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Using Additives with Melt & Pour Soap Base

This lesson will go over common additives and the way that they can affect your finished soap. 

Fluid Additives

The total amount of fluid additives that can be added to MP Soap Base ranges from 4-6% depending on the base. This includes fragrance oils, essential oils and liquid colorants. Most of the time you will be adding about 3% of fragrance oil or essential oil, so this leaves you with 1-3% of other liquid that you can add. 

Fragrance Oil / Essential Oil: 3% is the general usage rate for MP Soap Base.

Extra Oil or Butter: 1% or 1 teaspoon per pound of soap. If you add liquid oil or butter to soap base it will reduce the lather. It can also cause issues with separating or seeping, so try it in a small test batch first. Adding extra liquid oil, such as avocado oil, olive oil or sweet almond oil, will also soften the soap. Your soap won’t harden up as usual.

It is recommended to select a base formulated with the oil and butters that you want as opposed to adding them yourself, as the formula properties can negatively change. Click Here to learn about soap bases.

Liquid Colorant: 1% or 1 teaspoon per pound of soap can be added to color your soap using premixed colorants such as the liquid dyes and liquid pigments.

*Never add perishable liquids such as fresh milk, fruit juice, vegetable juice, etc. as they will spoil in the soap.   

Exfoliating Additives

There are several types of additives that you can add to your soap to provide exfoliation. These additives range from poppy seeds to jojoba beads and lemon peel granules to oatmeal. Click Here for common exfoliating additives.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is highly popular in soap because of its skin-soothing properties. You can add whole oats for a more intense exfoliation or oatmeal powder for a gentle exfoliation.

Jojoba Beads: Jojoba Beads are tiny wax-like spheres of Hydrogenated Jojoba Wax colored using various pigments. 

Seeds: There are many types of seeds that can add exfoliation to your soap. Some include Blueberry Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Apricot Seed Powder and Walnut Shell Powder. Seeds range in exfoliation depending on the surface and ‘cut’ of the seed.

Citrus Peel Granules: Citrus Peel Granules come from lemon and orange peels. Not only do they provide exfoliation, they lend a little color to your soap as well. 

Luffa Powder: Luffa Powder is an all-natural soft, small-grain exfoliant, unlikely to damage sensitive skin.

Pumice Powder: Pumice Powder provides mild exfoliation properties to your soap. It is one of the more mild exfoliants on the market.

Not sure which to try first? Grab a sample pack to test out different exfoliants to see which you like best. 

How to Use Exfoliating Additives

Sometimes it can be hard to suspend exfoliating additives in MP Soap Base. They can sink or float depending on the base and the additive. There are two ways to combat this issue.

1. Use a Suspension Soap Base. Suspension Soap Bases have been specially formulated, providing for suspension of additives. 

2. Mix and pour at a very low temperature; close to the MP Soap Base's melt point. The soap base will be thicker at this point, and will sometimes suspend the additives.

Usage Rate
Typically you can start with 1 teaspoon of an exfoliating additive per pound of soap base and go up or down from there depending on the amount of exfoliation that you require.

Stay away from adding sugar or salt to your MP Soap Base, as both attract moisture and can cause your soap to weep and become mushy. 

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