Tips & Tricks Soap Talk

How to Choose the Right Additives for Your Soap Recipe

Any soapmaker can tell you that developing a soap recipe is similar to what a chef goes through when creating a new dish. Knowledge of the ingredients and the batch sizes are critical to its success- but there’s also that key secret ingredient that helps make your soap in particular stand out from the rest.

This is why knowledge of what additives can do to to your soap is very important. First of all – always remember that soaps are a product that comes in intimate contact with the skin so the grade and quality of additives are extremely important. Always aim for USP or cosmetic grade materials whenever possible. This quality assurance helps satisfy your customer’s concerns while boosting the credibility and safety of your product. If you’ve secured some high-quality ingredients in the past- be sure to note the supplier or seller. It’s worthwhile to have a trusted list of suppliers to help maintain consistent quality in your soap batches.

It’s also important to note the recommended concentration of any additive prior to using it. An additive should be considered a key ingredient – so the same rules still apply (always start with less and test in small batches accordingly).

With the growing demand for naturally-sourced products-there are tons of different natural ingredients that you can add to your recipe to offer the natural touch and help market your product accordingly. For instance, hydrolyzed oat protein is a popular all-vegetable derived moisturizer which helps condition the skin and adds a silky texture to your soap. Natural herbs and spices can also help add fragrance, colour and texture to your soaps. As always- be aware of potential allergies and be prepared to list or disclose your ingredients where possible.

You should choose your additives based on your target audience. If you are catering to customers who are seeking soaps for specific skin concerns then you should choose your additives and marketing strategy accordingly. For instance, for those who are looking for soaps to help heal itchy skin- zinc oxide USP is a useful ingredient that is considered an anti-oxidant, mild astringent and antiseptic. Lactic acid is a popular anti-aging treatment and helps remedy discolouration, roughness of skin and wrinkling. Regardless of the special-purpose ingredient chosen you can gear your packaging to help communicate its benefits and market your product.

Just remember, an additive should always help add value to your product- so do your best to research and understand both the benefits and risks of any additive. It’s definitely reassuring to a customer when the creator knows what they’re talking about and the intentions behind their design – just like any chef knows the reason for adding any spice or ingredient to that delicious meal!

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