Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Making of a Soap Recipe

A Note to New Soapers

When I first started making soap I found it really difficult to find a recipe.  I started where I imagine a lot of people have with the standard 30% Coconut oil, 30% Palm oil, 40% Olive oil recipe.  It's a good recipe but it has it's cons as well.  I like the fact that it has a lot of bubbles.  I didn't like the fact that it made my skin feel tight after using it.  I definitely needed to use lotion afterwards.  I think that everyone really needs to start somewhere. When I first started out I didn't know what all those numbers meant on the lye calculator sheet.  It took experience formulating different recipes to actually understand what those numbers meant and felt like on the skin and how the bar looked when I changed one oil for another. I've now been making soap for three years.  It has taken that long formulating different recipes to understand what the cleaning number actually brings to a bar of soap, and I'm still learning.  How the high conditioning number is will also mean that it may not come out of the mold for days lol.  Also what oils can be substituted for another.  For instance, you can substitute palm oil for cocoa butter.  Cocoa butter will actually make the bit bar harder than palm, I mean for the creamy lather they work the same or similar. But Cocoa butter is a bit more conditioning than Palm. I can tell someone all these things but only the actually making of different recipes will the understanding come.  It takes experience.  Don't loose heart if your a new soaper and  don't know where to start.  Just keep on making different recipes study your oils.  And test, test, test, your soaps out.  Find out what you like best.  What is more important to you?  Do you need the conditioning for sensitive or dry skin?  Or do you need a high cleansing soap for real big messes?  Do you like a nice creamy lather or are big bubbles more important to you?  Are you committed to having the most natural bar of soap possible?   These are some of the questions that I had to ask myself and test out before finally I realized what was the most important qualities of a soap that I wanted.  What may be my favorite soap may not be yours.  If you don't like a recipe find out why and make soapcalc your new best friend.  :)

Happy Soaping!

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