Soap base face wash problem

Hi how are you all.
i have used 
lauric acid ,myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid (total=26%) and koH 7.39% and other ingredients like glycerine cocobetain 
final PH is about 10-11
it cause irritation after applying on face please tell me whats wrong with my formula


  • @UsmanAli actually ph between 10 and 11 is real problem for skin and it is normal to cause irritation ph should be generally in cosmetic below 8.
  • Soap should not be on face. End of story. Face product should be made of gentle surfactants, ideally a combination of amphoteric and non-ionic. Regarding pH, the closer it is to pH of skin the better.
  • But all soap base face wash available in market have 11 pH and not irritation 
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited November 2018
    @UsmanAli, pH of 11 doesn't cause an irritation? You must be joking. Where did you get this information? Thiethanolamine has a pH of 10-11 and it is used as a pH elevator. pH scale is logarithmic, the difference between 5 (approximate pH of human skin) and 11 is enormous! As @Fekher mentioned above pH of cosmetic products should be below 8.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I'd say the problem is using old technology like soap when you could be using better technology like less harsh surfactants.. 
  • Sir i m not joking pond’s creamy pimple clear face wash have 10-11 ph but not irritating 
  • Perry can you tell me about new technology? If you have 
  • @UsmanAli then your pH meter is brocken. Pond put a detailed explanation on why you should not use soap on your face on their website (spoiler: because of it's high pH). It's an anti acne product with salicylic acid. There is absolutely no way it has a pH of 11!

    Get a subscription for this blog and read about pH:

    and about surfactants:

  • @Perry, I hope you don't mind me tagging you, just very interested in your opinion. This LOI surprised me, KOH and Salycilic in one product.. It means to me that Salycilic Acid is not active at all. And in general this LOI looks to me like a weird combination of the old and new technologies. Would you disagree?

    Myristic Acid, Glycerin, Water, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Palmitic Acid & Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Glycol Distearate, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Niacinamide, Polyquaternium-7, Salicylic Acid, Terpineol, Thymol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool Hexyl, Cinnamal
  • Sir i m also shocked therefore i m asking you about PH 
    i have checked PH with bench type PH meter and also with PH paper and result same PH10-11
    but with no irritation
  • Well, it includes KOH, which means it might have high pH. This formula is very strange to me. Looks like a combination of old and new.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    This formula is a classic soap-based mixture. It's similar to this

    The pH of this formula is 9-10 so your formula seems right in range with that (maybe a little high). 

    I think the irritation just means you don't have enough secondary surfactants in there to offset the irritation of the soap. The Ponds formula has Glycol Distearate, Decyl Glucoside & Glyceryl stearate to reduce irritation. It also has a low amount of water.

    @ngarayeva001 ; - Yes, I doubt the salicylic acid is having much effect. It could be first dissolved in the water and tied up in micelles which shield it from the KOH, but it's probably just a marketing ingredient. 

  • David08848David08848 Member
    edited November 2018
    First, I would double check your SAP calculations for your formula and also look at the percentages of each fatty acid as some of the middle chain fatty acids may be more drying or irritating to the skin.  You may have used too much KOH for the amount of fatty acids you have used, as 11 is too high for this type of product and a pH 9.0 -10 is possible for this type of product.  Secondly, follow Perry's advice regarding surfactant types and perhaps use them at a larger percentage than you may have originally planned to lower the soap phase percentage.  Although the body has the ability to restore pH in a shorter period of time, the face needs more gentle cleansing and as several suggested, a surfactant based product may be more appropriate for the face.  Good luck!  PS - Did you leave some of the fatty acids unsaponified?  (Superfatting the soap phase)
  • Perry said:
    I'd say the problem is using old technology like soap when you could be using better technology like less harsh surfactants.. 
    With great respect Perry, our business is built on cold process bar soap and liquid soap. Our certified GMP & Halal production facility is designed to produce old fashioned soap. We have our own brand, and 90+ % of our business is manufacturing for other brands locally and internationally.  There is consumer demand for these products. If there wasn't, we would not have invested the money we have to-date.

    The pH of our products is around 9.5 - 10. No complaints from customers. That pH should be below 8 is rubbish. Check out this table here of soap pH, includes both syndets and soap.
    Dr. Mike Thair
    Cofounder & Chief Formulator
    Indochine Natural
  • @mikethair, I know many people who prefer bar soap. But with all due respect, the fact that there’s a demand doesn’t prove that these products are good for skin. As an example nothing reduces TEWL better than petrolatum, yet, consumer demands organic/gluten free/vegan ’grapeseed oil’. Human skin is on the acidic side.
  • Here is one of mine, a formula for liquid soap that in my opinion outperforms any CP or HP or syndet bar:

    Water . . . . . 48.7%
    ALS . . . . . .  33% (9.9% AS)
    Plantapon LGC Sorb ... 6.6%
    CAPB . . . . . 7% or Q/S viscosity.
    Potassium sorbate or Sodium benzoate 0.4%
    Glycerine . . . . . 3%
    PEG-7 Glyceryl cocoate ... 1%
    Citric acid . . . 0.3% adjust q/s for pH = 5.0

    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @mikethair - I was just stating my opinion about soap versus synthetic detergents. I like the modern detergents better than soap. I also think that if someone is reporting irritation from soap, then they would get better results from the modern detergents.

    But you are living proof that there is a customer base that wants soap and likes the way it cleans their skin. Clearly, a soap can be made in a way that customers like the way it leaves their skin feeling.
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