Do the properties of oil survive saponification?

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Yaya

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I can't seem to find an answer to my question!! Do the properties of oil survive when they go through the saponification process or do they completely change and the benefits are somewhat lost unless you super fat?

Are all the benefits retained or some are lost, all of them lost? Is this why we superfat?

Thanks in advance!

Yaya
 

Susie

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If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you will see other threads listed with this discussion.
 

Lion Of Judah

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to find the answer to that question you got to fully understand the different soap making process and what is going on in the both of them . the key is in the SF and the lye discounting {two different things trying to get the same result } , that is where you will get your answer.
this question i remembered was a heavy debate years ago when i started soap making . there are few opinions on the matter but to me IMHO they all boil down to the oils found in SF . one you have control over and the other pretty much is like pot luck, you get what you get. that % of un-saponified oil is where your "properties " are found .

ETA : here is a active thread that is going on the same time as your question that is pretty much the same thing , so you may be able to dive deeper into the answer. >>> http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=552579#post552579
 
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Yaya

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Thank you for your replies.

Is it worth using a less expensive oil for the saponification process and add a better oil as a superfat?

I'm looking to make an avocado oil based recipe. But if all the benefits of the oil are lost during saponification, is there a point in adding it from the start??
 

Yaya

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Thanks Lion of Judah -i'm having trouble understanding what benefits are left in the oil once saponified? are there any left? is there a yes or a no answer to this? or does it depend on the oils you use?

Thanks
 

Dharlee

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Thank you for your replies.

Is it worth using a less expensive oil for the saponification process and add a better oil as a superfat?

I'm looking to make an avocado oil based recipe. But if all the benefits of the oil are lost during saponification, is there a point in adding it from the start??
The problem is that if you are making cold process soap the lye takes what it wants to take of all your oils. What is left is whatever amount is left of your blend. You don't get to choose what it decides to take, BUT you DO get to decide what oils you want in your recipe to begin with. So your answer is no, if you are making cold process soap you do not get to choose the exact oil that is left to superfat, but you DO get to choose your skin loving/cleansing/whatever oils through formulating your recipe to begin with. So your answer is also yes. This is why it is hard to reply to with a yes or no. Your recipe will make a huge difference and the best way to find out what a certain oil does for your skin is to make test batches. One with it and one without.
 

shunt2011

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If you want to choose which oil is your super fat you would need to do HP and add your chosen oil after the cook.
 

notapantsday

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Is it worth using a less expensive oil for the saponification process and add a better oil as a superfat
No. Apart from the fact that by the time we consider saponification to be over, the soap is completely solid, it's never actually over.

We often simplify chemical reactions. You add one component to the other, a chemical reaction happens and then you get the product. After that, it's done and everything stays the way it is. This is often expressed by a formula like this:

A+B→C

But actually, a lot of chemical reactions can happen in both directions, it's just that one direction is more likely.

A+B→C (mostly)

C→A+B (a little bit)

So let's say that the first reaction is 99% likely and the second reaction is 1% likely. It means that once you put A and B together, your result is almost only C (99%). But there will always be a little bit of A and B in the mix, because sometimes one C goes back to being A and B.

From the outside, it looks like you added A and B and your result is 99% C and 1% A and B. The reaction appears to have come to an end.

But on a molecular level, the reaction is permanently running back and forth, it has just come to an equilibrium.

Imagine two neighboring gardens of the same size with a fence around them. In one garden, you have a young boy and in the other garden, you have an old man. Then you dump 1000 tennis balls in the young boy's garden. He hates tennis, so he begins throwing the balls over the fence, to the old man's garden. The old man is not happy about this, so he tries to throw back the balls, but of course he can't keep up with the young lad so his garden starts filling with tennis balls. After a while, almost all of the balls will be in the old man's garden. But since there are so many balls, he just has to bend down, pick one up and throw it back. The young lad however, has to run around his garden, climb trees and reach into hedges to find the balls and throw them back. So there will always be a few balls in the boy's garden, let's say 5 on average.

