Most and Least Favorite Ingredient /Oil/Butter/Additive ?

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makemineirish

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I have something of an "eat with your eyes first" personality and am interested in trying out some novel design techniques. It only makes sense that I explore new territory in the recipes as well. I do not sell, and am forced to be uber-selective about what I make lest I end up with a hallway full of soap that are more decorative than functional.

If you are making something for you and yours, what is your first instinct? Is it a salt bar, castille, goat milk, cucumber? Do you burrow through your stash for silk, yogurt, sodium lactate, the last bit of Jennifer Lopez's toenail clippings before the restraining order...?

Conversely, are there ingredients that you fail to understand the hype about? Do you find castor oil tacky, lard comedogenic, activated charcoal drying, vegetable purees just label p*rn that fail to survive the lye monster...? I understand that everything has a recommended rate of usage, and the art of soap making is finding the fulcrum upon which to balance multiple priorities. However, is there something that you simply do not care to use in any percentage?

To be clear, I am not asking for recipes. I get that most have spent years perfecting theirs and, rightfully, consider them proprietary. I recently stumbled onto an old post about kpangnan butter that made me question what else I was unfamiliar, or just inexperienced with (despite my best efforts).

Before placing another order, I thought I would see if the collective wisdom could suggest a few new things play with. The only thread that found in the same vein was over five years old and more limited in scope, http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=11316. To avoid necroposting, I thought that I would just reintroduce the topic.

I understand that everyone's skin, preferences, and experience are subjective, but would love some input to allow me to prioritize my "experiments". As always, thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 
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shunt2011

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Lard/Palm, CO, PKO, Olive/Avocado, Castor, Coconut Milk or Buttermilk, silk and SL. I don't use fancy ingredients except my love of silk. My favorite bar though is a salt bar. I use beer and GM sometimes in particular recipes. I preger simple. Even for family.
 

MsHarryWinston

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Hmmmm I'm new but there are things that I just KNEW my soap had to have even before I mixed my first batch. And that's goat milk, silk, and aloe juice. Best choice I've ever made. And it's the first time in as long as I can remember that I've actually allowed a bar of soap to touch my face. :D
 

MySoapyHeart

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Because soapingsupplies are practically non-existent here in Norway (other than small silicone molds for cakes, regular cooking oils etc) I have to rely on getting some supplies from America or England. I don`t sell either, so I can`t shell out for a lot of fancy stuff. All of this limits my choices because of steep shipping.

But, in my book limitations are not neccesarily a bad thing!

Instead of ordering unneccesary stuff from abroad, I instead focus of perfecting my recipes and soaps, using the things I have easily on hand here, and a few select things I order from abroad when I have some extra funds to get the things I like the most.

My usuals, purchased in Norway:

Olive, Lard, Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, Coconut Milk, Oatmeal. The other day I found goats milk. Haven`t actually tried it yet, our stove broke, but I have a sneeky feeling it will be a staple included in my oatmeal soap instead of the water. Just need to freeze it in cubes first, as I do with coconut milk, so it doesn`t burn.

The extras I have to purchase from overseas:

Cocoa butter, Sheabutter, Apricot, Avocado (use it in my lipbalms all the time, but now I am trying it in my soaps too!), Castor, fragrance/essential oils, and some colored soapstable mica`s (nurture soap)

Last thing I wanted to test is the Tetrasodium EDTA. Last month I ordered that, along with Sodium Lactate.
Looking forward to trying these in soap!

These are the things I use, and are happy with, and make nice, no-nonsense soaps. But, it is easy enough to pretty up a good performing soap, using embeds and glitter that appeal to people.

Quality soap doesn`t have to look boring:mrgreen:
 

Seawolfe

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Likes: Coconut oil - only my pure castiles don't use coconut oil. Lard. Red Palm oil - in small amounts it makes purdy colors. Sweet Almond Oil. Salt!! Sugar!

Dislikes: I have yet to use a mammal milk in soap, the idea totally squicks me out. Palm - it seems to me to make a waxy bar compared to lard.
 

MySoapyHeart

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Lard (of course). Coconut, castor, sunflower, olive. I use rice bran to replace some of the olive b/c it's cheaper.

