Experimenting With Avocado Butter in Palm-Free Soap

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aihrat

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Hello! I'd like to share some information on avocado butter in palm-free recipes I've been experimenting with lately. I searched the forum and there were some people who were curious, but since this is usually an expensive oil it looks like people are encouraged to save it for other cosmetics instead.

In the past, I've spent a lot of money on olive oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter in my soaps. This year, I tried avocado butter.

My goal was to make the cheapest, simplest bar of palm-free soap possible, usable for 10+ washes per day without drying out my hands. I've used soy wax before, and while it did add hardness, it also lent a "rubbery" texture to the soap at higher concentrations and was much harsher on my skin.

I read about how hydrogenated versions of soft oils, while less desirable in food, can add more hardness and longevity to soaps. This brings me to avocado butter.

Fatty acid profiles of avocado oil (from soapee.com):

Linoleic 6%
Linolenic 2%
Oleic 53%
Palmitic 21%
Stearic 10%

This fatty acid profile is really interesting. I liked that the combined proportions of Linoleic acid and Linolenic acid were smaller than 15%, a rule of thumb I learned on these boards to prevent DOS over long periods of storage time. The high proportion of Oleic acid is nice, as is the Palmitic and Stearic acid content. I don't see Lauric/Myristic or Ricinoleic acids here, but I usually only expect them in coconut derivatives and castor oil respectively.

Most oils (with the exception of olive oil, lard, sweet almond oil, and coconut oil with a high superfat) are grim to use in a single-oil soap. Avocado butter may not necessarily be an exception to this, but 100% avocado butter on soapee.com has quite a nice profile:


PropertyValueIdeal Range
Bubbly014 - 46
Cleansing012 - 22
Condition6144 - 69
Hardness3129 - 54
Longevity3125 - 50
Stable3116 - 48

Screenshot 2020-10-19 at 23.06.10.png

These are really great Conditioning, Hardness, and Longevity values! Proponents of pure olive oil castile soap would say to take the 0 values for Bubbliness and Cleansingness with a grain of salt (hyuk, sometimes literally)! If that's the case, it might be possible to create a single-oil using avocado butter alone. I have not tried this.

I used some other oils in my recipe to boost the other property values and to attempt to lower my costs. First, I tested the following recipe, with 65% avocado butter. This recipe is likely not cheap to make anywhere other than Southern Africa, but is here for curiosity's sake:

Screenshot 2020-10-19 at 23.06.10.png

I blended for only a few seconds before needing to hand-stir the batch to trace, because the mixture traced very quickly. The soap itself was very pleasant to use, but there were a lot of white spots in my soap. I zap-tested the more powdery-looking ones shortly after unmoulding and cutting and they appear to be sodium citrate crystals from the solution I was using. :( Maybe the citrate solution didn't get incorporated because I could not blend. There are also a lot of stearic spots. I don't know if it's because I'm out of practice, or the avocado butter was saponifying quicker than I expected, or both. I also tend to want to soap with cooler oils but this butter-heavy recipe isn't very forgiving of cooler temperatures and stearic spotted heavily.

Lather test here: 4Mma7Yt.mp4

Not one of my prouder products, but good enough for personal use in quarantine. Really nice feel in the hand and left my skin feeling conditioned. Bad for swirls.

The next is the recipe with the most avocado butter that I've tested:

Screenshot 2020-10-19 at 23.06.10.png

The above recipe is 70% avocado butter. Again, only blended a few seconds before hand-stirring. I tried to use this opportunity to try some silicone mats and swirling, but really, this batch accelerated. I had to glop it in the moulds in a panic. I tried putting charcoal in some of it and really don't recommend it as it almost soap-on-a-sticked.

This should be fine if you just traced the mixture and poured.

Lather test here: 298vGkr.mp4

Again, very ugly product, wholly unfit for sale. Really great handfeel though! It felt like it cleaned my hands without stripping them, and left them feeling comfortable and conditioned.

I think I'll experiment a bit more with the avocado butter. I need some way to incorporate the sodium citrate evenly, but it's difficult because I can't blend it a lot. If you don't live in a hard-water area then you'll probably have a better time with these recipes than I did.

I'll try making a 100% avocado butter soap sometime and update this thread with the results.

For now though, I believe in avocado butter! Up to 70% weight of oils!

