Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Shaving Cream improvements - I’m all ears!

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  • david08848

    Member
    November 9, 2017 at 3:26 am

    Clive, are you trying to make a solid bar or puck of shaving soap or are you trying to make a shaving cream?  If it is a soap then why are you just using KOH and not a combination of KOH (or TEA) and NaOH?

  • belassi

    Member
    November 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks Bill. I see what you mean. The stearic acid, not having to undergo esterification, must have reacted first. Then the oils. 

  • david08848

    Member
    April 3, 2019 at 3:54 am

    I’m re-examining this
    formula and all formulas I have collected

    (A)

    Stearic acid =
                          
    30.00%

    Coconut oil =
                          
    10.00%

    Palm Oil =
                               
    5.00%

    (B)

    Potassium Hydroxide =     7.00%

    Soda caustic =
                        
    1.50%

    Glycerin =
                               
    10.00%

    water =
                                    
    36.50%

    Harry’s recommends 5/1
    ratio of KOH/NaOH it also recommends a 3-5% free fatty acids used in the
    formula.  I recalculated the SAP values with a 5/1 ratio and came up with:

    Oil

    Percent

    SAP Value

    Quantity

    Palm Kernel Oil

    11.11%

    242

    5 oz

    Coconut Oil

    22.22%

    256.5

    10 oz

    Stearic Acid

    66.67%

    210

    30 oz

    Total:

    45 oz

    Superfat

    Percent

    0%

    1%

    2%

    3%

    4%

    5%

    6%

    7%

    8%

    9%

    10%

    oz

    0.00

    0.45

    0.90

    1.35

    1.80

    2.25

    2.70

    3.15

    3.60

    4.05

    4.50

    Lye and Water

    Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) 16.66%

    Discount

    NaOH

    Water

    0 %

    1.221 oz

    2.4 oz    (range: 1.2
    to 3.7 oz)

    1 %

    1.209 oz

    2.4 oz    (range: 1.2
    to 3.6 oz)

    2 %

    1.197 oz

    2.4 oz    (range: 1.2
    to 3.6 oz)

    3 %

    1.185 oz

    2.4 oz    (range: 1.2
    to 3.6 oz)

    4 %

    1.172 oz

    2.3 oz    (range: 1.2
    to 3.5 oz)

    5 %

    1.160 oz

    2.3 oz    (range: 1.2
    to 3.5 oz)

    6 %

    1.148 oz

    2.3 oz    (range: 1.1
    to 3.4 oz)

    7 %

    1.136 oz

    2.3 oz    (range: 1.1
    to 3.4 oz)

    8 %

    1.124 oz

    2.2 oz    (range: 1.1
    to 3.4 oz)

    9 %

    1.111 oz

    2.2 oz    (range: 1.1
    to 3.3 oz)

    10 %

    1.099 oz

    2.2 oz    (range: 1.1 to
    3.3 oz)

    Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) 83.34%

    Discount

    KOH

    Water

    0 %

    8.362 oz

    16.7 oz   (range: 8.4
    to 25.1 oz)

    1 %

    8.279 oz

    16.6 oz   (range: 8.3
    to 24.8 oz)

    2 %

    8.195 oz

    16.4 oz   (range: 8.2
    to 24.6 oz)

    3 %

    8.111 oz

    16.2 oz   (range: 8.1
    to 24.3 oz)

    4 %

    8.028 oz

    16.1 oz   (range: 8.0
    to 24.1 oz)

    5 %

    7.944 oz

    15.9 oz   (range: 7.9
    to 23.8 oz)

    6 %

    7.861 oz

    15.7 oz   (range: 7.9
    to 23.6 oz)

    7 %

    7.777 oz

    15.6 oz   (range: 7.8
    to 23.3 oz)

    8 %

    7.693 oz

    15.4 oz   (range: 7.7
    to 23.1 oz)

    9 %

    7.610 oz

    15.2 oz   (range: 7.6
    to 22.8 oz)

    10 %

    7.526 oz

    15.1 oz   (range: 7.5 to
    22.6 oz)

     

  • david08848

    Member
    April 3, 2019 at 3:54 am

    CONTINUED FROM ABOVE:

    As you can see, it is 1.0 NaOH with 7.5 KOH  NOT 1.5 NaOH and 7.0 KOH!

    If I use an almost 3/1 ratio KOH to NaOH I come up with:

    Lye and Water

    Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) 23%

    Discount        NaOH Water

    0 %     1.633 oz          3.3 oz    (range: 1.6 to 4.9 oz)

    1 %      1.616 oz          3.2 oz    (range: 1.6 to 4.8 oz)

    2 %      1.600 oz         3.2 oz    (range: 1.6 to 4.8 oz)

    3 %      1.584 oz          3.2 oz    (range: 1.6 to 4.8 oz)

    4 %      1.567 oz          3.1 oz    (range: 1.6 to 4.7 oz)

    5 %      1.551 oz           3.1 oz    (range: 1.6 to 4.7 oz)

    6 %      1.535 oz          3.1 oz    (range: 1.5 to 4.6 oz)

    7 %      1.518 oz          3.0 oz    (range: 1.5 to 4.6 oz)

    8 %     1.502 oz          3.0 oz    (range: 1.5 to 4.5 oz)

    9 %     1.486 oz        3.0 oz    (range: 1.5 to 4.5 oz)

    10 %    1.469 oz          2.9 oz    (range: 1.5 to 4.4 oz)

     

    Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) 77%

    Discount        KOH   Water

    0 %     7.665 oz.         15.3 oz   (range: 7.7 to 23.0 oz)

    1 %      7.589 oz         15.2 oz   (range: 7.6 to 22.8 oz)

