I love ingredients

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Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2010
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High quality soap making ingredients are a turn on for me. I can spend hours online searching out the best prices for oils/butters/botanicals etc... I think the better the ingredients, the better the soap. I just love natural gorgeous oils and butters. I love essential oils but still use some fragrance oils because I love the experience. I get so excited about the ingredients it's contagious ...then the people I give it to are excited about it.

I started making soap back in 1996. Took a break from it to get into other hobbies (painting and pottery)and am doing it again now. I decided to make soap as Christmas gifts and have been bitten by the addiction again :)

Someone who received my soap as a Christmas gift has asked if they can purchase it in bulk.
I'm not selling soap at the moment but the idea has tempted me and has me thinking about it. I know there is a lot more in running a business than just making soap. I haven't sold soap in the past but did have my own business. There is no rush.

Recently, labeling has changed in Canada and I've noticed that local soap makers are using pretty basic ingredients.... different variations of Coconut, Canola, Crisco, and Castor. They look nice and are nicely packaged.
I bought some of their soap to see how it compares to mine. But, personally, those ingredients do nothing to encourage me to spend $5 on one bar. I purchased two bars from different soapers.

One weighed 3oz for $5 (that was the Coconut/Crisco/Canola bar) it was nice. There was nothing wrong with it. It lathered and rinsed nicely but there was no wow factor. I did not like the small portion.
The second one was made with Coconut, Canola and Castor. It was $5 for 4 3/4 oz. The fragrance was gorgeous. The bar shape was awkward to use and it left my hands feeling slippery after I dried them.
The packaging was identical in both , nice.

So, I've kind of been thinking that if this is what soapers in my area have been putting out there for years, people around here might not know what a really nice soap is or don't see handmade as being so great. The business are able to keep it all going. They do other things like bath salts, creams, etc...

I will still be using my favorite ingredients in mine. I think I would rather sell a smaller bar or raise my price to make it cost effective. It's not just about profit. It's also about doing something you take pride in and enjoying what you do. How you spend your time is how you spend your life.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud :) I was a bit disappointed that they all have taken the cheap route. I couldn't find a single soap with any Olive oil, Shea butter, Avocado oil, Jojoba oil, Mango butter, Palm oil or Coco Butter in it.

On the other hand, it gives me a niche to fill :)

does anyone have any input regarding ingredients? Does lye know the difference? :)
In my early soapmaking days there weren't many specialty oils available so my soap was pretty basic. After more oils came out, I tried them, but couldn't really tell the difference. The only ones I use on your list now are olive, mango butter and in my specialty soaps is avocado and cocoa butter. I don't use canola after my soap got DOS from it. I think it really depends on the % of each oil used and how much you superfat. They lye does not discriminate which oils or butters you use.
thanks Soapbuddy :) appreciate your response. I don't use Canola either. When I first started soaping the only place I could get palm oil was the one health food store we have. It was bright "construction "orange :) I bought it but never used it because of the color. I love olive oil in my soap, that plus shea butter, coconut, sunflower, palm are my regulars. I have recently ordered some new ones... avocado and mango. ..so will use them to superfat. I have a hankering lately to make creams an solid perfumes too . It's so much fun. I have my artwork and ceramic crafts to sell and don't need insurance or Health Canada's approval for it. So the 'Body care 'industry is another dimension. Still on the fence about it. Soap making just grabbed me, I love making it.
FWIW, I'm making my basic soap with CO, PO, OO, Castor oil, Shea butter and Cocoa butter - no Crisco here! :D

Nothing too fancy, but people who have used my soap usually ask for more (lots of people got soap for Christmas this year 8) ).
hey Half Caper, thanks.:) your ingredients sound great. I just don't know what FWIW means :) I am trying to source some local goats milk for mine. have noticed you in previous posts.

I am also a Canadian soap maker, and I am an ingredient browser. Currently, I am researching oils that would be beneficial in a facial soap. I buy soap from other soap makers all the time to check out ingredients. It's important to me to produce a quality product - nicely packaged and sized as well. If anyone has any advice on facial/baby soap, I would be most appreciative. Some things I have looked at are: avocado oil, carrot tissue oil, BC glacial clay (which I have), vitamin E, shea butter, .... As an alternative to ground oatmeal, I plan to make some oat 'milk' by boiling up some coarse oatmeal and straining it through cheesecloth. I make most of my soaps with 100% goat's milk, OO, CO, PO, and cocoa butter. Now that I have my beautiful new Soaphutch mold, I'm itching to try some new formulations. Any ideas?
hi KD,
from my experience it's hard to beat an olive oil soap for mildness. But a facial soap would depend on your complexion, oily, dry etc..
I've never boiled the oats but have soaked them using a pillow sack in water overnight and then drained it off. I also add ground organic oatmeal to my oatmeal soap. It comes already ground but I grind it again to be sure.