Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Coconut Oil-Free Soap...Better Picture

Finally! A sunny day in Vancouver, WA. and I can take a better picture of my newest soap. By now it is cut up into individual bars and curing. Sometimes the colors change a bit from first adding the colors to after the soap has dried and I was hoping that none of colors would fade out or look nasty after drying...they didn't fade or turn colors. If anything, the colors became even brighter. The green in the picture is truly a VERY bright green, the orange stayed orange, the pale lavender swirl still seems more white than lavender, but it shows well against the darker lavender background.

Overall, I am satisfied.

Now, to the actual ingredients. I mentioned before that this soap was made using palm kernel oil instead of coconut oil. It is a formula that I have had laying around for quite awhile but have seldom used...only because coconut oil is such a versatile oil that I've stayed with it, a certain familiarity with how coconut oil responds has kept me using it and I've stayed in my "comfort zone".

Coconut oil contains a variety of fatty acids that give the properties that make it a good "soap oil" like large amounts of lauric acid which contribute to creating a hard bar of soap, great cleansing qualities and creates a wonderful lather. It also contains a fair amount of myristic acid, which have similar qualities to lauric acid. It then contains small amounts of palmitic acid, which stabilizes the lather, oleic acid (conditioning the skin), and stearic acid (lather stabilizer and contributes to hard bar).

Palm Kernel oil has many of the same qualities that coconut oil has, but in different quanities It contains lauric acid in almost the same amount as coconut oil, only about half the amount of stearic acid, almost the same amount of myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. So, probably the biggest difference between the two oils is hardness of the bar and the lather may be a bit less stable.

But here's a good thing with this formula, I increased the amount of olive oil content, which is almost all conditioning. This bar will caress your skin like crazy.
I also added some bentonite clay (a type of kaolin clay) to give a "slipperiness" that makes it an ideal shaving soap. Sometimes, an overabundance of clay can cause your skin to feel a bit dry intially. Clays do have astringent and cleansing properties too, but too much can sometimes cause your skin to feel a little dry. With this smaller batch of soap I added about 2 tablespoons to the soap batch.

Since soap takes over a month to cure, it will not be listed on Silkfair or etsy until next month. If you are interested in advance ordering, please let me know. I would be happy to save one for you. I made a very small batch, only nine bars came from this formula, so these may not last long.