Sodium hydroxide, or lye, is a chemical used in making soap. It is a strong alkali that works to convert fat into soap. Lye is caustic--however, is burned off in the soap-making process and typically is not evident in the final product. If you are adverse to working with lye when making your shaving soap, make a glycerin-based shaving soap instead.
Shave 10 oz. of glycerin soap base, using a cheese grater, and melt the shavings in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Puncture five liquid vitamin E capsules and squeeze the liquid into the melted soap base. Vitamin E promotes skin health.
Add 1 tbsp. witch hazel, 1 tbsp. glycerin, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, 1 tbsp. papaya extract, 1 tbsp. bentonite clay and 15 drops peppermint essential oil. The witch hazel is a skin astringent; glycerin is for creating lather; and the coconut oil will make a richer lather. Like lye, papaya extract is a strong alkaline. Bentonite clay will provide extra lubrication to the razor blade, while the peppermint essential oil will leave your face with a fresh scent.
Stir the mixture well. Pour it into soap molds and allow it to harden.
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Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.