Properties Oils and Fats Used in Soap Making

Oils/Fats

Bar Quality

Properties

Amount

Almond Oil, Sweet

Soft bar. Stable medium lather. Mild cleansing.

Recommended for dry, irritated skin.

15-20%

Apricot Kernel Oil

Soft bar. Medium lather. Mild cleansing.

Emollient properties.

15%

Argan Oil


Soothes problematic skin (?), great for shampoo bars.

10%

Avocado Oil

Soft bar. Medium lather. Mild cleansing.

Recommended for dry and sensitive skin. High in vitamin E.

15-20%

Babassu oil

Hard bar. Large bubbles. High cleansing.

Milder than coconut oil.

 15-30%

Castor Oil

Soft bar. Stable lather. High cleansing.

Drying if used in high amounts.

10% (higher amounts in shampoo bars)

Cocoa Butter

Hard-to-brittle bar. Creamy lather. Long lasting bar. Strong scent.


15% (can use more, but may cause cracking)

Coconut Oil

Hard bar. Abundant lather. Large bubbles. High cleansing.

Saponified coconut oil is drying. Unsaponified coconut oil softens the skin. Experiment with a 100% coconut oil soap with a 20% superfat. Add after saponification in hot process.

30% (higher than that can be drying, so be sure to superfat)

Grapeseed Oil

Soft bar. Medium lather. Mild cleansing. Shorter shelf life.

Recommended for acne soaps.

8-12%

Hazelnut oil

Soft bar. Medium lather. Mild cleansing.


5-8%

Hemp (Seed) Oil

Soft bar. Medium silky lather. Mild cleansing

Emollient properties. Keep oil refrigerated.

15%

Jojoba Oil

Stabilizes and suspends lather if used in small amounts; it can kill lather when used in high amounts. Extends shelf life of soap.

Conditions skin & hair, excellent for shampoo bars.

5-10%

Tallow (Deer)

Hard bar. Mild stabilizing creamy lather. White.

Rich in palmitate. In modern times, tallow became replaced with palm oil.

25-50%

Lard

Hard bar. Mild stabilizing creamy lather. White.

100% lard soap with no superfat makes great laundry soap.

25-50%

Mango Butter


Emollient properties.

5-10%

Meadowfoam Oil

Creamy leather. Increases shelf life of soap.

Conditions skin.

10%

Neem Oil

Strong scent.

Skin healing (?). Antiseptic, repels fleas and ticks – good for pet soaps and traveler soaps.

5-10%

Olive Oil

Starts out soft, but cures hard. Creamy lather. Small bubbles.

The low cleansing properties of olive oil make it very mild. Soap for sensitive skin, elder skin or baby skin should include high amounts of olive (60%). Castile soap is made with 100% olive oil.

100%

Palm Kernel Oil

Hard bar. Large bubbles. White.

Similar to coconut oil, but less drying.

15-30%

Palm Oil

Hard, long lasting. Mild stable lather.

Used instead of lard or tallow.

25-50%

Peach Kernel Oil


Excellent for skin (?).

15%

Rice Bran Oil

Soft bar, medium lather, mild cleansing. Gives soap a sheen making it look less dull.

Similar to olive oil.

5-12%

Safflower oil

Soft bar, medium lather, mild cleansing.

Similar to olive oil (?).

5-12%

Shea Butter

Medium hard long-lasting bar. Mild creamy lather.

Emollient properties.

15%

Shea butter

Medium hard long-lasting bar. Mild creamy lather.

Similar to cocoa butter

5-20%

Soybean oil

Soft bar, medium lather, mild cleansing.

Similar to olive oil (?).

5-12%

Sunflower Oil

Soft bar with silky lather, mild cleansing. Slows down time to reach trace.

Emollient properties.

15-20%