What's in my shaving soap

I use Tabac most days and love it.

Interesting the refills have a different ingredients list than the full sticks.

Tabac Stick:

Potassium Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Tallowate, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Sodium Tallowate, Parfum, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, CI 77891, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Courmarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss) Extract, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Isoeugenol, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Citral, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract.

Tabac Refill:

Potassium Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Tallowate, Sodium Tallowate, Potassium Cocoate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 77891

That's quite a difference. No idea why but noticed it when I got the job lot in last week.

(PS Ingredient info all available here: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.theshaveden.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4780" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.theshaveden.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4780</a><!-- m --> and I posted this earlier at <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://www.theshavingroom.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=852&hilit=tallowate&start=10" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">viewtopic.php?f=8&t=852&hilit=tallowate&start=10</a><!-- l -->)
Almere, Netherlands
The only major ingredient difference is the cocoate -- the stick has some coconut acid soaps - probably to make it a harder soap, maybe also to make it quicker lathering when used directly on the face (you don't want to rub your face for minutes before you get enough soap transferred to start brushing and shaving.

The hydroxide listing in the tabac stick could mean that the stick is more fully saponified than the refill -- my gut feeling however is that it is a superfluous listing.

Interesting is the difference in the fragrance listing. The stick lists a whole range of potential allergens (contained in natural fragrances, listing is mandatory, although usually superfluous). EIther the refill has a different perfume, or less of the same perfume, or they are in violation of the labelling requirement ;-)

What, you mean Germans being in violation of a legal requirement ;-)

next dumb question for all you chem majors/ shave soap geeks/ cosmetologists:

I watched a youtube vid about making coffee soap. they added pure caffeine to it, with the explanation that as a vasodilator it did stuff to the skin that was beneficial. could be, but that effect, whatever it is... would that be helpful in a shave soap?
here's the video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxa9029gkas
the creator of this video seems unclear on the actual effects produced. I am completely unclear on them. but if caffeine applied to the skin changes the surface somehow, it probably will change the behavior of soap/razor/skin in a way that might be noticeable and might be beneficial (or not). there might be a very good reason that there are no caffeinated shave soaps on the market. I just don't know.

the point being that caffeine is used in a number of cosmetics products to affect the surface of the skin. the topical use is what is interesting here- no way I am going to be interested i n giving up my morning cuppa...

vasodilator, vasoconstrictor, skin absorbable, skin nonabsorbable, I see all of these claims made. what's actually going on?
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