Properties of Oils &
Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot kernel oil is a light oil that is similar to almond oil in its fatty acid makeup. It absorbs nicely into the skin and is a good luxury conditioning oil in soap.
Almond Oil, Sweet
A lovely moisturizing oil that is very light and absorbs well. In soap it produces a low, stable lather as it's not a very hard oil in soap. It's really nice in lotions, massage bars, bath bombs, bath oils and especially in salt and sugar scrubs.
Avocado oil is a heavy, green, rich, moisturizing oil that has a high percentage of unsaponifiables (the portions of the oil that don't react with the lye to form soap,) so some of the oil and its benefits remains in the finished soap. It's often used in soap recipes for people with sensitive skin. On the skin, it first feels a little heavy...but after a moment, it absorbs nicely. It's high in vitamins A, D & E, which is good for your skin.
Canola, a kind of rapeseed, gives a nice, low, creamy lather and is moisturizing.
Castor oil is a thick, clear oil that helps increase the lather in soap - a rich, creamy lather. It's also a humectant (attracts moisture to your skin) oil. Castor oil has a fatty acid makeup that's completely unique - which makes what it contributes to your soap (the rich, creamy lather) unique.
Cocoa Butter is a rich aromatic butter pressed from the seed kernels of the cacao tree. This sumptuous ingredient smells pleasantly like chocolate. It melts at body temperature, and adds a rich, creamy, thick consistency and light chocolate aroma to body care products. Cocoa butter is a great emollient, adds flexibility to the skin, is soothing, contains natural antioxidants, helps the skin retain moisture, acts as a barrier for skin protection, and is commonly used for sunburns, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, and for softening and soothing rough dry skin.
Coconut oil is one of the primary oils soapmakers use in their soap. It gives tremendous, bubbly lather to your soap.
Grapeseed oil is a lightweight, moisturizing oil that is a good additive to soap in small quantities.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is a deep, green color with a light, nutty smell. It comes from the seed of the cannabis plant. In soap, it gives a light, creamy/silky lather and is considered to be a healing and moisturizing oil.
Jojoba is actually a liquid wax that is very similar to sebum in its chemical composition. It contributes a nice stable lather to soaps, and has remarkable absorption and moisturizing qualities.
Kukui Nut Oil
A rich, liquid nut oil that's native to Hawaii, kukui nut oil contributes to a nice, creamy stable lather in soap, and is nicely moisturizing. In lotions, creams, massage bars and balms, it absorbs quickly, conditions skin nicely, and is reputed to help ease acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia nut oil is a light oil with a mild nutty odor. It is unique in its fatty acid makeup in that it contains palmitoleic acid - which makes it really easily absorbed into the skin - and is reported to be really great for older skin. It is mostly used in lotions, creams, massage oils, and other skin healing preparations.
Mango butter is pressed from the seed kernels of the mango tree. This is a highly treasured butter, and it makes an exceptional base ingredient for body care products and soap making recipes. Mango butter has emollient and moisturizing properties, and it is often used to prevent stretch marks, wrinkles, regenerate skin cells, restore skin elasticity, and for sun protection. It is used in many body care products. It is a great source of essential fatty acids and naturally contains antioxidants. Mango butter is one of the most universal butters, both because of its versatility and because of its incredible moisturizing properties.
Neem oil is extracted from the bark of the neem tree. It is growing in popularity as a soap making oil due to its antiseptic, anti-fungal and insect repellent qualities. It is also considered effective in treating skin conditions like athletes foot. The scent of neem is very strong...a sort of green, earthy, nutty smell...and can take some getting used to..
Olive oil makes a very gentle and mild bar of soap, with lotion-like lather and great conditioning, which makes it ideal for babies and people with sensitive skin.
Palm oil, along with olive and coconut, is one of the top oils used by soap makers. Because of the qualities it gives soap, it is often called "vegetable tallow" in that it gives many of the same qualities that beef tallow does - a hard bar with a rich creamy lather. Because of environmental concerns, Otter Lake Soapworks uses only RSPO (Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil) certified palm oil.
Palm Kernel Oil
Though it comes from the same plant/nut as palm oil does, palm kernel oil is almost identical in its soap making properties to coconut oil - giving a nice hard white bar of soap...with lots of luscious lather. Because of environmental concerns, Otter Lake Soapworks uses only RSPO (Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil) certified palm oil.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is a rich and vitamin-filled oil with abundant antioxidant properties. It contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and zinc. Its fatty acid balance is most similar to soybean and sunflower oil, and will contribute about the same qualities to soap that they do in terms of hardness, lather and conditioning.
Rice Bran Oil
Expressed from the husks of rice, rice bran oil has the same creamy, moisturizing qualities that olive oil does. It does have a lot of the same antioxidants and vitamins that olive has, and a similar fatty acid make up.
Rosehip oil is extracted from the seeds of a rose bush, grown wild in the southern Andes. It contains the benefits of vitamin E, A (retinol) and C. It is high in omega 3 and omega 6 linoleic acids. It has antioxidants benefits and is slightly astringent. It is commonly used in skin care products.
The benefits of using shea butter soap are many. Since shea butter is non-toxic, soaps containing shea butter as a main ingredient are ideal for those with eczema, dermatitis and other skin conditions. Shea butter soaps can provide beneficial properties only if they contain a substantial amount of this natural product. Shea butter soaps and other products increase tissue re-oxygenation as well as aid elimination of metabolic waste products. When combined with coconut oil, shea butter soaps soothe the skin. Since shea butter contains up to 11% unsaponifiable fats, it is an ideal ingredient for soap making.
Soybean oil, in its hydrogenated form is generally called vegetable shortening, and makes nice soap. Like all soap making oils, except olive, it's not a great oil to use alone, but combining it with olive and coconut makes a good, stable, bubbly, moisturizing bar of soap.
In soapmaking, sunflower oil works with palm and olive oils to give a nice, rich, creamy lather that's very moisturizing. It is also great in creams, body butters and balms.
Wheatgerm oil is a rich, thick, amber-colored oil which is very high in vitamin E. It's a little sticky and heavy to use in lotions, unless in small amounts, but is nice in heavier creams. It's great in heavy balms and scrubs. The extra vitamin E in the oil helps add antioxidant properties to the rest of the oils in the soap, lotion or balm as well.