My Oil Blends
My oil blends, how did I come up with them? Let’s find out! After all, we’ve learned about soap, and we’ve learned about oils, I think it is about time. I’ve seen recipes online that call for up to 6 (sometimes even more!) different oil blends – far too many for me! There are sopers who like to combine oils in lots of different blends to achieve their ideal blend. I would never try to put a damper on their fun, it is just not for me!
I prefer to have a small number of base oils that I can blend to make my soaps. I have decided I so far can make 4 oils meet my needs.
I use olive oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil (I only by sustainably harvested palm kernel oil, some prefer not to use it at all), and castor oil. Okay, I also use beef tallow, but it is for only one soap that I make, and it is a very specialized product.
If you remember our chart, these oils hold the following fatty acids:
This chart is a different one than in the past post. Looking at the chart posted before the ranges of fatty acids in the coconut and palm kernel oil look very similar, and rightly so. However, this chart shows the more marked difference in the levels of oleic acid. Oleic acid is nourishing oil that will add to the moisturizing qualities of the final soap.
As I develop my soap recipes I look to balance the cleansing properties with the moisturizing properties.
For an overall cleansing and moisturizing bar I combine the following oils to provide a nice fluffy lather that leave your skin clean and nourished.
25% Coconut Oil
25% Palm Kernel Oil
50% Olive Oil
When I am looking for a more nourishing soap for problem skin I will make a 100% olive oil base. The olive oil does not have the deep cleaning properties that the other oils have, that does not mean that it does not cleans. The difference has to do with how the final soap attracts and washes away oil molecules on the skin. The olive oil soap does not strip the skin of the nourishing natural oils like other oil blends can.
For a men’s shaving soap I use castor oil in combination with palm kernel and olive oil. This is the only soap I use castor oil because of its high ricinoleic acid content. Ricinoleic acid creates a dense, fluffy, long lasting lather to soaps. Oleic acid in these oils help moisturize skin and prevent irritation from shaving.
Finally, I will make a 100% coconut oil soap that I use for laundry soap. This soap does an amazing job when added to the wash, it removes oil and grime from our clothes and leaves them smelling clean and fresh.
For me, having a few base oils means I can focus more on essential oils to further specialize each bar. I may expand as I travel this slippery slope of soaping, but for now I am staying small.