Soap can be made in a variety of ways, each with its own set of ingredients. It is possible to use glycerin in this process, but is it absolutely necessary when making soap? Or are you able to do it on your own?
There is no way to make soap without Glycerin, as it is a byproduct of the saponification reaction between acids and oils. However, it can be removed from the soap later on, leaving you with soap that is free of Glycerin.
Glycerin is most likely a new word to most of you. In my case, the same is true. For the longest time, I had no idea what glycerin was or where it originated. After some investigation, I discovered that this colorless and odorless substance can be found in the majority of the skincare and soaps that we buy today, which surprised me.
Why? If you don’t want to get too involved in the science, think of it as a moisturizer because it draws moisture from the air and transfers it to your skin.
Can you make soap without glycerin?
We’ll see if we can make soap without glycerin. Soap will always contain naturally produced Glycerin when using any traditional soap-making method, which is why it’s difficult to make soap without it.
Is there a way to reduce or eliminate it completely? As it turns out, the only option is to remove the Glycerin following the saponification process. Instead of using animal Glycerin, try using vegetable glycerin if you’d like to make vegan soap instead.
To be honest, I’m not sure why anyone would want to remove Glycerin. In the absence of an allergic reaction, Glycerin-free soaps can actually be harmful to your skin, so I prefer to use soap that contains it.
Where does Glycerin come from?
If you’re making soap with either the cold or hot process method, the saponification reaction between the acids and the fat/oil yields glycerin. However, when making homemade soap, glycerin naturally comes from animal fats or plant oils, which can be purchased separately if desired.
Vegetable Glycerin may or may not be listed on the ingredients label of commercial soap that contains Glycerin, making it difficult to determine whether or not the product is vegan. Just to be clear, just because something isn’t labeled as animal-based doesn’t mean it isn’t.
Why is glycerin bad?
When it comes to skin care or soap, glycerin is perfectly safe to use. Some people, however, may be allergic to it, as they are with virtually every other natural ingredient. A rash, redness (spots), or itching are possible symptoms (basically like any allergic reaction one would have).
Otherwise, discontinue using the product and seek medical attention or advice from your doctor right away. Many people, including myself, believe that having a small rash is not a big deal. However, this rash can worsen over time, so don’t ignore it!
Why Glycerin is needed in soaps.
A lot of the advertised benefits of commercially prepared soaps aren’t true; in fact, they aren’t good for your skin at all. In part, this is due to the fact that many of these soaps are made with synthetic lathering agents and chemical detergents. These, unfortunately, are extremely irritating to the skin.
All these companies want is to increase their profits by using cheaper ingredients to make soap. Glycerin is removed from commercial soaps so that it can be used in other cosmetic products. While hand-made soaps made with natural oils and lye do soften and moisturize the skin, they also contain Glycerin, making them a better choice for sensitive skin types.
For this reason, glycerin is an absolute necessity in your soap. Glycerin is a necessity in all soaps unless you are one of the rare people who is allergic to it. Making your own soap also has the advantage of being significantly less expensive.
Can Glycerin be removed from soap?
If you’re allergic to glycerin or don’t want it in your soap for any other reason, you can get rid of it. Large industrial soap makers used this process in the 1800s. To separate Glycerin from their final soap product and use it in cosmetics, large soap manufacturers use a similar technique today.
You should follow these steps:
Add the soap you want to remove the glycerin from to a pot with some saltwater. Once heated, the soap will float to the top of the curds. Scoop them out and you’ll have Glycerin-free soap. When using this method, the glycerin will sink to the bottom of the tank due to the salt, which causes soap to float to the top while sinking all other liquids.
Your soap will be harsh on your skin if it doesn’t contain Glycerin. If you don’t have an allergic reaction to it, don’t worry about taking it out of your soap just yet. If you want to use more Glycerin in your soap, you can purchase it separately, but this isn’t always necessary with handmade soap.