Coconut vs Palm Kernel oil

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ngian

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Another experiment took place last weekend, and that is between the two "lauricomyristic" oils of CO vs PKO.



Lye Concentration: 33%
Suprefat: 2%
Lard: 60%
CO / PKO: 30%
Canola Oil: 10%
with little salt, sugar, sodium citrate, lemon lime FO (it accelerated trace!) and a few drops of orange and green pigment accordingly.

I used the Canola oil as I didn't have Castor oil, with the logic of having in the recipe some saponified fatty acids that are more water soluble (oleic/linoleic).

Coconut oil is said to be more harsh on skin in contrast with PKO according to this post:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=510429#post510429

So I will try to check if there is any real difference on my skin. If I can't understand anything I will also give a sample to a soaper I know she tends to have more sensitive skin than me.

So another 2 months counting down just started...

:)
 

topofmurrayhill

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Did the green one get mixed enough? I can see from the air pockets that it accelerated, but I'm wondering about that mottled look.

Life is less complicated when you can omit the FO for this type of experiment. I just make very small batches for recipe tests, so the soap doesn't really need to be interesting for general use.
 

shunt2011

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I personally like my soaps with a combination of both CO and PKO. I generally use a bit higher % of PKO. I don't generally exceed 25% total.
 

ngian

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Did the green one get mixed enough? I can see from the air pockets that it accelerated, but I'm wondering about that mottled look.
In both soaps the colors were Stick Blended in the oils before lye, but the first one I made was the green PKO soap and after 1-2 seconds while SBing lye in the oils, I learnt that the FO accelerates really fast. The mottled look must be concentrated palmitic/stearic acid spots because of the acceleration and/or because I also CPOPed it right afterwards, and the temperature for the specific lye concentration dropped slowly, causing this phenomenon.

I did a zap test to those spots but they were sweet as soap, and they are harder on finger pressure than the other darker green areas.

The same procedure was used with the orange CO soap which was next but I used only the silicon spatula for mixing lye in the oils. Trace came a little slower than PKO's but faster than normal...

Life is less complicated when you can omit the FO for this type of experiment. I just make very small batches for recipe tests, so the soap doesn't really need to be interesting for general use.
You are right about these small experimental batches (these are a total of 500gr oils in each recipe) but I wanted to get to know the behavior of the specific FO at the same time.
 

snappyllama

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I'm with Shunt and think a combination of the two works best for my bar preferences. I generally do (10% of each) or (10% CO with 8% PKO) or (8% CO to 6% PKO). I happen to like a little more CO than PKO, but that's just my preference.
 

ngian

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Well after a good cure these soaps were tested by me and 3 other soapers. We all didn't find any major differences between them, and both soaps were good without any drying issues.

Speaking for me I did notice only a little bit of a waxen texture in the PKO soap bar.

As far as the 30% of CO/PKO oils along with the 2% lye discount that many of you would consider as a very drying soap, I think that the parameters below are responsible for not being drying at all:

1. The very hard water that we have, turns part of the soap molecules into lime soap (soap scum) and thus less CO/PKO soap strips the skin's oil.

2. The recipe itself has a fairly amount of insoluble fatty acids (palmitic/stearic) that somehow holds back the more soluble ones (myristic/lauric)

3. The warm weather that we now have (25-30°C) makes our skin less prone to its possible sensitivities.

4. Our type of skin that we have (among the testers) that might be not so sensitive.


I did also a test:
I washed my hands 3 times with a 100% CO soap bar with 0% lye discount (washing and wipe them with a towel for 3 recurrent times). After 10min the back of my hands were so drying that the skin was not as much elastic as it normally is, looking really wrinkled!

I did the same test the other day with the above soaps but for 4 recurrent times and the back of my hands felt a lot lower drying than of the 100% CO soap, while I think that the 30% PKO was a little less drying than 30% CO. The tests of CO vs PKO were made in a 1 day difference period so as to rest the skin in between.

If my senses did work right the slightly more drying CO against PKO must be due to the more soluble capric and caprylic FAs.
 
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topofmurrayhill

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Well after a good cure these soaps were tested by me and 3 other soapers. We all didn't find any major differences between them, and both soaps were good without any drying issues.

Speaking for me I did notice only a little bit of a waxen texture in the PKO soap bar.

As far as the 30% of CO/PKO oils along with the 2% lye discount that many of you would consider as a very drying soap, I think that the parameters below are responsible for not being drying at all:

1. The very hard water that we have, turns part of the soap molecules into lime soap (soap scum) and thus less CO/PKO soap strips the skin's oil.