Now from the outside, it looks like there are always 995 balls in the old man's garden and 5 balls in the young boy's garden. It seems like nothing is happening anymore, the reaction has come to an end. But if you look at it from close up, there are still balls flying over the fence all the time. It's just that the number of balls flying in each direction has become equal, so the total number of balls on either side doesn't change.

Now imagine the balls are your oils and by crossing the fence to the old man's garden, they become soap. Saponification is the part where the young boy's garden is still full of balls and he's throwing them all over the fence while the old man can't keep up. We consider saponification to be finished once (almost) all balls are in the old man's garden and - apparently - the reaction has come to an end.

Let's introduce some special red colored tennis balls, they are your expensive oils. If you add them in the very beginning and dump them in the young boy's garden along with all the yellow tennis balls, they will take part in the saponification process and most of them will end up on the old man's side (as soap). Every once in a while, the old man will throw back a red ball and it will end up in the young boy's garden but there will never be more than one or two red balls among the yellow ones.

But now you're trying to be smart and add the red balls to the boy's garden once the reaction is "finished" and almost all balls are in the old man's garden. At first, the boy's garden will have mostly red balls because you just added them. But remember that the young boy is still running around and picking up balls to throw them over the fence. He will pick up mostly red balls and most likely get a yellow ball in return. After a while, you will have mostly yellow balls again, with maybe 1 or 2 red balls - even though the total number of balls on either side isn't changing anymore.
 

Yaya

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oh wow, :thumbup: thanks all for your replies. it is really interesting. I decided to add some coconut oil to my recipe so I won't end up with a very soft bar of soap and SP by 3% . I guess it is a yes and no answer. Some oil benefits may remain present and some may get lost in the saponfication process.

Has anyone tried making soap without SP? Was the soap too harsh or did you still manage to get some of the oil properties/benefits? If so, which oils did you use? Would be interesting to hear your experiences.:)
 

Susie

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I am going to assume that SP is actually SF (superfat). I, and others, make 0% SF to use as stain sticks for laundry. Those soaps are not very skin friendly, and they usually use very high CO percentages, making them less so.

The problem with saying whether a soap has the properties of the oils it was made out of is that what you define as the properties of the oil may be different than what I define as the properties of an oil. If you could clarify exactly which properties of which oils you are asking about, then I can provide a better answer.
 

Wildcraft_Garden

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The other side is to also think of the different factors that the individual oils will lend your soap bar and bubbles. If your oil produces a slimy bar (or something else unfavorable), but the super fat is lovely... Still not a good bar in my opinion. ☺
 

DeeAnna

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"...did you still manage to get some of the oil properties/benefits?..."

I have to say ... if you want the properties of the fats to provide any benefits to the skin, then you're going to get far better results by using the fats in leave-on products such as a lotions, salves, creams, etc. I think it's unrealistic to expect soap to condition and "nourish" the skin the way a leave-on product can.

When you wash, the lather is on your skin for maybe a few minutes at most and then you rinse off all of the lather. How can a short exposure to a soap made with rosehip oil (for example) really going to help with a person's rosacea or aging skin??? On the other hand, a good lotion made with the same rosehip oil remains on the skin for hours and has the time to actually do some good.

I do not know of any blind studies that shows superfatting with a given fat actually provides any special benefits to a person's skin. Yes, I know there are a lot of anecdotal stories that say otherwise, but those stories come from people who know what they're washing with and WANT the special ingredient to have some beneficial effect. It is a different story when someone does a blind test in which users don't know what soap has the special ingredient vs soap that does not.

Think also about what happens when soap is made -- The triglycerides (fat molecules) are partly or entirely broken apart into fatty acid molecules, and then those fatty acids are converted into soap molecules. Even the superfat remaining in a soap is not likely to be 100% undisturbed fat molecules -- superfat also will include partially broken down fat molecules (diglycerides and mono-glycerides) and fatty acids. Is it reasonable to assume a SOAP made from a particular fat has the same properties as the fat itself? A classic Jekyll-and-Hyde example is coconut oil soap that is very harsh and drying to hair and skin -- versus coconut oil that is very good for skin and hair.

