Use of Vegetal Starch in Cosmetics and Soap Making

Use of Vegetal Starch in Cosmetics and Soap Making

After some soap batches made with homemade starches, I decided to write a little blog about starch. Starch was extracted as byproduct in latest plant extraction method used by artisan scientist Arvis Liepa. He always pushes me to try some new ingredients in handmade cosmetics. Liquid Plasma Crystals concept is based on nature friendly green  and no waste principles. It is always exciting to get successful experience in path of exploration.
 
Starch is natural polymeric carbohydrates or complex sugar which fruits and vegetables use as energy storage  It is mostly found in different seeds and vegetable roots.
I remember starch being always in my home and was used more or less in certain period of time. Starch is natural thickener used to make kissel - fruity drink made from juice and starch, it was one of favorite drinks for my kids in their early age.  Much thicker kissel made with dried apples, plums and raisins was often served in school canteen as dessert served with fresh milk. I remember my mom always sprayed starch water over when ironing her white medical clothes or white shirt for my dad. Starch was also used to harden table clothes, and sheets, when bright colored sheets took more and more place in wardrobe, starch was used only for special occasions:)
I also remember to used starch as non toxic glue for kids in school and even had use it as glue for wall paper in my student's room.

Mistress and servants: the Neumagen relief, Trier, Germany, c.AD 200. Photo from Getty images

Did you know that also Romans used starch in cosmetic creams as skin whitener and as powder for hair to absorb oils form hair?

Since than starch is used for much more purposes in households and industries including paper making.

Most popular starches used in cosmetics is Cornstarch, Tapioca starch and Rice starch. But actually you can make starch from any starchy vegetable you can find locally. Starch is quit common ingredients for both homemade and industrially made cosmetics. It is mainly used as binder in bath bombs and natural thickener in liquid soap or used as an opacifier, starch is used also in lotions and creams to make them less greasy and  adds a velvet texture to natural body butters.

Author of book ''Miscellaneous Uses of Starch'' J. A. Radley wrote: ''Best quality industrial starch has unique physical properties and is claimed to be somewhat out of the ordinary, enabling 25-30 % of it to be incorporated in soap. The authors also confirmed the claims for increase in lather number and stability of the lather.''

Starch for hair in French history

Rachel Knowles in her book What Regency Women Did For Us (2017) wrote:

''It was Henry IV of France (1553-1610) who started using brown powder in his hair to hide his grey hairs.  France hair powder was made from flour or starch and varied considerably in quality, with the best powders being made from highly refined starch. Starch powder also helped to reduce the greasiness of the hair, this property is still used to make a dried shampoo. Although white starch powders was the most popular color in France at that time, other shades were also used, including brown, grey, orange, pink, red, blue and violet. 

Henry IV’s son Louis XIII (1601-1643) also had a hair problem—he started to go bald at a young age. To hide his baldness, he started to wear a long haired wig and, unsurprisingly, his courtiers soon followed suit. The fashion spread to England and was adopted by Charles II (1630-85) and his court. 

The rarest and most expensive wigs were white. As a result, people put white powder on their wigs in order to make them look as white as possible. People also used white powder on their hair. It intensified the blondeness of very fair hair but made darker hair look grey, the shade depending on the natural hair colour.''

The Toilette of the State Prosecutor’s Clerk, c. 1768 by Carle Vernet.

Best for oily skin

Starch good for oily skin as it gives skin a fresh, dry and sleek feeling. Soap makers who experimented to use starches in their soap all notice that starch is great foam stabilizers and makes great soap lather and extra silky feeling.

Scent Anchor

Natural soap makers always struggle with volatile essential oil like all citrus type, which is hard to anchor in soap making, but starch can help to achieve better results as it acts as binder for citrus scents. 

Silk for vegan soap

Starch is very good substitute for natural silk fiber use for vegan soaps.  It adds the silkiness similar to silk fibers to soap, without using animal products.  

Allergy Reliever

Starch with water helps for irritations of the skin, including sunburn and skin allergies.

Skin Whitener

Starch could be used very simple and effective ingredient as skin whitener and aging skin dark spot remover.

Anti-aging

Face mask made from starch is best botox for your skin. It gives and energy and shine to of tied aging skin. Starch bath is not a bad idea to give some kick of tied skin, starch is also one of ingredients in bath balls. 

Stains Remover

Sprinkle the stain with some cornstarch, let it take care of absorbing some of the wetness, and then proceed with your usual cleaning technique. Laundry soap with starch is also a great option.

Crispiness of clothes

Used in ironing as additive to vapor water and gives crispiness of the cotton and linen clothes, table clothes and napkins. Just remember starch can be use only for white clothes, it had whitening effect.

Natural thickener

Used as natural glue and food thickener. It is cheapest glue for wall paper, widely used as food thickener in sauces or soups. Soap makers use starch as soap thickener and sugar replacement.

Probiotic

By adding starch to your breakfast yogurt you could boost your digestion probiotics.

Baby food

Starchy and sticky thick liquids made from juice and starch is one of first supplement food for babies, it is rich food for baby and could not be used as  drink substitute, herbal teas or pure water which is always most delicious drink for baby.

Safety Concerns

Soap as product is a extremely unfriendly environment to any bacteria. Adding things like sugars, fruit and vegetable puree to soap doesn't cause any problems for soap, if used in right proportions, soap as environment isn't bacteria friendly enough in range of pH 8-11, usually around 9.

My Experience with Starch in Soap

I have tried some starches made from Avocado seed, Turmeric root and Kola nut in our latest soap recipes. These starches was extracted in plant extracts making process and separated from extract by centrifuge. Starches was prepared from Avocado seed, Turmeric root and Kola nut and it gave really surprising result in soap. It really improves foaming and lather stability, soap feels a little bit silky slimy in use and I just love use them for hair. Starch also prevents soap for fast drying and cracking. Starches extracted this way were very fine and already as paste and was easy to integrate in soap making process.

I found soap bars made with starches are great shampoo bars, because they give stable foam, has extra slip as other homemade soap bars I even used as shampoo for myself. I still rinse hair with ACV - apple cider vinegar, but it is needed less if I compare with other soap bars. Rinsing water should be slightly acidic for healthy hair and apple cider vinegar gives additional strength and shine to your hair.

I hope you found this interesting and do not hesitate to try our latest starch soap shampoo bars here.

Oat flour is well known ingredient for soap makers and oats contain significant amount of starches different than the starch in other grains. Starch is the biggest component of oats, made up of long chains of glucose molecules. It has a higher fat content, and a higher viscosity what increase its ability to bind with water.

If you use starchy vegetable pure for soap making you add also starch to your soap in very primitive way, but it makes great foaming and silky feeling soap bars. Just note starch content can be variable from one vegetable to another.

Starch also could be used for toilet or milled soaps, the starch is added in powder form to the chips before milling. Starch is also one of must have ingredient in soap doughs. If desired, it can be used in the manufacture of soap flakes, but its use in soap powders is uneconomic, although it may not be so for shaving powders. 

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