My Palm Free Vegan Soap Adventures

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Chris_S

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Ok so I have been toying with the idea of looking into selling my soaps and like i think it was @Deadgroovy mentioned veganism and ethical ingredients in soaps seem like they are a growing trend with palm oil having a bit of a ugly name too it. I'm not writing this to have this discussion about if palm oil is or isn't the way to go though but this is one of the reasons i have taken this direction over the last 4 batches.

I made a facebook group a while back to try get some feedback on my wax products and soaps. It also has a beekeeping theme too it, granted it hasn't got very many members so if anyone is interested I will add it as my signature on here. Ok so basically i got asked by an old friend about if my soaps were vegan I told her technically they are however they do have palm in them, she said this wasn't a problem but it put a curious question into my mind about how I could create an equal bar of soap minus Palm Oil, Last month i made a lovely exfoliating soap however i hadn't realised quite how sharp the poppy seeds would be or that apparently exfoliating soaps generally don't lather as much because they need a slip to them.

So off i set to write out my own recipe using that palm free soap as a basis. So i had 4 new fo to test out in the process so decided that I would write out 4 recipes with pretty small but significant variations and then colour them differently to make identifying that bit easier when it comes to wrapping and labelling as i have had some issues with regards to similar patterns in citrus eo soaps but as they are gifts i have just guessed the best i could and will warn people they may be one or the other lol.

So over the past 3 days i have made the 4 recipes with variations, My first attempt was Lemon Sherbet, in case these arent or weren't popular or exists outside of the uk it is a lemon flavoured sweet that was popular when i was a kid so 90s-00s but probably date back further than that. My hope with using this fo was that the lemon eo hasn't stuck well at all by cure time the scent has as good as gone at least to my nose, so with any luck this one will last significantly longer but only time will tell i guess.

Onto soap 2 which was Monkey Farts, having discussed this name i am currently trying to think of a slightly less what could be seen as offensive or distasteful to some, because I coloured the same scented candles in light blue that is what i chose for the soap colour.

Soap 3 and 4 I made this morning before going on a airport run and given how tired i was after that and the fact im dog and house sitting this weekend I'm glad i made the effort this morning. So soap 3 was cappuccino fo that smells absolutely divine in candles so in the hope i might of found a coffee scent that behaves in soap and guess what I DID which makes me so happy and the fact it smalls amazing is just a massive bonus. Soap 4 was again an absolutely gorgeous scent called sandalwood and black pepper one that i really really wanted to work well because the smell they release in candles has got to be very close top 5 faves of mine.

As these were just experiments I am more than happy to share my recipes as i doubt even if i did use this as a base for when i do hopefully sell I doubt it would be any of these exact recipes and i also want to have a look into using soy wax but i will see how things go with these recipes before i decide if i want to even continue with palm free vegan recipes.

Ok so Recipe one consisted of

Lemon Sherbet
FO 5%
Olive Oil 30%
Coconut Oil 20%
Almond Oil 18%
Castor Oil 10%
Cocoa Butter 8%
Shea Butter 8%
Rice Bran Oil 6%

Due to the cost of cocoa butter even in bulk is about 10£ per kg i am trying my best to avoid using it in higher quantities plus i only have about 100g left of it now after making these soaps

Soap 2
Monkey Farts
FO 5%
Olive Oil 26%
Coconut Oil 20%
Almond Oil 18%
Cocoa Butter 7%
Castor Oil 8%
Shea Butter 16%
Rice Bran Oil 5%

Soap 3
Cappuccino
FO 5%
Olive Oil 30%
Coconut Oil 20%
Almond Oil 18%
Castor Oil 8%
Shea Butter 18%
Rice Bran Oil 6%

Soap 4

Sandalwood and Black Pepper
FO 5%
Olive Oil 30%
Coconut Oil 20%
Almond Oil 18%
Castor Oil 10%
Shea Butter 16%
Rice Bran Oil 6%

I used SF at 5% for all the recipes so I had an comparison to the changes I made to each recipe.

I have yet to unmould the last 2 batches they should be ready when i go sort the cats out in the morning and as I have typed this up on my laptop I don't have any photos on here so once I'v unmoulded and cut the last 2 batches I will post pictures once I have all to show off in all their glory :) Hope you enjoyed reading and any opinions or feedback on the recipes would be greatly appreciated except you @Dawni your opinion doesn't count ;)

Also if anyone in the UK would be willing to do a swap of soaps to get feedback then I would be more than happy to post a few bars off. If anyone's interested I will print out a feedback form to help get the best feedback from each other as possible. I'm interested to see how my soaps compare to others regardless of if they are being sold or not but of course I wouldn't be asking for the recipe used. I posted off some samples of soaps to someone last year as a birthday present and it only cost about £2 so hardly breaking the bank sending to receive a soap from else where if there is the interest there we could maybe make an inbox group chat about it to discuss?
 

