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Why is it so drying when it shouldn't be?

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gigisiguenza

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My third soapy batch is matured and I've been trying it out. It lathers well but is very drying and I'm looking for help understanding why.

Any help is appreciated :)

Here's the specifics
____________________
Recipe:
5% Safflower
5% Castor
20% CO
20% OO
50% Lard
5% SF
FO - BB Milk n Honey - used 1.5 oz for whole batch

Colorants:
Safflower Oil infused with Anatto powder
Parsley powder
Kaolin white clay

Process:
Batch date is 8/1, slab mold, colors poured into divided sections, swirled, sat in fridge for an hour to prevent gel, cut at 24ish hours, passed zap when tested couple days later.
 

KristaMarie

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Did you find your other batches drying? Just wondering if there's something different about this one.

Some people can't handle even 20% CO, so you may want to reduce that in your next batch just to see.

How much clay did you use? Kaolin is really mild, but if you used enough of it, I guess it could be drying
 

lsg

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It could be that you have an allergy to the FO, making it seem like soap is doing the skin damage.
 

snappyllama

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You might be someone that's sensitive to CO. Most folks stay at or under 20% and are fine, but some people can only tolerate 15% or even less. If you have any PKO handy, try splitting it into 8% PKO and 8% CO (putting the remainder in lard). I find my bars with that breakdown lather just as well, without giving me any of the drying that 20% CO can sometimes do.

I also like to SF a little higher... 6-7% range since my skin gets very dry feeling in my climate.

I haven't used parsely powder - have you used it before? I'm not sure if that could be an irritant for you.
 

Obsidian

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20% coconut is as high as I can use (exception is a salt bar) toss clay into the mix and I can't use it at all. I know many people really like clay in soaps but I can't stand the stuff.
 

gigisiguenza

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Did you find your other batches drying? Just wondering if there's something different about this one.

Some people can't handle even 20% CO, so you may want to reduce that in your next batch just to see.

How much clay did you use? Kaolin is really mild, but if you used enough of it, I guess it could be drying
Krista - that's a good question, lemme look at my notes. The only batch I've been using before testing the one in question is my first batch, which used the same FO and I have no issues with that one, so I'm pretty sure it's not the FO (or logic says it shouldn't be anyway )
 

gigisiguenza

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Ok so here is the two batches side by side, maybe this will help with troubleshooting

batch 1 (which I can use happily and gives me no issues at all, love it actually)
and batch 3 (which gave me very itchy dryness, but my roommate likes it, go figure)

Batch #1_____________________Batch #3
10% Avocado________________5% Safflower
10% Castor__________________5% Castor
20% CO______________________20% CO
30% Lard____________________50% Lard
30% OO_____________________20% OO
5% SF_______________________5% SF
FO .5% _______ BB MnH_____ FO .5%
Color
None________________________Anatto infused safflower oil 26g added to 850g of main oils
_____________________________Parsley powder 1tsp added to 637g of main oils
_____________________________Kaolin white clay 1Tbs added to 425g of main oils
 

gigisiguenza

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It could be that you have an allergy to the FO, making it seem like soap is doing the skin damage.
I considered that, but its the same FO as my first batch, which I love and gives me no trouble
You might be someone that's sensitive to CO. Most folks stay at or under 20% and are fine, but some people can only tolerate 15% or even less. If you have any PKO handy, try splitting it into 8% PKO and 8% CO (putting the remainder in lard). I find my bars with that breakdown lather just as well, without giving me any of the drying that 20% CO can sometimes do.
- I also like to SF a little higher... 6-7% range since my skin gets very dry feeling in my climate.
- I haven't used parsely powder - have you used it before? I'm not sure if that could be an irritant for you.
I haven't used palm as I've been unable to source it locally and can't afford to order it online after they add shipping. As to the parsley, nope, it was my first time using it, but it can't see how it would irritate. The anatto might thought, hmmmm.
20% coconut is as high as I can use (exception is a salt bar) toss clay into the mix and I can't use it at all. I know many people really like clay in soaps but I can't stand the stuff.
I had not considered at all that the clay make it even more drying ..... hmmm.
I've been using the high CO amount to ensure lather. I'm totally game to reduce the amount of CO but don't want to sacrifice lather.
 

gigisiguenza

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BTW.... for anyone who thinks you can just whip up batches and crank em out to people, here is a lesson very firmly demonstrated regarding why you all say to NOT give soaps away or sell them before you have personally tested them.

I've been testing this one for a week and only gave it to my roommate to get feedback and determine if it is the soap or me. Thankfully, she likes the soap, has no drying issues, and says it doesn't leave her itchy at all. If I had not followed advice given very early on here, I would have assumed that since batch 1 was nice, then every other batch would be the same and perform the same. Now I know that this particular batch would be good for someone with oily skin, but is gonna be murder for folks with dry or trouble skin.
 

coffeetime

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BTW.... for anyone who thinks you can just whip up batches and crank em out to people, here is a lesson very firmly demonstrated regarding why you all say to NOT give soaps away or sell them before you have personally tested them.

