Which oils and butters do you like and why?

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LilyJo

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Ok, I give up, you have all finally convinced me to make some changes to our soaps and recipes!

We have been selling for a while and have two or three ranges from plain and simple to fancy cupcake styles and its become clear in recent months that the plain and simple with great fragrances outsell the others by some considerable margin. So I have been thinking that perhaps what would make sense would be to come up with a set of formulas for the simple soaps but in a variety of recipes i.e. unfragranced, simple for babies, moisturizing, cleansing etc rather than the one basic recipe we currently use.

I have been mooching around on here and on the net for ages and keep going backwards and forwards on receipe ideas but keep hitting stumbling blocks or question marks. I dont want/cant use Palm (or palm derivatives) or any animal products (beeswax, tallow, lard) any suggestions of which oils and butters would make a good alternative to what we have?

Our current soaps are based on a recipe of Cocount, Olive, Shea, Castor with a small amount of Sweet Almond but I am not wedded to those just would like to produce something non drying, gentle on the skin, that takes FO and EO well.

I dont expect anyone to do all the hard work for me and give me a recipe (although it would be nice!!) but just an idea of which oil combination you like best and why would be fab.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
 

lsg

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I like coconut, palm, olive, rice bran, Castor, jojoba, shea butter and coco butter for soap. For lotions and creams I like shea butter, rose hip oil, apricot seed and sweet almond oil. If you oppose the use of palm oil because of ecological reasons, you can buy from eco-friendly palm oil producers.
 

Scooter

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What kind of feedback have you gotten from your customers? Has anyone come back to you and asked for more "gentleness" or more "cleansing" for example? It sounds like you are good to go as it is. I like the general outline of your current recipe.
 

LilyJo

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No, not had any complaints at all from customers.

Know when I posted the recipe on here before I had lots of comments about the coconut and caster level but to be honest no one has complained!

Have been toying with changing ir (or at least doing another soap) partly as a challenge for myself and partly to see if I could come up with something that feels more creamy I guess. I was leaning towards using cocoa butter to at least try...

The cost isnt so much of an issue as if it works it can at least be a premium range at some point - considering how long it took me to get to where I am now I know its not going to be a quick process!
 

dixiedragon

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For soap - I tend towards the cheaper end. IMO, most expensive oils are wasted in soap. My base recipe uses lard, olive oil, coconut, rice bran oil, sunflower oil and castor. That's a lot of oils, but IMO, the olive, rice bran and sunflower work together and it's cheaper than using just olive oil.

For leave-on products - I love avocado! Jojoba in small amounts - for me it seems like more than 10% in lip balm is too slippery vs creamy.
 

mx6inpenn

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I love avocado oil in soap. I typically use it at 15% and it helps create a nice creamy lather. I usually use it with lard, so that may be a combination. I made some small test batches the other night that are vegan and palm free, but it will be a bit before they will be test worthy. One used shea, olive, avocado, coconut and castor. Another was all of those plus cocoa.
 

LilyJo

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Hmm some great ideas there thank you - may have to try using cocoa and also try using avocado...

....hold that thought, just looked at the price of Avocado £10 for 1 litre - thats pretty steep, mind you cocoa is between £15-25 for 1kg so may need to cost several variations out.

Hmm so many ideas now!
 

cmzaha

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I love Avocado in soap and it helps with the longevity of my vegan soaps when I want to slow trace time from my go to vegan recipe. Avocado is even expensive here considering the availability of avocados where I live. I pay $140 for 35# versus $50 for 35# of HO Sunflower. But I love avocado oil and use it in most soap. I also must have palm, coconut, pko and coco butter, and HO Canola. Olive is a misc oil for me. My customers expect long life soaps, and now my new market I have several vegans so had to go back to making several vegan soaps
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I have 3 different palm-free/animal fat-free formulas up my sleeve that I make:

1) A tweaked version of Genny's shampoo bar recipe It makes a lovely, gentle bar with lots of bubbly/creamy lather. Instead of using it as a shampoo bar, though, I use it as a body bar, and it 's gentle enough to be used as a facial bar as well. In place of the soybean oil Genny uses in her formula, I use HO safflower oil instead (for my tweak).

2) My 50% olive oil soap formula which uses olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, rice bran oil, and babassu oil.

3) My super sudsy high-coconut oil formulas. I make 3 different variations on the theme- 100% CO/20% superfat; 70% coconut oil/30% mango butter/15% superfat; and my salt bar version- 100% coconut oil/100% coconut milk as my liquid/13% superfat.


Scooter said:
I really got a lot out of these posts on Modern Soapmaking:

http://www.modernsoapmaking.com/secr...t-soap-recipe/

http://www.modernsoapmaking.com/the-...in-soapmaking/

Also, she has a lot of smart things to say about EOs and FOs if you care about that.

Great links, Scooter! I had not ever read those before. I especially found the info in the second link (regarding the fatty acid survey) fascinating. Turns out the fatty acid profile of my 2 main formulas fell right in line with the ballpark percentages of most of the soapers who took the survey (one is a tallow/lard formula and the other is an all-veg formula).


IrishLass :)
 

doriettefarm

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I'm also a big fan of avocado oil . . . apricot kernel too. Pretty much all of my recipes use lard, tallow or palm for hard oils and I've found both avocado and apricot kernel seem to slow trace even more. I also like the qualities they bring to the party and so far they haven't been too costly because I only use 10-15% max in my recipes. I guess if I was looking to make a soap without the usual lard/tallow/palm for hard oils, I would throw in some cocoa or kokum butter for hardness.
 

kumudini

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I use coconut/ palm kernel, palm, castor, olive or rice bran along with a butter or three. I also like sweet almond, safflower/sunflower and avocado oils but lately I've simplified my recipes a bit.

For some reason I'm liking soaps with PKO better than those with coconut oil, I use no more than 20% of either these days. I'm going to try babassu sometime soon.
I always use castor oil at 5%
I don't like olive oil at more than 40%, well my skin doesn't.
If I use sweet almond or safflower/sunflower or avocado, they are at 5-10% taken out of liquid oils.
I absolutely love my Shea, cocoa and mango butter(30% total butters) soaps but if I'm using only one butter I prefer cocoa butter at 10%. The lather just feels more luxurious compared to Shea butter only soaps.
All my oil percentages are in multiples of 5, it's just super simple for me that way.

I've bought hazelnut oil and apricot kernel oil which I'll probably only use in lotions and such.
Neem oil makes for one stinky but special soap.

One other thing, not oil or butter but aloe juice is so good in soap when it comes to bubbles.

May be if and when I start selling, I'll give a simpler answer
 

cmzaha

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Oddly in Canada avocado is one of the cheaper oils. NDA sells it for $112 in Canadian money for just over 40 pounds. With the Canadian dollar in the tank right now, that's about $85 USD? Not many avocado trees around here. Haha!

Just like I can get California fruit cheaper in Arizona than we can in California. Pulling out of NAFTA may really hurt. It is true that most of our Avocado comes out of Mexico
 

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