Dawni

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Lol fine.. Won't comment til I need to :cool:

But I want to mention that I have a very similar recipe to your first one, just that I don't use anything below 10% except Castor (which I might not use once I finish the bottle), which I don't use more than 5%.

Oh.. And update us once you've tried the soap! And keep a bar each at least to try after 2 months, if you can find the patience to wait :p
 

Chris_S

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Im not vegan nor do i use bee products in my soaps so im struggling to see the issue here? Just because im a beekeeper doesnt mean vegans look at me as the devil! As far as im aware beekeeping itself isn't what vegans disagree with its the using of the products and as iv never extracted honey or used the wax from the hive as yet at least I dont see an issue there either. Heck if vegans disagreed with beekeeping then they would have to disagree with everything said bees had a hand in pollinating. Im good friends with a vegan and he helped me to sort out the hive and even offered to punch them out if they came near him lol
 

LilyJo

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Im not vegan nor do i use bee products in my soaps so im struggling to see the issue here? Just because im a beekeeper doesnt mean vegans look at me as the devil! As far as im aware beekeeping itself isn't what vegans disagree with its the using of the products and as iv never extracted honey or used the wax from the hive as yet at least I dont see an issue there either. Heck if vegans disagreed with beekeeping then they would have to disagree with everything said bees had a hand in pollinating. Im good friends with a vegan and he helped me to sort out the hive and even offered to punch them out if they came near him lol


Im afraid honey isnt considered vegan at all. Yes some vegans will accept it just as some vegans will still wear leather but most lifestyle vegans consider honey, bee pollen or even beeswax as animal based products. You certainly couldnt market products containing anything from the hives as vegan although if you arent using their products in your products or arent vegan yourself it doesnt matter.
 

Chris_S

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Im afraid honey isnt considered vegan at all. Yes some vegans will accept it just as some vegans will still wear leather but most lifestyle vegans consider honey, bee pollen or even beeswax as animal based products. You certainly couldnt market products containing anything from the hives as vegan although if you arent using their products in your products or arent vegan yourself it doesnt matter.

Oh i know that but i do beekeeping for the love of the bees and will at some point extract the honey for my own purposes and maybe to sell but wont use the in soaps that i am claiming to be vegan. Definatly not a vegan myself i love eating meat far to much for that. I know a vegetarian who is willing to try soap with lard in it he said he sees it as no different to him wearing leather shoes so it all depends on the individuals view point. Anyways kinda getting away from the whole point of this post now :)
 
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You get get all in a bother, it doesn't mean anything to me. You said about a beekeeping theme AND vegan. I merely pointed out that those two don't go together - sure, some won't have an issue with it, but others will see beekeeping themes and find it hard to overlook.

Having a main theme of beekeeping and also having some vegan soap is a total different thing, which is why I said you need to choose a direction to focus on as a main theme.

Blimey.....
 

Chris_S

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Well i wont appologise for your lack of understanding or lack of reading of the actual comments i made because i didnt even say what you implied anyway and if you had bothered to read it correctly you would of seen this. So yeah be rude all you want because i know im the one thats been correct from the start. Iv nothing more to say on the matter and will be requesting the entire thread gets deleted if this is brought up again.

Putting that aside please. Back on topic I'v cut and put my soaps to cure sitting nicely and smelling amazing.
 

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Chris_S

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What colourings did you use?

Micas. the golden brown i think looks lovely but seem to behave strangley in soap its the only one from that supplier that has ever not acted how i expected. The one that looks black and white is actually brown and i left the redt of the batter uncoloured and the one next to it i used the same amount of mica and same colour but the first one i tried to do an in pot swirl with oil and mica mix the next one i tried adding the batter to the mica in a plastic cup and mixing both were attempts at how i thought in pot swirls were done lol think im gunna have to resort to research on that now because although i like how they turned out they arent what i expected to happen but you live and learn eh but it was also more of a spear of the moment thing than something i planned to do
 