I've been testing this one for a week and only gave it to my roommate to get feedback and determine if it is the soap or me. Thankfully, she likes the soap, has no drying issues, and says it doesn't leave her itchy at all. If I had not followed advice given very early on here, I would have assumed that since batch 1 was nice, then every other batch would be the same and perform the same. Now I know that this particular batch would be good for someone with oily skin, but is gonna be murder for folks with dry or trouble skin.

Ooh, I'm on my phone so I can't but I wish I could like this ...x1000!
 

gigisiguenza

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Question - could the soap still have lye present?? I was reading a different thread about a cured soap being tested and I'm wondering if the soap could still have lye present in it even though it passes zap. I doubt it because I used full water and ran it through soapcalc and measured exactly, but it's got me curious.

I can repost the 'recipe with actual amounts, not percentages, and water and lye amounts if that helps.

Safflower 45.36g
Castor 45.36g
CO 181.44g
OO 181.44g
Lard 453.59g
Water 344.73g
Lye 127.20g

Anyone wanna chime in?
 
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Dharlee

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you can test the P of it with phenolphthalein. I think you can get that at swimming pool supply places. That should tell you if it's a lye problem shouldn't it?
 

gigisiguenza

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you can test the P of it with phenolphthalein. I think you can get that at swimming pool supply places. That should tell you if it's a lye problem shouldn't it?
No idea, never phone tested soap before LOL. And I'm unsure where I would get a phone testing kit locally. I don't own a car so getting places outside my walkable routes is reliant on when I can get rides to the stores farther away.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Pheno would tell you if your soap was alkaline or not, but that's all. As we know soap is alkaline, it doesn't help us much.

pH testing would tell us the pH, but that also doesn't tell us if there is a lye problem or not.

Zap test is the best home method of testing for excess lye.
 

FlybyStardancer

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you can test the P of it with phenolphthalein. I think you can get that at swimming pool supply places. That should tell you if it's a lye problem shouldn't it?
Not necessarily. Pheno tests the pH of standard solutions, where as to test if there's remaining lye you want to test free alkalinity. Those are separate tests and not interchangeable. Not to mention that soap is difficult to accurately test the pH of because of the way it actually buffers pH.
 

Susie

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1) You can become allergic to anything at any time. You can only rule out the FO if you are currently using a bar of batch #1 soap concurrently with #3.

2) I am in the "can't stand clay in soap" group. Makes my skin feel super dry and itchy. I sent the bars to my kids who both have oily skin.

3) Drop the CO to 10% on the next batch, and add sugar or honey at 2 tsp PPO to boost bubbles. That should help.

4) You have the best measure of safe/not-safe right in your mouth. If it does not zap, you have a safe soap.
 

gigisiguenza

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1) You can become allergic to anything at any time. You can only rule out the FO if you are currently using a bar of batch #1 soap concurrently with #3.

2) I am in the "can't stand clay in soap" group. Makes my skin feel super dry and itchy. I sent the bars to my kids who both have oily skin.

3) Drop the CO to 10% on the next batch, and add sugar or honey at 2 tsp PPO to boost bubbles. That should help.

4) You have the best measure of safe/not-safe right in your mouth. If it does not zap, you have a safe soap.
Susie - I love that you think in itemized lists like I do LOL

1) I'm currently using batch #1 with no trouble, so I don't think the FO is the issue, but I will pay closer attention now that I've stopped using the soap that is giving me the itchies.

2) If the other soaps I made that have clay in them give me the dry itchy reaction, I may end up in the same club.

3) I will try that. Do I need to worry about the sugar or honey causing acceleration or overheating?

4) Thats good to know. I know you all have said it before, but I second guess myself and worry :)

TY for the feedback :)
 

Obsidian

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It could be that you simply need a more conditioning bar which #1 is. You could make a small batch of #1 and add clay to portion, see how those bars do for you.

sugar/honey can cause overheating. Seems honey might be a bit worse than white sugar. I've read that if you add the honey to your cooled lye solution, let it heat back up then cool back down before mixing, it won't react as bad in your soap.

I've found what works better and is easier then sugars is aloe juice. I don't know what is in it that boosts lather but it does. You can replace all your water with it and it behaves when you mix it with lye. You can get a big jug at walmart for around $6, it will be in the pharmacy section. Aloe does seem to make your soap a bit softer at first, might need a few extra hours before cutting.
 

gigisiguenza

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It could be that you simply need a more conditioning bar which #1 is. You could make a small batch of #1 and add clay to portion, see how those bars do for you.

sugar/honey can cause overheating. Seems honey might be a bit worse than white sugar. I've read that if you add the honey to your cooled lye solution, let it heat back up then cool back down before mixing, it won't react as bad in your soap.

I've found what works better and is easier then sugars is aloe juice. I don't know what is in it that boosts lather but it does. You can replace all your water with it and it behaves when you mix it with lye. You can get a big jug at walmart for around $6, it will be in the pharmacy section. Aloe does seem to make your soap a bit softer at first, might need a few extra hours before cutting.
Obsidian - you answered a question I've been meaning to ask but kept forgetting LOL. I saw that jug of aloe vera juice at Wal-Mart in the pharmacy but wasn't sure if it was good for soaping. I've wanted to try the honey or sugar but have been leary of it because of the overheating issues. TY for the suggestions :)
 

osso

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Aloe is a wonderful and easy water replacement.

Agree with upping super fat to 6-7% with 20% CO.
 
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