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Melt & Pour

Crystal African Black Soap

For making soap bars rich in minerals and antioxidants, creating a soothing bar with fantastic skin cleansing properties

Overview

Crystal African Black Soap base is made using raw ingredients from Ghana. Natural and mineral-enriched, this base is enriched with shea butter and coconut oils for better skin cleansing and nourishment.

Features
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Made using natural, luxurious shea butter and coconut oils

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Provides a soft feeling on the skin

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Fantastic moisturising properties and effective cleansing

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Excellent foaming and lather

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Free from SLS, SLES and MPG

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Vegan, gluten free and cruelty free compliant

The majority of our bases are gluten-free - if you require further information please contact us here.

We use palm and palm kernel oils, and ingredients derived from both oils. Wherever possible, we use oil and ingredients from certified sustainable sources. All products that are made using certified sustainable palm and palm ingredients have the letters SG or MB at the end of their name referring to RSPO Segregated (SG) and RSPO Mass Balance (MB). It isn’t possible to source everything we use from certified sustainable sources, but we are always researching and discussing with our suppliers to find new options.

Lye (also known as Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide) is the material that is used in making all of our soaps. Solid soaps (Crystal Melt and Pour range or Extruded soap bases) use Lye from Sodium Hydroxide, while Stephenson Liquid soaps use Lye from Potassium Hydroxide. We use Lye to saponify oils and/or fatty acids to produce soap. Once the soap is produced, all the lye is used up during the saponification reaction and so there is none left in the final product.

No, we are a speciality base supplier, we manufacture and ship soap bases and other product bases that are converted by our customers into finished products. Typically our bases make up around 80-99% of a finished product.

No, we are strictly against animal testing and our ingredients are not tested on animals.

GMP applies to companies manufacturing finished products. As a supplier of ingredients and bases, this does not apply. Stephenson holds ISO 9001 Quality Certification and supplies companies that have GMP certification.

We've been making soap here at Stephenson’s since 1856, originally for the textile industry.

Yes, all the glycerine used in our soap bases is derived from vegetable sources.

Most of our product are vegan friendly. Only small amount of our products contain animal-derived milk and honey. These include Crystal Goat’s Milk, Crystal Donkey Milk and Crystal Honey.

The main difference between fragrance oils and essential oils is that fragrance oils are manufactured in a lab and essential oils are made of natural materials. Due to their natural properties, essential oils can have an impact on the stability of your product and cause hazing.

We have appointed distributors worldwide to support and manage our supply chain, see our 'where to buy' page to find out where you can purchase our products.

Normally we would recommend silicone moulds, as metal moulds can often stick to the product, but moulds for chocolate often work well too.

Cut the soap down to manageable pieces, chunks or slices. You can then add to a heated vessel, pot, or melt in the microwave - however do watch the temperature, as it is possible to lose moisture and water content from the soap if overheated.

This is due the soap being un-wrapped. When the soap is left out in a higher dry ambient temperatures the soap will begin to lose some of the water/moisture it contains. This results in a loss in size, weight and shape.

This is a common issue with some of our opaque the white pigment (titanium dioxide) can drop within the soap base as it cools when we run large volumes or in the summer months as it takes longer to set. Don’t panic, simply cut the block of soap base from top to bottom in an even cross-section, then re-melt, mix, and you will see that the white (titanium dioxide) will be even throughout the finished soap bar/product.

This is quite a common problem described as 'bleeding'. Most soap crafters use water-based food colourings, these are water-soluble and Melt and Pour soap is a water-based product, thus when these colours are inside a soap they often bleed as it runs through to the entire body of soap. There are alternatives to this, such as pigments or non-bleeding colourants available but they might not be as simple to use.

You can use a large knife (be careful) or a soap cutter, or a soap mould slicing tool/machine. If you're cutting from an 11.5kg box we recommend cutting top to bottom.

There is no limit on how many times you can re-melt. Be aware of any moisture you may lose during this process as this can alter the balance of the formulation. Always cover the soap base when you melt it.

This depends on the size of your mould or loaf. The larger the surface area the longer it will take to set. A normal soap loaf will take roughly 6 hours to fully set. This can also change depending on the ambient temperatures you let the base set in.

No - Melt & Pour is different to 'cold process' and thus does not need to cure. Our soap base is already reacted and cured. Once melted you simply pour, and leave to set. The term 'cure' is used to describe soap that is still reacting and neutralising fatty acid content whilst setting. This is not the case with Melt & Pour.

No. What you're seeing is a layer of bubbles generated from production. Once sliced from top to bottom & remelted these will mix back into the base and will not effect your finished product.

All the different soap bases we have set at different temperatures. You can find the product-specific temperature on the product INCI document, which can be found here.

Normally we would recommend silicone moulds, as metal moulds can often stick to the product, but moulds for chocolate often work well too.

We offer 3 types of packaging for our Melt and Pour soap bases - 1kg trays, a ‘patent pending’ 11.5kg / 25lb soap box, or our larger option of 25KG.

It's very important to wrap the soap as soon as you have released it from the moulds. The fewer surfaces in contact with the air the better so wrap in a cling film/cello film type product. This is important to prevent sweating and also moisture loss from the soap.

This is described as 'sweating' and is caused because the soap has been left out in the atmosphere un-wrapped. The soap base contains various ingredients that act as humectants, these attract moisture and beads of water will begin to appear on the soap. A number of factors contribute to this; storage, ambient temperature, humidity and air pressure. The best way to avoid this is by wrapping your soaps.

Perhaps, we can never say for sure as it depends on the essential oil/oils used and the amount. Most ‘free’ oil in the soap base that is un-reacted or not part of the formulation can cause clouding and Essential Oils are no different.

Yes - you can use essential oils however they can have various impacts on the soap, for example; setting time, hardness, clarity and so on. Please do your own sample testing to be sure of compatibility.

The reason some melt and pour soaps are transparent is because they use fatty acids (clear fractions of oils) and solvents, these reduce the formation of crystals when the soap is made and allows light to pass through the soap. When we make a more natural soap we use the entire natural oil, these are not transparent and have an amber appearance, and although allow partial light to pass the soap is still not clear.

Crystal OMP/OMPC contains palm oil and some palm oil derivatives. The palm oil is from sustainable sources. By the end of 2022, the derivates will also be from certified sustainable sources.

Crystal melt and pour products contain glycerin that is used as a solvent and a humectant. It is either derived from palm oil or rapeseed oil. If it is derived from rapeseed, it will be clearly labelled, otherwise can be assumed to come from palm oil. Glycerin may also be produced during the saponification reaction between an oil and sodium hydroxide.

No. Crystal NCO is not certified organic as a finished soap base, however, it does use certified oils (these are saponified in the process) so the soap is made from organic oils, but it is not a certified product.

Technical documents

Here you will find all the relevant technical documents and information for our Melt and Pour bases. If you require any further information, please contact us.

Crystal African Black Soap MSDS

Crystal African Black Soap Processing Guide

Crystal African Black Soap INCI & Spec

Where to buy

Our range of Crystal Melt and Pour soap bases, Liquid bases and Cosmetic bases are available through our network of global distribution partners so you can get what you need when you need it. 

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Where to buy

Want to know more?

To speak to a member of the Stephenson team, please complete the form opposite and we’ll get in touch.

Alternatively you can speak to our sales team using the details below:

Telephone:

+44 (0)113 205 0900
Mon-Thurs:

8am - 4:30pm

Fri:

8am - 4pm

Sat-Sun:

Closed