I will at least try them once.

Thanks a lot in advance for any ideas!
I would suggest a salt bar or brine soap. You have a nice variety already, they all will be good soaps but a salt bar really will be different. Castile isn't a nice soap imo, its not just the slimey texture and bad lather, it doesn't make me feel clean and it dries my skin. Some people really do like though so I suppose you should give it try at some point.
I second the salt bar. The combinations you have already should be a good start. I wouldn't keep making soaps until you've actually been able to try out what you've made thus far. And see how you like them. I know the wait is difficult. I too have dry skin during the winter. I have no problem with my salt bars or other soaps. I don't like castile one bit myself.
I agree with the salt bar votes. I tried a batch and have only used one bar; however, it is amazing! I used 100% coconut with 20% SF and 25% salt. I think my next foray into salt bars will be 50% salt and 100% salt then compare them after the cure. I might even do salt with my regular recipe instead of the 100% coconut. Yeah. I'm hooked on the salt bars. (Still waiting to try my Castile. It's "only" been two months.)
Always interesting to learn a new German loanword.

One thing I just remembered: When I've been swimming in the sea, I need to have a shower afterwards or my skin will start itching and burning. Are salt bars still a good idea (since I rinse them off immediately)?
Salt bars are awesome and I always have a batch in my rotation - my favorite body bars. But I will also recommend a nice 100% olive oil castille - I adore mine and they are a perfect gentle face bar for me, I don't feel like they are slimy, but Not_Ally said they were to her, so maybe I just like that kind of lather :) I like to scent with something simple like rosemary or rosemary and lavender, just make them and forget them for a while so they get a good long cure.
A friend gave me about 10 different homemade soaps including Castile. I thought the were ok nothing special. About a year later we decided to use them up. The Castile was almost 2 years old and it is the best of them all and so fantastic that I decided to get into soap making.
It's not slimy, it's hard so it doesn't wash away and I love it.
I am trying rice bran oil soaps, too, as I am allergic to OO but not in such a way that it gives me a rash or effects my skin, if that makes sense.

I think soap (like scent) is a very personal thing and you have to try a few before you discover "the" one for you.

Don't bother using Castile until it's 12 months old. I use extra virgin OO but others use light OO. It doesn't matter much because it cures white. At the moment I use 5% superfat, 30% lye concentration with no fragrance. But I am not certain this is the exact recipe for the great soap I have as my friend's recipe is locked away in storage!

For variation you might want to try 1 level tablespoon of honey and vanilla bean seeds scraped out of 2 vanilla bean pods for 500g of oil.
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I also vote for trying a salt bar. :thumbup: I use 100% coconut oil in mine with 100% coconut milk as my liquid, 25% salt ppo, and a 13% superfat.

For a really nice gentle soap that I personally like so much better than my usual 100% Castile, and that won't take any longer than 4 to 6 weeks to cure, I highly suggest Genny's shampoo bar recipe: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=30946&highlight=lindy.

In spite of it being called a 'shampoo bar', I don't use it as such. I actually made it for the first time back in August (a tweaked version of it) for a friend as a facial bar, but after trying it out myself in the shower as just a regular bath soap, I was so pleasantly surprised by it's loveliness that I decided right on the spot to ditch making the annual Castile and make these instead. lol This is my tweaked version:

Olive Oil 40%
Avocado Oil 30%
Castor Oil 10%
Shea Butter 10%
High Oleic (HO) Safflower Oil 10%
Superfatted @ 6%

In spite of there being none of the traditional 'bubbly oils' in it such as coconut/pko/babassu, it actually has nice lather.....and no slime.

IrishLass :)
Do you dissolve salt in your salt bar or just mix it in?

Thank you for the above recipe - it makes me feel a little more confident about a recipe I've been mulling over.
Do you dissolve salt in your salt bar or just mix it in?

Thank you for the above recipe - it makes me feel a little more confident about a recipe I've been mulling over.

No, I don't dissolve my salt, although one of these days I want to try doing that (making a solseife). I just pour the salt into my batter at medium-thick trace. Oh- I should probably mention that I use fine sea salt.

IrishLass :)