Superfat (that's usually abbreviated SF, by the way, not SP) is used for two reasons. The first is to ensure all of the lye is safely reacted into soap. A small superfat of perhaps 1-3% is all that is needed for safety. The second is to reduce the harshness of the soap on the skin. Many people use a higher superfat for that purpose. That said, a soap with zero or low superfat may or may not be harsh -- it really depends on the mildness of the soaps that result from the fats used in the recipe.
 

Spice

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"...did you still manage to get some of the oil properties/benefits?..."

I have to say ... if you want the properties of the fats to provide any benefits to the skin, then you're going to get far better results by using the fats in leave-on products such as a lotions, salves, creams, etc. I think it's unrealistic to expect soap to condition and "nourish" the skin the way a leave-on product can.

When you wash, the lather is on your skin for maybe a few minutes at most and then you rinse off all of the lather. How can a short exposure to a soap made with rosehip oil (for example) really going to help with a person's rosacea or aging skin??? On the other hand, a good lotion made with the same rosehip oil remains on the skin for hours and has the time to actually do some good.

I do not know of any blind studies that shows superfatting with a given fat actually provides any special benefits to a person's skin. Yes, I know there are a lot of anecdotal stories that say otherwise, but those stories come from people who know what they're washing with and WANT the special ingredient to have some beneficial effect. It is a different story when someone does a blind test in which users don't know what soap has the special ingredient vs soap that does not.

Think also about what happens when soap is made -- The triglycerides (fat molecules) are partly or entirely broken apart into fatty acid molecules, and then those fatty acids are converted into soap molecules. Even the superfat remaining in a soap is not likely to be 100% undisturbed fat molecules -- superfat also will include partially broken down fat molecules (diglycerides and mono-glycerides) and fatty acids. Is it reasonable to assume a SOAP made from a particular fat has the same properties as the fat itself? A classic Jekyll-and-Hyde example is coconut oil soap that is very harsh and drying to hair and skin -- versus coconut oil that is very good for skin and hair.

Superfat (that's usually abbreviated SF, by the way, not SP) is used for two reasons. The first is to ensure all of the lye is safely reacted into soap. A small superfat of perhaps 1-3% is all that is needed for safety. The second is to reduce the harshness of the soap on the skin. Many people use a higher superfat for that purpose. That said, a soap with zero or low superfat may or may not be harsh -- it really depends on the mildness of the soaps that result from the fats used in the recipe.
Yaya, I think that maybe you are trying to hard to hardness the oils into what you are trying to achieve. DeeAnna, made a good point about what soap is and it purpose. Go with the bubbles and just make soap. If you are looking for more in oils then lotions and things can be an addition to your line. :)
 

Yaya

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Thanks everyone for your replies - much appreciated. and my apologies for getting the abbreviations wrong!! I didn't even realise!! :Kitten Love:
 

Chrys

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Amazing info I found in a Brazilian Page.

Roughly translated from Roberto Akira's page, Akira is a 65 year old Brazilian Chemist who after retiring started sharing the knowledge he accumulated in 40 years of working with chemistry.

"Cold Process Soaps are beautiful and easy to make but the process has its drawbacks. All the components added to the soap go through saponification, this strong alkaline environment spares almost nothing, it literally destroys many active ingredients of all components.
There is a mistaken belief that things added at trace will be spared since most of the lye is gone. But in reality at trace only about 10% of the lye has been consumed to form the emulsion (trace), the rest remains there and will react the same to anything that is added. The idea that superfatting at trace will protect that particular oil, usually a noble oil, doesn't quite work like that. The superfat will still be just a mix of the oils and fats in the recipe, not the one added at trace.

Therefore it does not make much sense to advertise the efficacy of CP therapeutic soaps made with medicinal oils such as Neem, Andiroba and Copaiba. The therapeutic components of these oils no longer exist after the saponification, there will be the sodium salts of the fatty acids palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic, that are components of Neem oil, for example, but the active ingredients that make Neem a fantastic fungicide, antibacterial, antiviral and insecticide oil, are gone.

One could argue, for example that, still, in the case of Neem, that certain components do not react with the soda and remain intact, but this lacks scientific evidence, more so as the unsaponifiable content of Neem is zero.

In the HP the additives, including the superfat, are added at the end of the saponification process therefore protecting the properties of that specific oil or butter."
 

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