I like to experiment and, occasionally, break soaping rules. Here I present my version of cream soap using an ingredient not generally used when making soap.
Many months ago while researching oil combinations for use in a liquid soap experiment, I came across an elusive category of soap that is spottily documented – Cream Soap. After hours, days, weeks of searching I found a few reliable resources on the internet, in a book, and a few videos documenting the process. Many many batches later, I was still a bit baffled by cream soap. Some batches foamed up and separated, some were too slippery and slimy to use in the shower, and nearly all of them left my hands feeling like they’d just baked in the Sahara for a week. I kept experimenting.
Recently on a forum there were several discussions about shampoo and I began itching to experiment again. Another soaper, Christine from The Magic Soap Pot, mentioned she had experimented with mixing melted conditioning emulsifier into her 100% coconut liquid soap and shampooing with the mixture with some nice results. Christine also mentioned she’d had some luck adding BTMS to a grated rebatch and thought she might try adding some to the end of a hot process cook. I don’t know if she’s had time to try yet. Thanks to Christine for pushing me this direction. 🙂
I wanted to saponify Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol or conditioning emulsifier, and see what happened. I scoured the internet for any mention or example of using a conditioning emulsifier in any saponified soap recipe with absolutely no luck. I did find this one list of ingredients here that might have been a successful experiment but not sure because there are no notes and two listings of ingredients for the same bar. Unless someone has tried and not documented their experiences or I’ve just missed a secret post somehow, this may be a first. If you know of another example, please share, I would love to have a conversation!
Initially, the recipe below was intended to become a liquid shampoo even though this recipe is technically a cream soap. Well the liquid experiment failed, leaving me with separated liquid soap. However, the paste I had reserved from my first batch of this soap gave me surprising and exciting results as a cream soap! I stripped the recipe bare so I could try it again with just the basics. Here is the recipe and I will share with you the steps to make this cream soap, I apologize the post is so long but wanted to share pictures of these steps.
Cream Soap Recipe
I used two different lye calculators to put together this recipe, MMS’s Cream Soap Calculator and Summerbee Meadow’s Advanced Soap Calculator. I also used a lye ratio provided by Taylor at MMS for a soap recipe she had sent in a swap and that I had duplicated at home, the ratio seemed to work well for that recipe so I went with it here as well. When I’ve learned to calculate sap values by hand I might be able to refine this recipe further.
68 grams 10% Castor oil
272 grams 40% Coconut oil
102 grams 15% Olive oil
136 grams 20% Rice Bran oil
102 grams 15% Tallow
68 grams BTMS – Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (not in recipe calculations, just added in addition to everything else – probably just under 10%)
850 grams Distilled Water
119.5 grams Potassium Hydroxide (-8)
26 grams Sodium Hydroxide (+1)
Supercream at 5% – 34 grams Stearic Acid and 85 grams Glycerin – added after cook
If you’ve made it this far, I am impressed! Shew that’s a lot of stuff in one post. Any of you that have made cream soap before know that during the “rot” the whipped soap will change. Here is a picture of the cream soap a few days after I whipped it with a little fragrance, germall plus, and hot water (I did not measure my water exactly, I just went for a thick whip that pulled the soap away from the sides of my bowl a bit).
I will continue to let this cream soap rot and check on it in the mornings when I grab a little for my shower spoon. It will probably get pearly very soon.
I have been using this soap for nearly a month on my hair. I will keep using and perhaps add some other goodies like panthenol, silk, vitamins, etc. Overall, I’m SUPER pleased with this soap so far. The lather and bubbles are incredibly stable, it does not dry my skin, and I shave with it too. This cream is also not nearly as slippery when wet! Of course it is a little slick but I’m able to easily get it moving in my hands without dropping it in the shower. Yay 😀
I sure hope there’s someone else out there trying BTMS in soap. If you find me, let’s brainstorm! If anyone tries this early recipe, please share, I want to hear all about your adventures in soap 🙂