Price note:

If you're in South Africa, you're in luck! South Africa is a primary grower and exporter of avocadoes. This means that it's possible to source avocado butter (ie. hydrogenated 100% avocado oil) at much cheaper prices than shea butter, cocoa butter and other stearic/palmitic acid-containing oils that are usually added to palm-free soap to add hardness and longevity. It's even cheaper than most pomace and non-pomace olive oil available! You can look up the prices for my supplier by downloading an order form here: Contact. They have the best price I've seen on bulk coconut oil as well.

I took a look at www.newdirectionsaromatics.com for oil prices in the USA, and it looks like avocado butter (100% avocado oil) is cheaper than shea butter there as well. However, this was not a full survey, and avocado oil may well still be more expensive than staples like olive oil.
 

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cmzaha

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You do realize the Avocado Butter from NDA is not 100% Avocado Butter, as most of these type butters are not. It has added Soy. Very few companies sell 100% Avocado Butter, Oregon Trails is one that does and it is not cheap.

If you do find a 100% Avocado oil butter and use it at 100% for a bar of soap please do not waste your money, it will create a hard bar of soap with 0 lather. I experimented with 100% AVO soaps using Vinegar as the liquid with EDTA and Sodium Gluconate, with a 2 or 3% superfat (my normal) with dual lye. Even after a year cure they pretty much produced no lather without using copious amounts of water and a bath pouf, also began to show signs of DOS. Although I will say it left my hands feeling nice after they dried and got past the initial stickiness of the high Oleic. On top of all that they stay snotty.
 
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Anstarx

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I've been wary of any butter that sounds like they shouldn't be butters ever since I realized the so called avocado butter from Bramble Berry is actually avocado AND hydrogenated vegetable oil, kinds of vegetable oil unnamed and I suspect palm content. On the same note, their famed cranberry butter is actually shea, palm, and jojoba mixed with dried cranberries. I know you didn't purchase from different but still, there's the possibility that the avocado butter you get isn't purly form avocado.
 

aihrat

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You do realize the Avocado Butter from NDA is not 100% Avocado Butter, as most of these type butters are not. It has added Soy. Very few companies sell 100% Avocado Butter, Oregon Trails is one that does and it is not cheap.

If you do find a 100% Avocado oil butter and use it at 100% for a bar of soap please do not waste your money, it will create a hard bar of soap with 0 lather. I experimented with 100% AVO soaps using Vinegar as the liquid with EDTA and Sodium Gluconate, with a 2 or 3% superfat (my normal) with dual lye. Even after a year cure they pretty much produced no lather without using copious amounts of water and a bath pouf, also began to show signs of DOS. Although I will say it left my hands feeling nice after they dried and got past the initial stickiness of the high Oleic. On top of all that they stay snotty.
let me double-check my link to US stores. i do know that most avocado butter products are blended with other oils. however, what i have sourced is avocado butter made from 100% avocado oil. i confirmed with my supplier, because i didn't want it messing with my lye amounts in the finished product.

edit: yeah okay, i missed the part when they said "soy butter", argh. apologies for the misdirection.

whoa, thanks for sharing what happened when you made the 100% avocado butter bar! that is really disappointing. i had thought maybe it'd be like a 100% OO bar, which is also snotty but has a bit of lather, since they're both high in oleic fats. it's a shame it does so poorly on its own! it's possible that the added coconut and castor oils was doing the magic for me in my 70% bar. thanks for saving me the trouble, haha.

I've been wary of any butter that sounds like they shouldn't be butters ever since I realized the so called avocado butter from Bramble Berry is actually avocado AND hydrogenated vegetable oil, kinds of vegetable oil unnamed and I suspect palm content. On the same note, their famed cranberry butter is actually shea, palm, and jojoba mixed with dried cranberries. I know you didn't purchase from different but still, there's the possibility that the avocado butter you get isn't purly form avocado.
i checked with my supplier (Escentia). i am definitely wary of adulteration. i asked if the butter was blended with other oils and they said no. i live in south africa so the supply market is different as well.
 
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The_Phoenix

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I think there is some confusion in this thread. Avocado butter and avocado oil are two completely different raw ingredients.

Avocado butter isn't an actual thing. Rather, avocado oil is combined with some other sort of hydrogenated oil. If you look at the product that Bramble Berry sells, you'll notice that the ingredients are "avocado oil, vegetable oil."

Avocado oil is avocado oil.

IMHO, don't waste your money on avocado butter. The first batch of soap I made included avocado butter. I felt like such a schmuck after I learned more about the product and realized that it wasn't what it appeared to be. Don't get bamboozled like me. Just use avocado oil. And, perhaps, a butter to make a harder bar.

If you look at the link provided on the New Directions website, and go to the "Ingredients" link, you'll see that it is NOT made from 100% avocado oil.

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