High palm oil soap content

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Happysoap

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Hi everyone,

Has anyone had any experience with formulating a mild facial soap with a high percentage of palm oil. I would prefer to use something like 70% palm, 20% coconut and 10% fancy oils. I have access to an incredible amount of sustainable palm oil at warehouse prices and I would like to make use of it. Any advice? Superfatting? Lowering pH? I welcome all suggestions. Cheers,
 

Robert

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The mass market soapmakers use a lot of palm oil these days, so there may be a lot of 70% palm oil soaps on the supermarket shelves. However, they don't superfat, so if you do, you may encounter rancidity problems from use of an oil with a high proportion of unsaturated fat. Ask for help from others who use oils high in mono- and polyunsaturates. Palm's more saturated than olive, but with more polyunsaturates. But there are people who make superfatted sunflower oil soap and keep it around a while, so there must be tricks.
 

Hazel

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I'm not a scientist but I have done a little research. Palm doesn't really have a high percentage of unsaturated fats (less than 50%) which makes its saturated fat percentage just slightly over 50%. I consider this a fairly well balance proportion of unsaturated to saturated fats. It also seems to have the same amount or very close amount of polyunsaturates as olive. (BTW, olive has a high percentage of monounsaturated fats which contribute to a longer shelf life. It's the polyunsaturated fats which shorten shelf life.) Most sites list palm oil as having a 2 year shelf life which I think is quite good. Although, I wouldn't depend on this since you don't know how long palm oil may have been sitting before you purchased it. There are "tricks" to extend shelf life such as adding an antioxidant, storing the oil in a cool, dark place or storing in a refrigerator.

Just for informational purposes, it's helpful to remember the more saturated fat, longer shelf life. The more unsaturated fat, shorter shelf life. However, there are exceptions to this; for example, high oleic oils are manufactured to have a higher percentage of monounsaturated fats and a lower percentage of polyunsaturated fats which makes the oils more stable and extend shelf life. But again, the freshness of the oil is important. You're not going to have another year or two of shelf life if you buy a container which has already been sitting around for close to a year.

I haven't used palm at more than 45% so I don't have experience with a high percentage of it in soap. I entered your 70% PO, 20% CO into SoapCalc and then added 10% apricot kernel oil as a fancy oil. It does appear to be a mild soap but not very conditioning. This isn't necessarily a bad thing if someone prefers less emolliency (like people with oily skin).

It's hard to say whether a recipe will make a good facial bar or whatever type you want. SoapCalc's values really are just an approximation. I like to see values in a certain range for my recipes but there has been a couple of times I've been surprised by how the soap turned out. To clarify, I have one recipe which has a lower conditioning value but turned out to be as conditioning if not more so than a recipe I had formulated for dry skin. This was definitely a case of "the whole being greater than the sum of its parts". :lol: I've mentioned it before but I believe there is a synergistic effect with the combination of oils. This is why I recommend people experiment with oils and try different percentages. A recipe can turn out a bit different from what is shown on paper. You never know how increasing the percentage of one oil and lowering another may make a difference unless you experience it. Sometimes it doesn't make much of a difference; other times it makes a very obvious difference. You might want to consider trying several batches - one with 70% palm, one with 65%, one with 60%, etc. You might be surprised by the results.

HTH
 

Crafty Rose

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We stayed at a hotel recently, when I checked out the soap (as you do), it was made up of Pam oil and palm kernel oil, there were no other oils listed. Wouldn't recommended it though, it was horrible.
 
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