Beauty with Health
Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera)
Many soap makers use coconut oil for soap making because of the incredible lather it produces, the hardness it adds to the soap, and, when used in moderation, its great moisturizing abilities.
There are a few main types of coconut oil that can be used for soap making. These kinds include 76 degree, 92 degree, virgin and fractionated coconut oil.
When using coconut oil for soap making, here are some of the attributes you will see within your finished product:
The lather produced by coconut oil is absolutely incredible. In fact, this oil produces such a great lather that 100% coconut oil soap will actually suds in salt water!
Furthermore, coconut oil is a wonderful ingredient to use in soap making to add hardness to your bar. This aspect of coconut oil is extremely valuable especially when you are creating soap with other oils that alone would produce a softer product.
The amount of coconut oil you use for soap making depends largely on what type of bar you are trying to produce. For instance, if you want to make a mild soap that is to be used on the face, then it is better to not let it take up more then 20% of the oils used. It’s kind of interesting… Too much coconut oil will produce an overly drying product, while smaller amounts will actually add moisturizing properties to your soap. For this reason, when creating a facial soap that needs to be mild, make sure that you use coconut oil in moderation… Just don’t go overboard with it!
If, however, you want to make a soap that has an incredible lather, cleans extremely well, and is very hard, then you can use coconut oil during the soap making process much more liberally. You can even allow it to take up 100% of the oils used especially if you are trying to create a sea soap that’s appealing to a maritime area. As many of you know, 100% coconut oil soap is often referred to as a “seaman’s soap” mainly because of the fact that it does have the ability to produce a lather in salt water. One word of advice… When making 100% coconut oil soap, be sure to superfat at a very high percentage or else your product will be too harsh to use. Anywhere between a 18% and 20% superfat will do it!
So what’s up with the different types of coconut oil for soap making?
76 degree coconut oil: This type of coconut oil will become a liquid at 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It produces a great lather, and adds hardness to the bar.
92 degree coconut oil: This type of coconut oil will become a liquid at 92 degrees Fahrenheit. It is more hydrogenated then the 76 degree variety. Some soap makers who use this type of coconut oil for soap making say that it will produce a harder bar, but does not lather as nicely as the 76 degree coconut oil Variety.
Virgin coconut oil: has a very low melting point about 20°C, this oil is very expensive and is hardly if ever used in soap making. It is usually reserved, your luxury soap. it has a wonderful coconut odour. It is a super cleansing addition that produces big, copious bubbles.
Fractionated coconut oil: In fractionated coconut oil, long chain triglycerides are taken away leaving only saturated fats. It comes in a liquid form and can be used in soap making but be aware that it does have a very different SAP value and cannot just be replaced in a recipe. This variety is often used by massage therapists because it doesn’t clog pores and absorbs very readily into the skin. However, that fractionated coconut oil has a longer shelf life and can withstand greater heat then the standard types.
Cautions: Can be sensitising in some individuals.