Hi everyone.. I know this has been discussed before, but I had to ask everyone's opinion.
SWMBO makes soap as a hobby, for our personal use and for gifts. She tried making a shaving soap for me using that recipe at about.com. The results were as expected. It's now being used in the shower. It just dried out my face like crazy and started burning on the second pass. Also, the lather didn't hold. The next day, I was back to my Mama bear soap. That about.com recipe assumes that upping the castor oil a little (9%) and adding bentonite clay is all there is to shaving soap...
I've been reading a LOT about shave soap recipes and i've come upon a few bits of information:
Olive oil in large quantitys is no good is shaving soap. It kills lather
Lots more castor oil can be used.
Coconut oils in large quantitys can be very drying.
Clay does not turn a regular soap into shaving soap, but does give a little extra slip.
After all the reading, using soap calc, I changed the original recipe:
olive oil 5% (down from 40%)
coconut oil 15% (down from 30%)
Palm oil 50% (up from 22%)
Castor oil 20% (up from 8%)
Cocoa butter 10% (none in original recipe).
We still added 1 tablespoon of clay to the oils and we used kaolin instead of bentonite this time. 1 tablespoon of glycerine was also added at trace. I'm hoping it will help the lather a little.
Lye is discounted at 5%.
What these changes did, according to soapcalc, was decrease the cleansing factor of the bar a LOT, increase the bubblyness a little, and increase the creamyness a LOT. We did a very small batch, only a 4 oz puck to see how this recipe would be. The last time we did 2 pounds.... Worst case, I'll wash in the shower with it again. It's still fun trying :)
I will know the results in about 4-6 weeks, but I was wondering if any soapmakers were able to give me their opinion? Or suggestions for improvement? I might be doing another try soon replacing the cocoa butter with shea butter (for it's stearic content), or maybe we will just replace the palm oil with tallow, if I can get my hands on some.