I adore beeswax at 5%.

Silk I've tried, can't really tell a difference. I love cocoa butter in everything but soap. In soap...lard is better.
Oooh, yes, yeeees, beeswax, forgot about that one! I have only tried it 2 times and remember I really liked it, seemed to make the bar harder and more lasting and just over all superb! For some reason or another I have forgot to add it to my other soaps...:confused:

And sugar / honey, I love that too!
 

Arimara

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Likes: Coconut oil - only my pure castiles don't use coconut oil. Lard. Red Palm oil - in small amounts it makes purdy colors. Sweet Almond Oil. Salt!! Sugar!

Dislikes: I have yet to use a mammal milk in soap, the idea totally squicks me out. Palm - it seems to me to make a waxy bar compared to lard.
I absolutely hate that stuff with a fashionable passion. I wish I could have sent you the rest of mine before using it.
 

dixiedragon

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I'm not a fan of mammal milk either. I soap with 1/2 water and 1/2 canned milk and don't gel, and I still get a whiff of funky old milk smell as the FO fades. I really like coconut milk though.

I don't care for jojoba. I don't use it in soap (too pricey) but I have tried it in lotion, lipbalm, etc. To me it feels like it sits on top of the skin, rather than absorbing. Like my skin is greasy/slippery on top but still dry underneath.
 

HoneyLady

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CO, PKO flakes, Lard, Pecan oil, (I'm in TX, to which Pecans are native, so it has lots of label appeal), sunflower, sometimes lanolin, beeswax, honey. Sometimes powdered goats' milk powdered coconut milk, or powdered buttermilk in different recipes. Oatmeal for oatmeal & honey bars. The wax and honey are my "niche" since I am a beekeeper by trade.

In my experience, the fancier oils are much better left to balms, salves, and lotions. Although I do make a lard and grapeseed oil acne bar for my daughters. I have not tried silk yet, although I want to, as well as a salt bar.

I *do* make a seasonal bar in autumn with a bit of pumpkin oil and puree that seems especially rich, but I am in agreement that fruits/vegetables are more for label appeal. IMHO, if you want to use fruit, or yogurt, or even honey, make a MASK of them while they are fresh, then rinse off after 20 minutes.

A lot of people -- me included -- really want fancy soap to do fancy things. But at the end of the day, it's just soap. It cleans. :mrgreen:

~HL~
 

snappyllama

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Must Haves

Oils:

Lard. Can anything replace it or compare to it? No, the answer is no. Maybe tallow, but why bother?
Olive. Sure, I can use AO instead if I want to be fancy. But OO is really nice as-is, so why bother?
Coconut. Bubbles.
PKO. Bubbles. CO's best friend.
Castor. The Tammy Wynette of oils. Stands by her man and makes everything better/bubblier (I'm choosing to ignore the domestic abuse in my metaphor)

Additives:

Silk. Incredibly cheap and luxurious. Plus, it's fun to watch dissolve in lye water.
EDTA. Combats my hard water (more bubbles/less soap scum) with no extra lye math required. What's not to like?
Goat Milk. Creamy lather and more bubbles (almost a foam).
Sodium Lactate. Lets an inpatient unmolder like me be able to cut sooner. Yes, please.

Sometimes Yes

Oils:

Avocado. When I want to be fancy, and need to use it up before spoiling. Nice instead of OO.
Pumpkin. See Avocado.

Additives:

Colloidal Oatmeal. Perfect tiny scrubbies.
Coconut Milk. Plays nice with goat milk. Creates a more open bubble than GM alone.
Aloe. Plays nice with goat milk. Creates a more silky lather and open bubble than GM alone.

Heck NO

Oils:

Hemp. Too expensive, too short of shelf life. Leaves a hempy smell. No thanks.

Additives:

Cow's Milk in any form. Smells like baby vomit. To me. Other people cannot smell it, but I shouldn't feel queasy after making anything.
 

lsg

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Coconut oil, Palm oil, Castor Oil and Rice Bran or Olive Oil

Best additive sodium lactate, cow's cream, aloe juice, sugar
 

Obsidian

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I'm a huge fan of salt bars, they are what I reach for in the shower 90% of the time. Lard is my favorite soaping oil, if I had to choose just one oil for soap, this would be it (except coconut for the salt bars).

