Trying to create mild soap bar - HELP!!

Hi Beauty Brains!

I am so happy that I
found this wonderful and informative podcast. Love,Love the podcast. 

I have four questions to

1.I am trying to make a
mild soap bar with melt and pour soap.( Ingredients: Certified Organic
coconut oil, Certified Organic palm oil, safflower oil, glycerin (kosher, of
vegetable origin), purified water, sodium hydroxide (saponifying agent),
sorbitol (moisturizer), sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), soy bean protein
(conditioner), titanium dioxide (natural mineral whitener)) . I wanted to
know which ingredient gives the property of melting and solidifying at certain temperature. 

2. I want to add some
botanicals like herbs, oil soluble colorants, and increase the foam at the same
time. Can I add Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (noodles) to the above melt and
pour soap as it is without melting? 

3. Since the final
product's Ph is above 7, can I add citric acid to adjust the Ph?. 

4. This question is out
of curiosity :) How does LUSH add fresh fruit and vegetables to the soap
without going bad? (example :Water (Aqua) , Rapeseed Oil; Coconut Oil
(Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera) , Glycerine , Fresh Mango
(Mangifera indica) , Dried Mango (Mangifera indica) ,Fragrance , Sicilian
Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum) ,Sicilian Mandarin Oil (Citrus
Nobilis) , Tunisian Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara
oil) , Sodium chloride ,EDTA , Tetrasodium
Etidronate , SodiumHydroxide ,*Linalool , *Limonene , Lilial , Red

AND also I feel
they add the surfactant flakes to the shampoo bar and soap bar without melting them.
Correct me if I am wrong.

Shamapoo bar:,en_US,pd.html#start=1

Soap Bar :,en_US,pd.html#start=12


  • Hi Gowri and welcome to the Forum.

    The reason fruits and veggies can be stable in a soap bar is that there's not enough water activity for bacteria and mold to grow.  

    If you're looking for formulation advice you might have better luck at our sister site, There are chemists there who may be able to help you. 

  • edited June 2015
    Hi Randy!

    Thanks for the reply. I became a fan of your podcast in no time.very informative and eye opening!

    Sure will try asking in chemistscorner.
  • I think.... I may know who this is... But I forgot your name.... Jasmine girl at the Bellevue Lush Branch?  Excuse me if I'm incorrect.

    I actually have some questions about your ingredients if you don't mind, NOTHING Bad, probing curiosity? If that's okay, it sound really cool, and I just want to know more! :)
  • edited June 2015
    Oh..No i never worked at LUSH or any beauty outlets. Actually i am just figuring out how to make a mild soap after dealing with terrible eczema for 6 months! Now that i am learning about skin irritants,i am trying to make a soap bar from a simple premade melt and pour soap base(i buy it from amazon - SFIC melt and pour soap base).My skin didnt have any adverse reactions to this soap but i thought i would make it even more milder (i mean to reduce the Ph) and moisturizing and fancy....
    What questions do you have about the ingredients?
  • Oh, darn. Nvm. I refereed someone here.\ Again srry about the confusion.

    My questions are mostly why you choose your some of your ingredients instead of other choices, I think what you have is interesting, and again, just wanted to know more.
    Also, I wanted to know about what kinds of botanical ingredients, herbs, oil soluble colorants you intended to use, and if you wanted to use them whole, or extracts or oils, and what stage during your next soap making process would you add them?  

    Chemist's Corner is probably your best bet. I doubt they have much information of chemicals that (actually) safe for eczema. -_- Idk, I could be poorly mistaken. My best friend has that too. Also, Chemist's Corner people can and may have a holier than thou attitude to people they feel are 'green-washed', or brain-washed hippies that shop at LUSH, so I wouldn't mention that... Just a heads up. Good luck.
  • (I love LUSH too.) :P

  • Well, I like the way LUSH advertises by adding mangoes and
    cucumbers into their products while simultaneously using obvious irritants like
    sodium laureth sulphate, Lab colors and Fragrances. A layman thinks that he is
    shampooing his hair with rose petals and bananas, but in reality the brand is
    as good or bad as other conventional brands.

