How much to add for an effect?

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noob

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Hello everyone!

As I try to formulate some of my own formulas and play around, there is something I am wondering.

What percentage should something be to actually have an effect on the final bar?

For example, if I wanted Shea butter in my bar to help out, would 10% of the total be enough? or should it be more like 20%? Is 5% enough to get an effect?

I was wondering because you read about a lot of oils/butters and how beneficial they are for the skin, but due to the lye, what goes in, isn't what comes out. That leads really to another question, is it worth putting expensive oils into the soap when the benefits of the original oil is going to be changed/non-existant? Or should I just make pure lard soaps?

Thank you for any insight you may have!
 

LoveOscar

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You probably need to find a list of oils with their recommended uses. I got mine from the soap books I've purchased, and they're never the same, or have all of the oils. Something to consider is the properties of the oils or butters used. Some oils once saponified can add hardness or softness to a bar; some oils can extended or shorten a soaps shelf life; some can boost or kill lather and then there are the different bubbles they can produce; some oils are great for irritable skin conditions while others might be no go's for skin conditions. And then there's in what context they're being used (salt bar, shave bar, face bar, shampoo bar, body bar, etc) that changes to what percentages an oil is recommended to use. And then there is the factor that some oils you may not have access to, or don't wish to use for what ever reason, and what oils or combination of oils to use to substitute!

Edit:
It would take some effort for me to compile a whole list because I have I think 4 books to go through. I hope someone can come in and post a short link if there is one on this forum. If not, it might be a consideration to create one.
 

Seawolfe

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I've gone through the try every oil phase, and while I very much like Shea and sweet almond oil in my soaps, I'd be fine if all I had for soaping was lard, olive oil, coconut and castor. And I'm not entirely sure how critical the castor is.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Having seen some people swear that they can tell the difference between Shea and lard in a soap and some people swear that they couldn't, I think that each person has to try it to be totally sure.

As for the amounts, I know it sounds like a lot of hard work, but read back through the forums for 10 pages or so. Whenever someone talks about a conditioning bar or something, Shea and other butters will be involved and the amounts discussed - this kind of second-hand experience is very handy for building the theoretical side of things to then try out if you still want to.
 

penelopejane

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Castor oil at 5, 10 and 15% makes a noticeable difference.
10% of camellia oil makes a difference so it is important.
I have a list of the oil characteristics and will post a link tomorrow.
 

hmlove1218

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Typically, the minimum most people will use of any oil is 5%. Most of the experienced soap makers here say anything under that is pretty much wasted because there's not enough to effect the final soap.

I agree with everyone else, though, that it requires a bit of experimentation to find out the minimum and maximum of ingredients that you prefer.
 

noob

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thank you all for your information!

I am doing my experiments for myself trying to find what I like. I made a small batch with a bunch of stuff and it just seemed complicated. It did have 5% of some oils I wanted. I can't use the bars yet, but around 15% of the recipe was 3 oils at 5%/ea, and I just wondered if they actually did anything at that levels or would I even notice them other than it made making the batch pretty annoying.

Also, some clarification of the second part of my question. For example, Avocado oil is excellent for the skin apparently. But would there be any reason to think saponified avocado oil has the exact same effects (excluding the super-fat)?

I have read a few pages of threads as suggested, but I couldn't find anything that addressed this specifically. It has me pretty confused. I thought I read a post from DeeAnna who said you can't make a conditioning bar of soap and you needed a lotion for that. I can't seem to find it right now as it has been a while since I read it.
 

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