Most of us have heard transparent soaps referred to as “glycerin soap”. This is not really accurate as glycerin is a natural byproduct of all soap making.
What is Transparent Soap?
Transparent soaps must be made by hot processing or literally “cooking” the soap as opposed to our opaque bars which are made by cold process with no external heat applied to the soap, even though opaque soaps can also be produced by hot process. At a particular point in either method, the mixture begins to form long crystals which will produce an opaque soap. To prevent those crystals from forming, the soapmaker adds grain alcohol, glycerin, and table sugar and voila! Transparent soap!
Benefits of Transparent Soaps:
Because transparent soap is not superfatted with excess oils as our opaque soap is, it will not be as moisturizing.
But… the alcohol process both neutralizes the soap and causes it to be very effective on acne and oily skin. Transparent soap has a very slippery lather and lends itself well to shaving.