Coconut Oil drying effects offset by butter(s)?

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Trisher, May 21, 2019.

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  1. May 21, 2019 #1

    Trisher

    Trisher

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    I understand that Coconut Oil if used more than 15% in soap MAY be drying for some people. Point well taken. However, in many of the soap making videos that I have watched (pretty much non-stop :) 'experienced soapers' often use it at 25% or even 30%. I have also noticed that many of them use up to 15% of some kind of butter along with the high % of CO. Does the butter 'offset' the drying effects of CO? Is there something else going on with the 'chemistry'?
    Thanks! I have learned so much here!
     
  2. May 21, 2019 #2

    Obsidian

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    In my experience no but it really depends on a persons skin. I can barely use 20% coconut, doesn't matter what the other oils are.
    If a person has oily skin, they can use more coconut.
     
  3. May 22, 2019 #3

    KiwiMoose

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  4. May 22, 2019 #4

    Dawni

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    A lot of coconut oil in soap makes it more soluble in water from what I understand, and butters counter that to some extent, is what I surmised, since they are used to help in the longevity of the soap. Maybe that's the reason?

    I don't use that much coconut oil to begin with, mostly between 15-18% but I do use between 10-15% of both cocoa and shea (or just one of em at a time), and a few times up to 20%, to get to the longevity number I want. Unless it's not a vegan soap and I'm using lard....

    As far as I know, the only way to counter a high coconut oil number is a higher superfat. I could still be wrong though....
     
  5. May 22, 2019 #5

    Cellador

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    Short answer, no. I don't think the butters off-set the cleansing of extra coconut oil. But, I do think you need more coconut oil to balance a butter-heavy soap. Not that the soap is "too moisturizing" with lots of butters, but you need the extra coconut oil for the lather. I made a couple of triple butter soaps when I started soaping 2 years ago, and those soaps STILL don't lather. They are hard as a rock, feel nice on the skin, but barely a bubble in sight.
     
  6. May 22, 2019 #6

    earlene

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    For the most part, my skin doesn't like high coconut oil soap. HOWEVER, there have been a couple of soaps with higher than I normally like CO, and in combination with certain other ingredients that do seem to diminish or remove the stripping effect that CO plays on my skin. I only learned this accidentally by making soap with different ingredients, though, and of course testing them out and using them over time.

    What helps (for me personally)? Egg soap. A high CO content in a soap with egg yolks does not bother my skin. I learned this accidentally.

    Subbing regular CO with Fractionated CO, different fatty acid profile, so it makes perfect sense, but I didn't think of that at the time. I had a whole lot of Fx CO and no planned use for it, so decided to toss that into the mix with a couple of recipes just so I could use up the jug and get rid of it. (Used a lye calculator of course.) Turned out to be pretty nice soap and not stripping to my skin. But FX CO is rather expensive, so I've not bought any just for use in bar soap; I was just using it up.

    A longer cure. This doesn't always help with high CO content soaps, but it has for some. I believe it's more about a well-balanced recipe and what works with my skin. But a longer cure time, almost always improves any soap I make. Occasionally I have had some recipes (from early days) that even a 2 & 3 year cure did not help, and I won't be making those again.

    In the beginning I almost always used Cocoa Butter and/or Shea Butter in my soap; no animal fats; no palm. So using CO was sort of a must in the beginning for me. I did eventually use some PKO flakes, but even that can be stripping, so it has to be used in moderation. Babassu is another one that can be stripping like CO, but so far I only use it in my deodorant.

    Another good article that addresses a well-balanced recipe and includes some information pertinent to this discussion: https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/the-most-popular-fatty-acid-profiles-in-soapmaking/
     
  7. May 22, 2019 #7

    Trisher

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    Thanks for your responses everyone! I appreciate your feedback.
     
  8. May 24, 2019 #8

    Candybee

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    The amount of coconut oil in your soap will depend on your preference. As others have mentioned some are more prone to dry skin and use less while others have no problem.

    For my basic bath bars I use about 25% coconut oil or a combo of coconut oil and PKO. For extra conditioning or facial bars or dog or baby soaps I use a very low % as I aim for a milder bar.

    My salt bars have 80% or more coconut oil in them but I use a high superfat of 12-15% depending on my recipe.

    An important thing to consider when you are putting together your soap recipe is to learn and pay attention to the soaping properties on your calculator and also your fatty acid profiles. These will tell you a lot about how the bar may turn out but experience will be your best teacher.

    I know a soaper that uses 35% combo of coconut oil, PKO and has a super sudsy bar that is also very mild and conditioning. You get that by learning how the combinations of soaping fats/oils play a role in the soaps properties of a finished bar.
     

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