2. The recipe itself has a fairly amount of insoluble fatty acids (palmitic/stearic) that somehow holds back the more soluble ones (myristic/lauric)

3. The warm weather that we now have (25-30°C) makes our skin less prone to its possible sensitivities.

4. Our type of skin that we have (among the testers) that might be not so sensitive.


I did also a test:
I washed my hands 3 times with a 100% CO soap bar with 0% lye discount (washing and wipe them with a towel for 3 recurrent times). After 10min the back of my hands were so drying that the skin was not as much elastic as it normally is, looking really wrinkled!

I did the same test the other day with the above soaps but for 4 recurrent times and the back of my hands felt a lot lower drying than of the 100% CO soap, while I think that the 30% PKO was a little less drying than 30% CO. The tests of CO vs PKO were made in a 1 day difference period so as to rest the skin in between.

If my senses did work right the slightly more drying CO against PKO must be due to the more soluble capric and caprylic FAs.
All of that is consistent with my experience.

I repeat quite often that you can't judge how drying a soap will be just by considering the amount of lauric oil. People tend to discuss the amount they can tolerate as an absolute, but you can design a great 30% recipe that's much less drying than another 20% recipe. This is one way that Soapcalc qualities trip you up entirely, because the answer is to increase palmitic and stearic rather than soft oils.

If you use FCO to test capric and caprylic in soap, it becomes easy to believe that the slightly gentler nature of PKO is due to the lower amount. It's a speculation but I believe it.
 

Arimara

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Good to know, at least where hard water is concerned. I have PKO flakes, which are hydrogenated. That bad boy can be very drying so it would be interesting to compare that to regular PKO at some point to note the subtle differences. I also have to agree with TOMH considering my experiences with babassu oil in soap.
 

ngian

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Good to know, at least where hard water is concerned. I have PKO flakes, which are hydrogenated. That bad boy can be very drying so it would be interesting to compare that to regular PKO at some point to note the subtle differences.
I don't think that PKO flakes should be more drying, as hydrogenation will transform most of the oleic acid (C18:1) to Stearic Acid (C 18:0) and thus you will gain the opposite effects as the final soap will be a little less water soluble. That's my humble opinion.

As it concerns the "slower to trace" of myristic and lauric FAs, I think that the grade that we also use might affect that.

Generally I think that Palm oil traces faster than Coconut oil.

A soaper I know did an experiment of making two 100% CO soaps where the one was made with CO bought from a bioshop while being extra-virgin whitish food-grade, and the other with CO bought from a soap supplies store being yellowish and not food grade.

The yellowish one reached trace a lot quicker than the whitish one so this makes me realize that the yellowish CO would have more free FAs than the other one.

And because I can find PO only from soap supplies stores, I think that it is a quick tracer as it would be a not very fresh oil and a lot of its FAs should be floating around free. If I can find PO in a bio-shop I can do a similar test for this oil...

So all these thoughts of mine might end up to the conclusion that hard oils are not more fast tracers than soft oils, but for every oil their speed to trace is based on their freshness property.
 

Arimara

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I don't think that PKO flakes should be more drying, as hydrogenation will transform most of the oleic acid (C18:1) to Stearic Acid (C 18:0) and thus you will gain the opposite effects as the final soap will be a little less water soluble. That's my humble opinion.

As it concerns the "slower to trace" of myristic and lauric FAs, I think that the grade that we also use might affect that.

Generally I think that Palm oil traces faster than Coconut oil.

A soaper I know did an experiment of making two 100% CO soaps where the one was made with CO bought from a bioshop while being extra-virgin whitish food-grade, and the other with CO bought from a soap supplies store being yellowish and not food grade.

The yellowish one reached trace a lot quicker than the whitish one so this makes me realize that the yellowish CO would have more free FAs than the other one.

And because I can find PO only from soap supplies stores, I think that it is a quick tracer as it would be a not very fresh oil and a lot of its FAs should be floating around free. If I can find PO in a bio-shop I can do a similar test for this oil...

So all these thoughts of mine might end up to the conclusion that hard oils are not more fast tracers than soft oils, but for every oil their speed to trace is based on their freshness property.
If that's the presumed case, my skin may not like PKO flakes then. Pity, especially since I still have a good 1.5 pound to use up.
 

topofmurrayhill

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A soaper I know did an experiment of making two 100% CO soaps where the one was made with CO bought from a bioshop while being extra-virgin whitish food-grade, and the other with CO bought from a soap supplies store being yellowish and not food grade.

The yellowish one reached trace a lot quicker than the whitish one so this makes me realize that the yellowish CO would have more free FAs than the other one.
Indeed, low acid value (FFA content) is part of being food grade. In the world of olive oil for instance, 2% or greater FFA content is considered "not fit for human consumption."
 
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