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@Chris_S I make vegan soaps almost by accident. I’m allergic to dairy but not vegan myself. I just don’t keep milk around and I find my recipes without animal products are plenty luxurious. I like palm oil though. I found that tagging my soaps on Instagram as vegan has given my instagram a big boost of new followers. I also live in a pretty “crunchy or hippie” region but the smallish city I live in doesn’t really have many vegan options. Incidentally I have several friends who are super allergic to almonds so I don’t use almond oil and make sure I spread the word on the nut issue (I also don’t use hazel or walnut oils for the same reason). I do wonder what a truly environmentally friendly soap recipe would be. Like to the extreme because palm oil isn’t the only problematic ingredient. Honestly it would probably, ironically, be made with animal fat locally sourced plus whatever tree nut could be locally sourced plus canola, chia, soy, castor and sunflower if they can be grown in the region (all of those can in the Pacific Northwest USA where I live). I do this mainly as a mental exercise but I also read a lot of sci fi some of which are post apocalyptic which gets me thinking... Anyway good on you for bee keeping for the bees sake. I’ve got 18 fruit trees on my very urban lot and plans for more so I’ve gotten some mason bees. Not sure I’d be up for honey bees. They take real dedication. Still I provide safe forage for them.
 

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Your soaps are looking great, @Chris_S and you have a huge inventory going now! Seriously, they look very professional. Are you cleaning them up in any way, or are they coming out of the moulds so nicely like that?
 

Chris_S

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Your soaps are looking great, @Chris_S and you have a huge inventory going now! Seriously, they look very professional. Are you cleaning them up in any way, or are they coming out of the moulds so nicely like that?

The ones there are literally all just pushed out the mould then cut when ready iv stamped a few and also beveled a few to see how i like it but i think i prefer stamping to bevelling plus i get to hit the stamp with a hammer which helps me sometimes possibly imagining its a certain someones face but you know all about him from our inbox messages lol

And @Carolyne Thrasher iv only been beekeeping less than a year but along with having my own hive which is on a plot of land that has not been touched by chemicals for at least 10 years hadnt been cut back until i asked the land owner to let mr carve a path so i wasnt catching my suit or causing any other issues he has a self dug pond which he has stocked himself with fish that he goes and feeds hes very much one with nature kind and is a great person too. Along with that is only one of about 6 truely official meadows in about a 50 mile radius apparently they even have rules as to what can be called a meadow here lol anyways that is only on the other side of the hedge for them so in easy reach. Have you ever properly researched beekeeping as a whole because honestly its really not that time consuming last year because i had a new queen after the first initial few weeks i was only opening the hive one a fortnight. this year because the queen is a bit older and swarming becomes more likely i will need to inspect or at least open up the hive once a week. My bees are generally very calm or they were till the little beggers attacked me like there was no tomorrow sending me running at least 4 times lol but i had gone too far into the job to stop but they were forgiven because that is afterall thier job wasnt impressed with the unlucky face sting though. Thats just in the summer in winter your talking once a month to check the hive weight to make sure the stores are plenty. If you are interested i would guess you will have them too but beekeeping clubs are a great way to learn the basics. Iv been asked to look after a hive in a local churchyard and when they get to sell the honey i would get a cut of the profits for my work honestly id be happy to do it for free i love the little critters they are wonderful creatures and we as a human race could learn alot if we took a leaf out of thier book they all work together for the good of the hive generally the opposite to us humans unfortunately.
 
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Soaps looking very nice.
And gentlemen ..... put away the handbags!
Not sure if you saw the unedited/original reply from the op to my second post. No handbags from my side (I would assure you of that, but I don't need to) - just advice regarding marketing and how many people end up not so much alienating anyone so much as not really speaking to anyone in particular in a way which makes them part with their hard earned cash.

If that makes me a bad person, then by all means I will be lovely and nice and watch people start a business on a bad footing with out saying a single thing to help them, instead I'll blow smoke up their backside and feel good about myself.
 

Chris_S

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Not sure if you saw the unedited/original reply from the op to my second post. No handbags from my side (I would assure you of that, but I don't need to) - just advice regarding marketing and how many people end up not so much alienating anyone so much as not really speaking to anyone in particular in a way which makes them part with their hard earned cash.

If that makes me a bad person, then by all means I will be lovely and nice and watch people start a business on a bad footing with out saying a single thing to help them, instead I'll blow smoke up their backside and feel good about myself.

