Blended soaps can be the best when it comes to cleansing your skin. By understanding the properties of oils, you can control the outcome of your homemade soaps. Here are some common oils that you may consider adding to your next recipe.
Your skin is as unique as your DNA; well it is your DNA. So it goes without saying that what might work for your skin type may not work for someone else's. Yes soap is a wash off product and does not pentrate the skin. however, some fatty acids have the ability to cleanse better than others thus removing the protective layer of oil on the surface of your skin. While others are mild cleansers which leave excess oil deposits leaving you feeling greasy.
A blended soap recipe is usually best. A combination of fatty acids can be customized to create a soap with desirable attributes. By understanding the properties of the oils you have control of the outcome. This is indispensable in formulating successful soap recipes. Let's take a look at some common oils in an effort to help you determine which is best for your skin; and your customer's.
Quite a unique type of oil, coconut oil is one of the few that is stable at high temperatures. During the saponification gel phase, the internal temperature of soap can exceed 220°F. This heat alters the structure of some oils but coconut oil has a moderately long shelf life; two years on average.
With the addition of coconut oil to your recipe, you will notice that your soaps have increased lather, fluffy bubbles and hardness. Contrary to popular belief, coconut oil is not drying. It is actually a super cleanser. When used in skin care products, coconut oil is softening, moisturizing and conditioning. Not only is it great for cutomer's with hard water but it is also the only oil that will lather in sea water.
Although they come from the same plant, palm oil and palm kernel oil are not the same. Palm oil is made by pressing the middle layer of the palme fruit where palm kernel oil comes from the seed (kernel) of the nut. After milling, palm oil can be refined (white in color) or unrefined (reddish orange in color). The only difference you will notice in your soaps is that the unrefined may leave a slight odor and color tint.
When used as a soap making ingredient, palm oil creates a a hard, ultra cleansing, creamy and stable bar. Palm oil is relatively inexpensive to purchase and stores well for up to two years. Many akin the structural properties of palm oil to that of tallow (animal fat); making it an excellent alternative for vegan soap makers and customers alike.
With roots dating back to the ancient Syrians, olive oil has been a staple ingredient in Castile soap. It imparts a much loved smooth feeling to soaps as well as hardness. Large fluffy bubbles you will not get but rather a rich and stable lather. When used in skin care products, oilve oil is hypoallergenic, highly moisturizing and conditioning. With its mild cleansing abilities, olive oil is ideal fro nearly all skin types.
Olive oil has a relatively long shelf life, up to four years, which allows a soap maker piece of mind that soap made with olive oil will be virtually free from rancidity. Olive oil is graded in classes: Extra Virgin, Virgin, Refined adn Pomace. All grades are suitable to use for soap making however Pomace contains the largest percentage of unsaponifiables. Meaning that it imparts inherent super-fatting properties to your soaps.
Derived from the castor bean, castor oil is categorized as a vegetable oil; although the taste deters us from cooking with it. Like coconut oil, castor oil is extremely stable at high temperatures. When used in soap making it will impart gigantic bubbles and moisture retention, The fatty acid compostition of castor oil contains little to no soap hardening capabilities. Therefore, it should be used in soap formulations at a low percentage.
You could certainly create an impressive soap using just coconut, palm, olive and castor oils. But you do have other options. Alternatives to coconut oil include palm kernel oil and babassu oil. Beef tallow is a suitbale alternative to palm oil. Two of my favorite substitutes for olive oil are sunflower oil and rice bran oil. Unfortunately, there is no like alternative for castor oil. If subbing one oils for another in a recipe, be sure to run your formulation through a lye calculator.
These are just a small number of oils that you can adopt to your soap making formulas. Take advantage of abundance of fatty acids combinations. They are as unique as you and your skin.