Just made my first batch of soap. Olive Oil, Lye, Water, Essential oils. I read that you should add the oils after the soap cures for a week to keep full benefits. Does the lye alter the oils? Also had very small suds. Feels good but wonder if I missed something. Thnx
Lye alters some of the EOs. There can be an advantage to not exposing them to lye, whether you believe in the benefits of the oils or you just want the best fragrance. However, I don't know how you can properly incorporate EO after you mold the soap.
There is a way of making soap called hot process (HP), where the soap is stirred and heated so that all the saponification happens before the soap goes into the mold. Using EO in hot process soapmaking would be sufficient to avoid having it altered by lye. You could choose to learn and use that method instead of cold process (CP).
Your soap does not have a lot of lather because it is made entirely with olive oil, also commonly called castile soap. There are other oils, especially coconut oil, that would improve the lather. Some people like castile soap very much, but for best results you generally have to let it cure for 6 months to a year before using it. Soaps with a mixture of different oils are normally ready to use sooner than olive oil soap.
Other oils you could consider include coconut oil for bubbles, palm oil or animal fats for hardness and creamy lather.