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  1. #1
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    Default Making your Own Shaving Cream

    So this firday night I tried to make my own shaving cream. It was really an interesting thing to try. Below is the recipie that I followed:

    Eco-Friendly Homemade Shaving Cream: How to Make Shaving Cream

    I used Dr Bronner's Castile Soap - Peppermint becasue I couldn't find peppermint essetial oils. I also added 10 drops of Eucalyptus and 10 drops of lavender. The smell was incredible!!!

    Now the problem that I have is that my cream was very runny and looked like soapy water. That might be becasue I didn't have a blender or handmixer handy to mix all the ingredients together so I ended up more foam than actual cream. I plan to repeat my process but this time I will have a blender ready to go in hopes that that is the problem.

    *Tip - make sure you are have the water boiling in the double boiler to melt to cocoa butter.

    *Tip 2 - I read somewhere that if you first melt the cocoa butter and then add the oil you can speed up the melting process.

    Let me know if you know what I was missing to turn this recipie into a cream and not just soapy water.

    -Enjoy

  2. #2
    Comrade in Arms Alraz's Avatar
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    Making shaving products sure is a lot of fun, I have been making my own for some time. I would first like to comment on the merits of the article that you are using as a reference. The first thing that stands out is that this shaving cream uses Castile soap as base and this may not be the best idea, see below. I also find several other conceptual problems and other biased comments but do not let this discourage you. Having a blender sure helps but in your case, I am not sure how much, I see the formulation as the main hurdle to overcome.

    Soaps, and by extension, shaving creams (but not always), are obtained by a process called saponification ( Saponification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) in which the lye, a strong base, reacts with the oils you added (triglycerides Triglyceride - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) forming the soap (salts of the fatty acids; Fatty acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and glycerin. In this case, that has already been done for you as you are using the Castile soap, a bar soap, as a base for your cream. In order to improve your cream, you may have to work a bit on the forumulation.

    Bar soaps and shaving soaps are completely different in properties. While bar soap's main function is to cleanse, shaving soaps need to produce copious amounts of dense and stable lather. This obviously implies that the ingredients, and some times, the methods used are different. Depending on the purpose of the soap, a certain profile of fatty acids ("size") is desired. The size of the "tail" determines some of the properties of the fatty acids, and ultimately of the soap itself. Short chains are used for cleansing and longer tails give more creaminess to the lather but there has to be a certain balance. If your soap has too many short chain fatty acids, as Castile soap does, it may not lather well. I would suggest increasing the size of some of your fatty acids, this should lead to creamier and more stable lather.

    The whole plan would be: 1) to test a few known good soaps to learn what you like about them (it is very hard to make something good if you do not know what good is); 2) make small batches, changing only one variable per batch and writuing your observations carefully. By experience, I can tell you that it may take some time and effort, not to mention money, before you find a winner. Good luck!!!

    I had to edit the post because half of it was deleted, even my signature. To answer your recent question, switching to solid Castile soap would decrease the water content but will not change the lathering properties of your cream. The idea I was trying to convey is that Castile soap may not the best base for a lathering shaving cream. The density of your product, whether to use a blender or not (but you may want to use one), and the water content of the cream are, in my opinion, secondary.


    Al raz.
    Last edited by Alraz; 04-19-2010 at 05:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alraz View Post
    In this case, that has already been done for you as you are using the Castile soap, a bar soap, as a base for your cream. In order to improve your cream, you may have to work a bit on the forumulation.
    I was not using the solid version of the Castile soap, but the liquid version. Do you think that switching to a solid version might make a difference?
    Last edited by chrbia1; 04-19-2010 at 05:10 PM.

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    Member prestonmcconkie's Avatar
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    My recommendation goes with Alraz's. Castille soap is bad for shaving. That is, if it really is castille soap, which by definition is supposed to be soap made from only olive oil. Olive oil soap is slimy and doesn't lather. I know this because I've made my own soap from olive oil, and I finally discovered that the shaving soap sellers who claim to be using "pure olive oil" are actually using "pure olive oil base," which is something completely different. It's a glycerin melt-and-pour base with "a functional amount of olive oil" in it that acts only as a moisturizer.

    You'd get a much finer lather if you simply used potassium hydroxide to saponify a combination of soy oil and coconut oil.

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    I have taken break from this for some time, but wanted to start the process again. From reading the above posts I see I need to adjust the formula a little to get the desired results, but i am curious as to what in particular needs adjsutment?

    Also, What is the biggest difference between making a shaving cream and making a shaving soap?

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    Nineteenth Century recipes for shaving soap contained both Castile soap and White Windsor soap, which is made from lard. The forerunner to a modern tallow/palm soap.

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