Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter?

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TheGecko

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I wonder if we are splitting hairs here. Don't both butters make a special contribution to an excellent soap (all other things being equal)?
Some folks like Cocoa Butter, some folks like Shea Butter, some folks like both and some folks don’t like either. But you’ll never know until you try it (a pound goes a long way with test batches) and then you can decide if the cost of either or both is worth it.
 

melinda48

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Germans and their chocolate...
I used to use cocoa butter but it just got too expensive. I did find it could make the soaps brittle. I used it at 15% and always used shea butter at 10% in addition to that. Then I discovered soy wax and opted for that instead of cocoa butter to add the hardness (no brittle either!) I wanted without the cost. I still use 10% shea butter.
Would you be willing to share a recipe using soy wax? I have seen some one line but tend to trust the recipes shared by the folks here far more than those posted by people I do not “know.”
 

CpnDouchette

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I have never used cocoa butter but I do use shea. I don't use cocoa mainly because of price point. My favourite ever loaf (and the one that has garnered more compliments than any of my others) was 10% shea and 5% s/f and I assume what made it so lovely on my skin was the unsaponifiables from the shea.

I don't particularly notice at <5% though so stick with somewhere between 7 to 10%.
 

amd

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I use both - cocoa butter at 5% and shea at 15% with a 25% tallow (or palm if I'm doing vegan) recipe. I find this makes a nice long lasting bar that lathers well (even with CO on the conservative 18% side). I use milks if I want a more lotiony type soap, or aloe if I want a more bubbly type soap.
 

LynetteO

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Came across an article looking for SAP of great value all vegetable shortening.

Article mentions both cocoa & Shea & had this to say about Shea…”Shea butter also has the property of containing nonsaponifiable components. What this means is shea butter has ingredients that will not chemically interact with alkalies to form soaps. This gives shea butter its texture and emollient capabilities. The main fatty acids are the saturated stearic acid and the unsaturated oleic acid.”
From: feltmagnet.com; article titled: “The roles of different oils & fats in soapmaking.”

I know that George from Dawn Organics likes using Shea & Elly from Elly’s Everday mentions that “George knows a thing or two about Shea butter!” Therefore I have recently purchased some to try. Have used cocoa & liked what it added. We shall see. 😁🧼
 

Cat&Oak

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It is possible to do both.
I don't disagree with you. There soapmakers that sell with a very simple formula and do very well.

And many successful sellers include butters and luxury oils to their soaps. You just add that in your pricing.

Many of the "luxury" ingredients can be about label appeal to the customer. Some people say you can't tell the difference when you put butters in soap and that it is a waste of ingredients. It's all personal opinions.

We all just work to find the recipe we like best for the goals we have.
 

Dalia

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I don't use palm oil or fats from animals in my formula. so I have to use butter. I usually use 20% shea butter and 10% cocoa butter in HP and I'm very happy with the result
 

ResolvableOwl

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Germans and their chocolate...
Has Germany an international reputation as a chocolate nation? If I look what junk people around here are eating, I can hardly imagine this. (Regardless, I don't care about national rep, I just love chocolate and don't care about if this is patriotic or not. If at all, it should be national pride of Mexico/Guatemala or Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire. They who have to bear the sorrows.)
I used to use cocoa butter but it just got too expensive. I did find it could make the soaps brittle. I used it at 15% and always used shea butter at 10% in addition to that. Then I discovered soy wax and opted for that instead of cocoa butter to add the hardness (no brittle either!) I wanted without the cost. I still use 10% shea butter.
My soapy experiences with cocoa butter aren't enthusiastic either. I have tried it and didn't find it adds something special to soap (except prolonging the cure time); nowadays I prefer hydrogenated vegetable oils (soy wax etc.).
You should mention, though, that you have another excellent/underrated source for palmitic acid in your soaps (RBO) that helps you get over removed cocoa butter from a shea/soy wax recipe.
 

LynetteO

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“… You should mention, though, that you have another excellent/underrated source for palmitic acid in your soaps (RBO) that helps you get over removed cocoa butter from a shea/soy wax recipe.
I LIKE RBO & have easy access. Do you have advice on RBO & soap rancidity? Does a preservative such as ROE need to be added to soaps with higher than 23+% RBO? Or is that sunflower oil?
 

KiwiMoose

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I LIKE RBO & have easy access. Do you have advice on RBO & soap rancidity? Does a preservative such as ROE need to be added to soaps with higher than 23+% RBO? Or is that sunflower oil?
I use it at 20% and have no problems with DOS. it could well depends on what other oils you have in your recipe though.
 

KiwiMoose

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Has Germany an international reputation as a chocolate nation? If I look what junk people around here are eating, I can hardly imagine this. (Regardless, I don't care about national rep, I just love chocolate and don't care about if this is patriotic or not. If at all, it should be national pride of Mexico/Guatemala or Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire. They who have to bear the sorrows.)

My soapy experiences with cocoa butter aren't enthusiastic either. I have tried it and didn't find it adds something special to soap (except prolonging the cure time); nowadays I prefer hydrogenated vegetable oils (soy wax etc.).
You should mention, though, that you have another excellent/underrated source for palmitic acid in your soaps (RBO) that helps you get over removed cocoa butter from a shea/soy wax recipe.
It's only because of the Simpsons....
and
 

ResolvableOwl

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It's only because of the Simpsons....
😬😬😬
There are worse ways to learn about the world, than by the hilarious prejudices that Matt Groening (or should I write „Gröning“?) is parodying in Simpsons episodes – but that doesn't mean that you should stop there.

@Tara_H Yes, Stollwerckthe chocolate museum is a must when in Cologne 😋
ETA: I just read that Cologne-based Imhoff-Stollwerck isn't the industry contractor of the museum any more, but Lindt&Sprüngli of Switzerland. So much for the glory of German chocolate tradition (“Cocoa exclusively from Kaiserreich colonies”)…

I LIKE RBO & have easy access. Do you have advice on RBO & soap rancidity? Does a preservative such as ROE need to be added to soaps with higher than 23+% RBO? Or is that sunflower oil?
Well, not specifically for RBO, but since it does raise linoleic levels, I'm better safe than sorry, and add ROE whenever I can. It's not very scientific to not first test how far one can go, but then again, I have ROE and don't like rancid soap 🙄
My best data point is a soap with 50% RBO that is not quite a year old, has no ROE, yet hasn't gone DOSsy.
 

Quilter99755

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Since I get itchy with OO, my go to liquid is now RBO. I purchase it and ROE at the same time so I can treat it as it gets opened. I have never had DOS in any of my RBO soaps and one that I love the best is 60% RBO. It is now about 18months old and no DOS. I will say that I live in a very dry climate, so that might make a difference. Luckily, the only soap that I have had DOS in was a bar I gave my daughter, who put it under her bathroom sink and it ended up getting lost for 2 years. When she found it, it was dossy. Since I didn't get DOS in any of the rest of the bars, we think it might have gotten wet under the sink or have come in contact with the metal pipes. Or not! Only one little spot but it smelled like a box of crayons!
 

LynetteO

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@ResolvableOwl @Quilter99755
Thank you both for the input! Recently purchased more RBO & 💜 it. Just got a little skittish when reading SMF about DOS. I did order ROE from WSP just in case. Thinking I’ll drop some in my RBO @ .05% per batch of oil weight. I thought I took notes from classicbells noting that%. Anyone please feel free to chime in if incorrect. Order hasn’t arrived yet. 😝
 

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