    Regarding the selection of ingredients, it was simply trial and
    error and  :) . I used to buy a surfactant (say
    cocoglucose from ,make shampoo and see if I have any
    reaction. I also used elimination method-simply avoid the most irritating
    surfactants (I actually learnt more by listening to this podcast: How to pick a mild shampoo
    Episode 47
     by PERRY
    ROMANOWSKI on SEPTEMBER 9, 2014). 

    One more influencing factor is- I wanted to use fully
    biodegradable surfactants, as my small contribution to the environment. Since
    we all know that the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics all wash down to our water

    Hope I made some valid points J

    Botanical ingredients, herbs, oil soluble colorants are for the look and feel.
    Adding essential oils might have therapeutic benefits. Some natural ingredients
    (like oats) can be used as
    exfoliants. An example of my chocolate vanilla soap: I melted the soap base and
    separated into two parts. One half I added cocoa powder and other half I
    added goat milk, vanilla extract and vanilla essential oil. I poured both into
    the soap molds and allowed it to solidify. It finally looked like marble cake!
    It was a nice soap but did not lather like the commercial ones....

    Will post the same topic in chemistscorner.Thank you. J


  • Well I think you're going to find hypocrisy pretty much anywhere, when you choose to look further into most things, or at least that's what I've found. I realize they're not upfront w/ their customers, and the against animal testing thing is a joke because all the chems they work with has pretty much been either tested, or deemed safe for cosmetic use. What I like about them has nothing to do with their whole green agenda but that's just me personally, maybe I just see things a but differently, because to me, I've seen the whole hippy natural thing, but Lush really kinda has a innovative flare to it's product line. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm just easily impressed by lotion that comes from a solid! XD  Anyways, this layman has to go, and I'm not to interested anymore, so have fun!

  • Regarding the ingredients of Lush soap with fruits, etc.: I am fairly sure that EDTA is a preservative. I don't know if that's its main function in the soap, because I think it also softens water, but it's a common preservative as well.
  • Actually EDTA is a chelating agent that ties up minerals. By itself it's not really a preservative but it can boost the efficacy of other preservatives. 
  • Components like
    Limonene, Linalool,Citronellol have some
    antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.May be they are also helping to preserve the product.

  • I have trouble signing into chemistscorner.I
    registered into the website but I am not able to sign in.. L

  • Components like
    Limonene, Linalool,Citronellol have some
    antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.May be they are also helping to preserve the product.

    Actually these are fragrance allergens. They are not proven, broad spectrum preservatives. 
  • Oh! I see  ... But why are they added in every single product? may be they are inexpensive ...i am guessing.. :-?
  • They're added because they're used in a LOT of fragrances that have citrusy smells. They're natural, by the way, but as regular readers of our blog know natural does not automatically mean better. 
  • Yes, I remember,as you were saying in one of the podcast "Uranium is also natural...."  I could not stop laughing =))
  • I remember ... it funny you found a vanilla ess oil and I actually wanted to know where you got yours from, And then I remembered that thing about the ewg....So here's the thing.

    I only know of vanilla absolute and tincture....So I looked it up, and I found this for you. It sounds like you may have been mislead.

  • Oh! I did not give much attention to the
    terminology. Thanks for the info. BTW I bought my vanilla absolute from


  • Oh good! Just making sure, It seems all most the awesome key fragrances are done in absolute form not ess oils like rose jasmine and vanilla it seems like. :P No prob, I just wanted to make sure you knew if you didn't, I  what I typed sounded snarky, and back to the skin thing, the absolutes can be prepped in a few diff ways and by a few diff oils as you probably already know. I was worried you may have purchased a falsely advertised vanilla ess oil, and figured it was 100% pure. I figured it would have complicated things in the future if you went to buy another brand of vanilla, and had a reaction, and couldn't figure out why. Lol, I swear, I'm not a jerk! Yep, I've seen them online before, though pricing, I didn't even have to click but did anyways! :D

    Oh, btw, I really like that you care about the ocean, I have a particular fondness for marine life and I personally hate thinking about things everything that goes down the drain. I'm surprised everything under water is so resilient as it is. This might sound like a dumb question and it probably is, but is most your products water soluble based for that reason? Would it in theory, break apart by water better?
  • well, the overall idea is to use mostly the ingredients that are capable of decomposing back into natural elements and have least toxicity to the environment.
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