    2 %      7.512 oz          15.0 oz   (range: 7.5 to 22.5 oz)

    3 %      7.435 oz          14.9 oz   (range: 7.4 to 22.3 oz)

    4 %      7.359 oz          14.7 oz   (range: 7.4 to 22.1 oz)

    5 %      7.282 oz         14.6 oz   (range: 7.3 to 21.8 oz)

    6 %      7.205 oz         14.4 oz   (range: 7.2 to 21.6 oz)

    7 %      7.129 oz          14.3 oz   (range: 7.1 to 21.4 oz)

    8 %     7.052 oz         14.1 oz   (range: 7.1 to 21.2 oz)

    9 %     6.975 oz        14.0 oz   (range: 7.0 to 20.9 oz)

    10 %    6.899 oz.        13.8 oz   (range: 6.9 to 20.7 oz)

    These numbers are pretty close to the formula from Harry’s but the ratio become about 3/1 and not 5/1!  This and other sources also stated the a 3-5% of free fatty acids would “helps to attain a soft consistency” but several formulas had around 10% of free fatty acids in them!

    I am seeking several “base formulas” from which I can determine the best route to go with this formula.  Any input and comments are welcome!  Thank you.


  • david08848

    Member
    April 5, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    So, after
    going over all of this I finally came to a conclusion…  I read from so
    many old sources that the shaving
    cream should have 45% water, 45% soap
    and 10% glycerin but in newer
    more-modern formulas they would have listed these as the water phase and the oil phase and that the bases KOH,
    NaOH and TEA would be a part of the water phase and that the glycerin would
    have been listed as a separate additive to the water phase that should be used
    at rate of 10% in the formula.

    In trying to
    make it work, I removed about 4.5% of the oil phase and I made my calculations
    from the amount left. This made both the oils and the bases to saponify them at
    lower numbers than they should have been.  It made an OK shaving cream but not what it potentially
    could be!  I have now made those changes
    in my formula and hopefully the results will work out!  My other problem was that I included
    preservative and scent in my formula but the above listed formula (and other old
    formulas) did not do that so that threw off my numbers as well!  I will list them as additives for the homogenization
    phase at the end of the process.

    My goal is to
    create the same type of shaving cream that is sold by British companies for
    decades and not use more modern and perhaps less “natural” ingredients to do
    so!  There are quite a few sources out
    there for formula research over the last 100 years or so for this type of
    product but they often don’t specify what the end results will be!  A few of them listed formulations as “lathering”
    creams but other just refer to them as “shaving creams” which made be anywhere
    between a heavy cream to a less liquid soap to a heavier, more pasty type of soap
    product so that make the selection of formulas difficult! I’m very close to where I need to be!

    As a soap-based
    product, it is something that is not often dealt with by cosmetic chemists
    whose approach to a product like this may be different but still your input has
    been and will be appreciated!  x

  • david08848

    Member
    April 11, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I’ll make this quick!

    When I calculated the above formula at the 5%/1% KOH/NaOH ratio that they suggest, I come out with 7.5 and 1.0.

    When they do it, they come out with 7.0 and 1.5!  If I divide the 7.0 KOH by 5, I come up with 1.4 which is really close to the 1.5 of their formula for the NaOH and if calculated that way would fulfill their 5/1 ratio approximately.

    What I don’t get is whether they are using the SAP values and calculating that way or are they using volume instead of weight?  Please help!  Thanks!

  • fekher

    Member
    April 11, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    @David08848 i make formulation with 7% NaOh and 93% Koh and it gives lovely texture.

  • david08848

    Member
    April 11, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Fekher, thanks for your reply.  Your ratio works out to about 14/1 KOH to NaOH which is quite different.  It must be very creamy!

  • fekher

    Member
    April 11, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    @David08848  actually yes texture is creamy and i guess that is good for shaving cream.

  • david08848

    Member
    October 17, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Both Bill and Belassi made some good observations which I noticed looking back at this for one more attempt at making improvements on my formula!  Looking back at the pictures I posted I now see a few tiny lumps in the first one and can see more clearly some inconsistencies in the second!   Belassi, makes a good observation about the changes in his attempt over a few days.  His attempt was using only KOH and I am seeing the reason for the use of NaOH (and Tea Stearate in small amounts) in, perhaps, creating a more stable consistency?! 
      
    Bills observations about the “incomplete soap formation”, makes me think that being consistent with the procedures and with the temperatures as well as the process being made more consistent as a whole, will create a more stable soap.  Yes, I will have to be more careful about the temps and the procedures to get a more consistent result!

    For me the “superfat” amount needs some more attention as I have found a couple of formulas, one having 0% superfat and the other had 10% superfat and both weren’t too bad!  So which is it?  I was made aware in a recent post that unsaponified stearic acid in a product can make that product too firm!  Also the ratio of NaOH to KOH needs a review.  It’s tough when you have Oil, Water, Lye, Tea Stearate, Glycerin etc. and have to play a balancing act between all of them!

  • SR21031997

    Member
    February 6, 2024 at 11:01 am

    Hello Sir

    I want to ask a question. How to calculate the percentage of potassium hydroxide to saponify the fatty acids in the shaving cream? Please guide me on this with an example.

  • david08848

    Member
    February 29, 2024 at 7:18 pm

    Most of the formulas that are available in old Soapmaking and Cosmetic Chemistry over the last 100 plus years point out that the main ingredient which is Stearic Acid and rest which are a smaller percentage of a lathering oil or fatty acid are saponified with a smaller percentage of NaOH and a larger percentage of KOH and are in the suggested ratios of 1/3 all the way up to 1/10! It’s a balancing act!

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