06-12-2014, 06:16 AM
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I have read a few times shavers adding glycerin to shave soaps. Is this a common practice, or related to water quality? I have considered trying it. Does it make a difference?
Thanks for your feedback.

44 4,303
 06-12-2014, 06:24 AM
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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Adding glycerin does make some "hard-to-lather" situations a little easier, such as water quality and soap ingredients. However, while it's an interesting experiment, I have never found it necessary. Most artisans and many commercial shave soaps already have additional glycerin added (besides the glycerin already produced as a result of saponification). For me, if I ever found a soap that only performed to its full potential by me having to add glycerin, then that soap probably doesn't belong in my den as there are too many others that will work flawlessly in any circumstance Wink

34 1,627
 06-12-2014, 06:33 AM
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I tried it a few times and never felt the need to continue.
Still, a bottle of glycerin is cheap enough to warrant an experiment.

8 949
 06-12-2014, 07:07 AM
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You can get a 6 or 7 oz. Bottle from Wal-Mart. I add it to my soap and makes a huge difference. Its only around 4 bux.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

1 43
 06-12-2014, 07:15 AM
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whenever i tried this, it left me with severe irritation.

1 495
 06-12-2014, 07:38 AM
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I have never had the need for it, but good luck if you do. Smile

87 21,180
 06-12-2014, 07:59 AM
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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If you have dry skin issues it might make a difference in your sensitivity to certain soaps. It also seems to add a little stability to the lather. However, I have found that most of the soaps that I choose to keep already have the characteristics I enjoy so I tend to leave the glycerine under the sink. I do add it to my liquid castile soap when mixing for foaming hand wash though.

155 2,877
 06-12-2014, 08:29 AM
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Giorgio is correct in that the process of making soap creates glycerin. The amount is anywhere between 9-15% by weight depending on the fats and oils used. Since Glycerin is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water from the air, it does a good job as a non-drying agent in soap. The downside is that the more glycerin in a soap, the faster it will dissolve.

Many soap makers add a small percentage of glycerin when making their soaps, myself included but only in my shaving soaps. My reason for doing so is to make it less drying. In my normal bath & body bars I do not add glycerin but "superfat" which means using more fats/oil molecules then lye molecules for extra emollient qualities. In my shaving soap I use a very small superfat percentage since a high superfat degrades and to a degree changes the physical properties of lather, so I add a small percentage of glycerin, mainly for moisturizing. I also believe it aids the cushion, improves the glide and improves the stability of the lather. There have been studies showing that glycerin is a mild antiseptic and that's a good thing to have in a soap where we use sharp blades against our skin.

Many large, commercial soap making companies actually remove the glycerin during the soap making process. They does this by adding salt and after the the salt is added, the soap floats to the top and is skimmed off leaving the glycerin and other impurities behind like excess salt and partially dissolved soap. The glycerin is then removed by distillation and further refined and de-colorized. The glycerin is sold for other uses including lubrication for machinery, as an additive for soap/lotion making and my personal favorite to produce nitroglycerin.

So, my long winded opinion on whether or not to add glycerin to a soap that has been already made is, maybe. A little can't hurt but too much could.

4 1,019
 06-13-2014, 12:48 PM
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I live in California so some of my soaps dont leave the slickness I would like because of the hard water we have(rock hard). About 4 drops of glycerin in the bowl before my lather and it works like a champ.

0 16
 06-13-2014, 04:31 PM
  • Stubbl E
  • Senior Member
  • Lake Tahoe, California
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Not for me, no.

0 567
 06-13-2014, 07:19 PM
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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Like so much in shaving, YMMV. Try it, only you can decide.

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