Gel Phase and a swirly appearance
I really make an effort to gel my soaps so that the swirls or patterns on the top are not disfigured by soda ash. So I soap at about 110 degrees, put the soap in the oven for about 2 mins at 250 degrees and insulate to ensure that it gels all the way through.
The problem is that the colours in my soap tend to look separated and mottled. The nice even look of the soap becomes glassy looking and uneven.
Why does this happen? How can I achieve complete gel and still get an even tone in my soap?
The only thing I can think of is that your soaps are getting too hot.
It's hard to diagnose the problem without a picture...sorry.
Does the top surface of the soap have a texture that could be describe as 'alien brains' on it? Are there cracks in the top soap surface? When you cut the soap does it have a crackle like look to it?
These are all symptoms of overheated soap. If this is what is happening, skip the oven step and unwrap the soap as soon as the majority of the soap has gelled and place a fan on it. The fan helps the soap cool down and stops ash from forming on top.
Another thing that can cause a tone on tone swirly effect is fragrance oil. The only thing to do there is use a different oil.
Hope these suggestions help,