I like coconut milk, beer and aloe juice for alternate liquids. Herbal teas, animal milks and fruit/veggie juices don't really do much for. I do like cucumber juice ok.

I don't do much additives like SL, sugar, silk. Its not that I don't like them but I don't find them necessary in my soap. I have used citric acid and liked it but often forget to use it. I need to get some EDTA, I would use it in every batch.

What I dislike and really don't understand why people like them are clays and activated charcoal. All they do is dry me out plus I don't care for the colors.

Others things I don't much like: Castile, no one in the family likes it either. Butters, I see no real need for them in soap unless you need a animal/palm free recipe. I do use a little shea once in awhile but its more for label appeal when I hand out gifts.
palm oil, this stuff speeds trace for me so bad I can't use it plus it just not as nice as lard:).
Expensive oils, why not use them in a nice lotion instead?
 

cinnamaldehyde

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Ooooh fascinating! It's so interesting to hear about everyone's favourites.

My fave ingredients: anything local - I can get local beeswax, some oils, grass-fed beef tallow, grass-fed sheep tallow, and grass-fed bison tallow. Plus local beers, wines, goat milk, roasted coffee. I'm working on extracting a couple EOs from local plants as a side project (juniper berry and spruce).

My least favourite ingredient: palm oil. I can't seem to find the refined, sustainable palm oil in a reliable way where I am, only the unrefined or unsustainable. I don't like the feel of it anyway. I also don't like overly fake FOs, I prefer nature similar ones or blends that could be made from plants.
 

IrishLass

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It was fun to go back and read that link, makemineirish! I saw my old post on page 3, and I gotta say- my list has grown a little since then, lol. A few of the following are not just for soap, but also for some of the B&B stuff I make:


-The soft oils I would hate to be caught without are olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, meadowfoam seed oil.

-The solid fats I would hate to be caught without are lard, tallow, and PKO flakes.....and although not a true fat- stearic acid.

-The luxury butters I would hate to be caught without are mango butter, cocoa butter, kokum butter and shea butter.

-The additives I would hate to be caught without are silk, sodium lactate, Tetrasodium EDTA, lanolin, sea salt, coconut milk, sugar, and honey.

-The #1 FO I would hate to ever be without is Daystar's 'Salty Sailor' (Daystar's 'Paradise' follows as a close second). My family would come at me with torches and pitchforks, I think. lol


IrishLass :)
 

Steve85569

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Lard
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Pomace Olive Oil
Tallow when it's easy
Castor just because it helps out.
Rice bran oil
Avocado oil because my DW bought it for me.

Coconut milk
Cows milk ( frozen and patiently added lye helps it not smell yucky to me)
Salt. In water and as salt bars.
Bees wax. I seem to have several pounds of it anyway so...

I'm sure I've missed a couple of others and silk does sound interesting. Especially watching it get eaten by the lye ( I know I'm sick and it's okay).
 

IrishLass

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I forgot to add my least favorites of the things I have used that I never want to use again:

-Cow milk or cream. My nose is always able to pick up on the butyric acid from them. All the soaps I've ever made with either of them turned out smelling like spoiled/sour milk to me. Oddly enough, though, the soaps I've made with bovine buttermilk powder did not do that to me.

-Kiwi seeds. I used them in a batch once, and once was enough...or rather, once was way too much! In a word, "Mommy!"

-Calendula petals- they sure made my soap look pretty, but I sure didn't appreciate the flotsam and jetsam running down my drain. lol

-Unrefined shea- can't stand the smell.


There might be more, but those are the 3 that stand out like sore thumbs to me right now.


Here are some things that I've tried a time or 2 that were okay, but really aren't all that worth it to me to want to try again:

-Egg yolks- the soap came out well enough (at least nothing adverse to report), but nothing extraordinary to write home about.
-Coffee as liquid- not horrible, but just too 'meh' for me.

Here are the things I have no desire to try:

-Hemp oil- I got an unscented hemp soap in a swap once and my nose just couldn't stand the smell of it.
-Soy oil- GMO Doss monster.


IrishLass :)
 

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