Oils- Why I use the oils I use... And their benefits.
Olive Oil: A traditional emollient used in soap because it is mild and gives a "moisturized feel" to the soap. Can get a bit sticky sometimes. Olive oil is imported generally from Spain and the European region.
Rice Bran Oil: Similar to olive but a bit "cleaner" feel in the soap. I like to use it in "balancing" the other oils. I would use rice bran instead of olive, since it is stable in cost and is domestic, but this oil is not as popular as olive and the consumer gets what the consumer wants.
Sunflower Oil: Very similar to olive with a lighter/cleaner feel to it. Can have a tendency to get "sticky" but the skin feels oh so nice when sunflower is used. I would use sunflower more, but too much can make the soap soft.
Shea Butter: Makes a creamier bar with a more "moisturized feel". Too much shea butter can make the soap sticky and reduce lather. With sensitive skin, reduced lather can be a good thing, so shea butter can be a real assistant, but in the end this has to be "in balance" with the rest of the soap.
Organic Palm: When I use palm, we use organic "sustainable" palm, for the reasons of deforestation in tropical regions (see below for further explanation). Palm and similar, are pretty much necessary to make a harder, stable bar of soap.
Coconut: One word... Lather. Coconut adds to hardness and creates "big bubbles" in soap. A little goes a long way, too much can be "too effective".
Hemp: I use unrefined hemp to avoid chemical contamination possible in the refining process. It also gives a nice natural aroma to the soap. Hemp oil adds a unique skin feel and moisturizing effect.
Stearic Acid: A fatty acid commonly found in natural oils such as coconut, palm, and also in animal fats (we use a vegetable source). Used in small amounts assists in the soap making process and balances some soap qualities. Stearic acid is used by many companies as a moisturizer in lotion and other formulas.
Up next a great explanation from my palm oil supplier on the use of palm oil and the controversy that surrounds it.