Please go away if you have nothing to actually add! You have ignored that too i see. You took what i said out of context then accused me of being 'in a bother' JUST LEAVE IT ALONE please. Regardless of if he saw the edited or unedited post is completely irrelivant much like your pointless input on this topic because he is talking about what you have said before that post was ever written anyways
This was NEVER about marketing its a facebook group that i set up for feedback and to show videos of my beekeeping and my hive NOT marketing give ya head a wobble and please please walk away before you take more stuff out of context. Talk about making a mountain out a molehill eh. And stop trying to turn this on me when you made it about YOU whem you couldnt even read what i wrote correctly Thank you and goodbye
 
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The ones there are literally all just pushed out the mould then cut when ready iv stamped a few and also beveled a few to see how i like it but i think i prefer stamping to bevelling plus i get to hit the stamp with a hammer which helps me sometimes possibly imagining its a certain someones face but you know all about him from our inbox messages lol

And @Carolyne Thrasher iv only been beekeeping less than a year but along with having my own hive which is on a plot of land that has not been touched by chemicals for at least 10 years hadnt been cut back until i asked the land owner to let mr carve a path so i wasnt catching my suit or causing any other issues he has a self dug pond which he has stocked himself with fish that he goes and feeds hes very much one with nature kind and is a great person too. Along with that is only one of about 6 truely official meadows in about a 50 mile radius apparently they even have rules as to what can be called a meadow here lol anyways that is only on the other side of the hedge for them so in easy reach. Have you ever properly researched beekeeping as a whole because honestly its really not that time consuming last year because i had a new queen after the first initial few weeks i was only opening the hive one a fortnight. this year because the queen is a bit older and swarming becomes more likely i will need to inspect or at least open up the hive once a week. My bees are generally very calm or they were till the little beggers attacked me like there was no tomorrow sending me running at least 4 times lol but i had gone too far into the job to stop but they were forgiven because that is afterall thier job wasnt impressed with the unlucky face sting though. Thats just in the summer in winter your talking once a month to check the hive weight to make sure the stores are plenty. If you are interested i would guess you will have them too but beekeeping clubs are a great way to learn the basics. Iv been asked to look after a hive in a local churchyard and when they get to sell the honey i would get a cut of the profits for my work honestly id be happy to do it for free i love the little critters they are wonderful creatures and we as a human race could learn alot if we took a leaf out of thier book they all work together for the good of the hive generally the opposite to us humans unfortunately.

I did talk to the local club here in town. We (hubby and I) are currently taking care of my elderly parents, 2 kids 12&9, a dog, a cat, and my .42 acres, small soap biz and my husbands job isn’t 9-5. I tried pet rabbits for rabbit poo and fun but it was just too much. One more thing would put me over the edge BUT in another 4-6 years? Who knows. And if someone walked up to my house with a complete setup and said can I keep my bees here or do you want my kit? I’d jump on it. Sounds like the land sharing you have found is a dream. Have you heard of the permaculture movement? If not I think you would be really interested. Google Geoff Lawton he’s the de facto leader. He’s way out ahead of everyone else.
 

LilyJo

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We have been making a palm free, vegan soap for a few years now and tbh I am with @Carolyne Thrasher in avoiding nut based oils in my soaps. We stopped using sweet almond in almost all our products following feedback from customers about allergies so its worth bearing in mind if you are looking at the 'ethical' angle for future sales.

Just to throw a spanner into your deliberations if you are looking at a 'green' approach or even a marketing angle, you may need to think about EOs rather than FO.
 

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@Chris_S I make vegan soaps almost by accident. I’m allergic to dairy but not vegan myself. I just don’t keep milk around and I find my recipes without animal products are plenty luxurious. I like palm oil though. I found that tagging my soaps on Instagram as vegan has given my instagram a big boost of new followers. I also live in a pretty “crunchy or hippie” region but the smallish city I live in doesn’t really have many vegan options. Incidentally I have several friends who are super allergic to almonds so I don’t use almond oil and make sure I spread the word on the nut issue (I also don’t use hazel or walnut oils for the same reason). I do wonder what a truly environmentally friendly soap recipe would be. Like to the extreme because palm oil isn’t the only problematic ingredient. Honestly it would probably, ironically, be made with animal fat locally sourced plus whatever tree nut could be locally sourced plus canola, chia, soy, castor and sunflower if they can be grown in the region (all of those can in the Pacific Northwest USA where I live). I do this mainly as a mental exercise but I also read a lot of sci fi some of which are post apocalyptic which gets me thinking... Anyway good on you for bee keeping for the bees sake. I’ve got 18 fruit trees on my very urban lot and plans for more so I’ve gotten some mason bees. Not sure I’d be up for honey bees. They take real dedication. Still I provide safe forage for them.

Thx for sharing. I use AO as my HO oil. I’m curious to know who else knows a significant number of people topically allergic to almonds.
 

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