Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oils to use in Your Soap Making

Are you just getting started in making your soap by the cold process method? Are you confused with all the different oils you can use in your soaps? An article titled "Quality of Soap Making Oils" by David Fisher can tell you what you need to know. Each of the oils bring something different to the table.

"There are many oils used in the soapmaking process today and they are mostly food grade oils. We use liquid oils along with solid oils/fats to make a wonderful hard bar of soap. Along with being able to make your own soap, you can balance your oils to make some wonderful soaps to meet different skin needs. You can add more oils at the point of trace or just leave it at the level of superfat that the recipe calls for. Here are a listing of the oils that can be used and what their properties are.

Here are some of the oils David talks about. You may want to read the full article to see what oils can be used to create your own recipes.

Almond Oil (Sweet)

This oil is a popular oil for use in massage oils and general skin care. It is highly moisturizing, gives stable lather when used in making soap. Can be added at trace in soaps or with the other oils and as an addition in lotions, creams, body butters, lotion bars, etc. A few drops in facial masks helps with facial dryness. It is nutrient-rich and is suitable for all skin types.

In soaps use from 1/2 oz. 1 oz. per lb. of oils in your soap formula. Can be used alone or with other oils, butters, etc. when making lotions, creams, body butters, lotion bars, etc.

Apricot Kernel Oil

An emollient oil, it is especially good for premature aging skin, dry and sensitive skin. It is highly moisturizing, gives stable lather when used in making soap. Good for all skin types.

In soaps use from 1/2 oz. 1 oz. per lb. of oils in your soap formula. Can be used alone or with other oils, butters, etc. when making lotions, creams, body butters, lotion bars, etc.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a rich, nourishing oil that is good for soap, creams and lotions. Avocado oil is excellent in hair and scalp formulas. It absorbs into the skin and scalp easily and is high in Vitamin A & E. Is a good for dry and damaged skin and is known to help with Eczema and Psoriases some say even hair loss.

Use in making soap at up to 30%. Can be used alone or with other oils, butters, etc. when making lotions, creams, body butters, lotion bars, etc.


Is use in making soaps, creams, lip balms, ointments and lotions bars. If you use fresh Beeswax, it has a natural honey scent and also has the natural healing values that the bees impart to it.

You can use it at about 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. per lb. of oils in your soap formula to make your soaps harder. To make a spreadable ointment, use 1/2 oz. for each 4 oz. of liquid oil used.

Calendula Oil

This oil is made by infusing Calendula Petals in a good carrier oil like Olive or Sweet Almond. It is a light yellow colored oil. It is historically known for healing wounds, dry and damaged skin and for Eczema and soothing skin eruptions. Is very mild and a great addition for baby soaps, lotions and creams. Good for all skin types.

Canola Oil

This is one that can be added to soap aid in lather of the soap. Only small amounts should be used because to much will make the soap soft. Can also be used in small amount is lip balms, bath butters, etc.

Use 1/2 oz. per lb. of oils in a regular soap formula and 1 oz. per lb. of oils in a shampoo bar.

Cocoa Butter

Makes a wonderful addition to soaps to make them harder and add emollients. It has a natural chocolate smell which imparts a wonderful fragrance to a Cocoa Butter based cream, lotion and lotion bars. But if you don't want the scent to clash with you fragrances, there is an unscented Cocoa Butter that can be used. Has wonderful skin softening and moisturizing properties. Good for Normal to Dry skin.

Coconut Oil

This is one of the oils for soapmaking that give natural soap it lather. In it natural form it is very good for the skin. Beware of any product that says "derived from Coconut oil" this is the synthetic foam booster "sodium lauryl sulfate" that has been linked to many skin allergies. The natural Coconut Oil can be used in soaps, creams and lotions and is good for all skin types.

Can be used up to 30% on the oils, but if over that the superfatting should be at 7% or 8% or more because when this oil is saponified, it can be drying if not enough superfatting is added.

Carrot Root Oil

This is an oil that is a rich golden oil that is obtained from carrots, this is not the Carrot Seed Essential Oil. Carrot Root Oil is high in Vitamin A and Bata-Carotene and is a healing addition to facial oils, creams and lotions for dry and mature skin.

Emu Oil

Emu Oil is a deep penetrating oil that is known to draw into the skin anything that is used along with it. It is best to use this only with Essential Oils and herbs as it will help these work much better. The pure oil is said to help sore muscles, aching joints, pain and inflammation. So when combined with certain Essential Oils, can be a good pain reliever. Is not clogging to the skin and is very nourishing. Helps rejuvenate skin cells and reduces scarring. Good for helping Eczema and Psoriasis. Good for all skin types.

I have used this at 25% of a soap, but because of the expense that this oil can be for some, the use of about 1 oz. to 2 oz. per lb. of oils in a soap formula will impart the values of this oil. Can be added to lotion, cream, body butters, ointments, etc. at about 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. for each 16 oz. to 20 oz. of a formula.

Evening Primrose Oil

It has been researched well and is one of the few plant sources of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) that is very therapeutic both internally and in natural skin care products. It blends well with other carrier oils, is mildly Astringent and it is an excellent treatment for dry, flaky skin and skin prone to Eczema, Psoriasis, etc.

This can be added at trace or with the other oils in a soap formula at about 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. per 1 lb. of oils in a soap formula. Is wonderful used along with other special oils in a lotion, cream, body butter, ointment, etc.

Grapeseed Oil

Is a green tinted oil and is used as a massage oil and as a base oil for lotions and creams for its emollient properties. It is widely used for hair conditioning and styling, imparting a rich silky luster and enhancing hair growth. This is a light, penetrating oil and it nourishing for all skin types.

Use maybe 1 to 2 Tbsp. per lb. of oils in a soap formula added at trace.

Hemp Seed Oil

A source of valuable essential fatty acids, high in minerals and Vitamin A. This is a wonderful emollient oil that is used in lotions, creams, hair conditioners and natural soap.

Used at about 25% of the soap oils in a formula or added at trace at about 1 oz. per lb. of oils in a soap formula.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil is really not an oil, but a liquid wax. This oil has been used for many years in skin care products because of the healing power that is has. It is said to be closely related to human sebum and this makes is very compatible with our skin. It is said to help is fighting Acne and Pimples and is wonderful for dry and damaged skin.

I prefer to use this as a fixitive for the scenting oils in my soaps. Just a tsp. or 2 in with the scenting oils in a glass jar and then added at trace. This will give a bit to the superfatting of the soap as well.


Lard makes a wonderful hard white bar and was used as the main or only fat before vegetable oils were used in soapmaking. It makes a wonderful addition to the liquid vegetable oils that have a tendency to make a softer soap.

Can be used as 100% of a soap formula.

Mango Butter

Is a great addition to lip balms, lotions and creams for its moisturizing properties.

Use at about 15% of a soap formula.

Neem Oil

This oil is known for it help with skin problems like Eczema, Psoriasis, Dry Skin and as a natural Pesticide for farming.The usage recommendations are about 5% for soapmaking.

I use up to 10% for a healing skin care soap.

Olive Oil

Makes what is knows as a Castile soap. This oil is very good to the skin, soothing and emollient. It makes dinse tiny lather when used alone, but you can add a bit of Castor Oil to make larger and longer lasting bubbles.

Use at 100% for a true castile soap or at whatever precentage you wish. "

Information on Palm Kernal Oil, Palm Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Rice Bran, Safflower, Sesame, Shea, Soybean (liquid), Sunflower and Wheatgerm are also included in this article.

1 comment:

Merit said...

thanks for sharing. Good info. I used this today when working on a soap recipe.