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Fatty acid profiles

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Sar

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Hi all. I've been soaping for a few years now however, I've only recently learnt to formulate with fatty acid profiles in mind. I came across the 40/60 suggestion, as well as the counter suggestion that these numbers are not a one size fits all scenario.

My question is - does the saturated: unsaturated ratio determine whether a soap is drying or not? Will a bar with 33:66 be more "conditioning" than a bar that is say 45:55? So for sensitive skin what would the fatty acid profile be like? (Apart from keeping lauric and myristic acids low).

I've read that Oleic acid is conditioning and Linoleic acid can be helpful for acne prone skin.
 

KiwiMoose

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I don't think it does - but try reading @DeeAnna 's classic bells site for more info. I use 50/50 sat/unsat and mine aren't drying. I would just aim to keep the lauric/myristic acids low as you suggest, keep the oleic higher than 35% and don't use too much linoleic for fear of DOS. Mine is at 15%. I find that Shea Butter is less drying than cocoa butter (and cheaper). Use some aloe for your water for more bubbles.
 

lsg

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Soaps high in oleic acid do not last long for me.

Oleic is no help however, with lathering and although it makes a hard bar, it does not make a long-lasting bar as soaps with palmitic and stearic acid do. "
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I tend to think of the profiles are more guidelines than anything else, as they don't really tell 100% of the picture. Of course, they can't really do that, so it's not a complaint, and what I mean is that two oils which look similar by the profile can end up quite different when you are using a finished bar. So if you used one oil with a certain profile, don't automatically right off another oil with a similar profile.

But for getting an idea and a direction, they are very helpful.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I use the FA profiles as guidance for my formulas and then tweak the oils to get soap profile I want. I absolutely agree with @The Efficacious Gentleman that each oil has unique properties, which may be related to the way the FAs are joined in triglycerides, unsaponifiables, and other mysterious factors. I use coconut oil in the 10-25% range depending on what kind of soap I’m making (excluding salt bars). I like soaps with 9-15% linoleic and mostly use rice bran oil to adjust for that FA. For longevity and creaminess, I use lard/tallow, soy, palm, butters or a combo and adjust until I get to the desired soap qualities (e.g. for longevity = Stearic + Palmitic, I’m usually aiming for 27 to low 30s). I fill in the rest with a liquid oil, like olive, avocado, sweet almond, etc.. With the liquid oils I also think about how the oil color will affect the final color of the soap. For example, EVOO will add color more than a light olive oil.
 

Sar

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Thank you, everyone, for your inputs! 🙏
More experimentation should answer the rest of my questions 😆 xx
 
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