Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekday Wonderings: Additives for commercial hand soap that will be less drying?

In this post, Handsoap with polyquats, Will asked: I love the weird question, and I think I have one. To a commercial handsoap, such as softsoap, is there any additive(s) that can be added into the product to make it less drying/more skin friendly? 

Yes, there are loads of things you can do to a commercial handsoap, with the disclaimer that you will probably have to add more preservative to the mix when you're done, depending upon the amount and the nature of the ingredient.

The simplest one is to dilute the product with water and put it in a foamer bottle, like this one. (Add preservative with the distilled water at 0.5% to 2% as per the instructions for your particular preservative.) I would do a 33% soap, 66% water dilution and put it into the foamer bottle. Because this will be using lower levels of surfactant, it'll rinse off easier and your skin should feel less tight and dry.

The second way is to add ingredients that will increase mildness. I went into great detail about this a short time ago, so I'll refer you to that post - increasing mildness in shampoos. Adding some water soluble oil, a polyquat, a humectant, and so on can decrease that tight or dry feeling after washing your hands, and it only takes a little bit.

Related posts:
What causes tightness after washing?

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