Best Essential Oils for Soap Making – Soap Making Oils Properties

Essential Oils for Soap Making

Oils are used in soap making, and these oils have their individual properties, which are mixed or added to the soap base depending on the intended use of the soap. Some oils are added as moisturizers, skin conditioners, or for their therapeutic properties, as well as for their smell or fragrance.

Essential oils for soap making

You can use a variety of different oils and butter as your fatty acid ingredient. Adding these into your soap mixture will bring a distinctive characteristic to your product. I’ve listed just a few generally used oils & butter below for soap making.

Olive Oil

olive oil soap

Olive oil is hard and soft oil. It is used to make a very mild and gentle soap. It has a low, lotion-like lather without large bubbles. It has a slick feel and can be used up to 100% in your soap recipe. Castile soap is typically a 100% Olive Oil soap. An olive oil soap hardens with time, and many do not use it for 12 months. Soaps containing 50-100 percent Olive Oil require a long curing period.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is made from the seeds of the shea tree and is native to West Africa. Pure, unrefined shea butter is great for the skin. It is a good moisturizer that can also help to reduce stretch marks. It is rich, so if you have sensitive skin, you might not want to use it on your face, but it is good for the rest of the body. Shea butter aids in the removal of skin discolorations and provides natural sun protection. It’s also great for filling in and preventing wrinkles, so there’s another reason to use it.

shea butter for soap makingLike cocoa butter, Shea butter will produce a wicked moisturizing bar. It will create a creamy lather while also helping to harden the soap bar. It is a hard oil, as it is solid at room temperature.


Beeswax will make your soap a little harder. However, you should only use small amounts because too much will reduce the amount of lathering.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is made from a castor bean plant. Castor oil improves lather retention and adds creaminess to soaps. At the lower end of the percentage ratio, it can be used. Can be used at rates ranging from 5% to 10%. If you use too much, a bar of soap will become sticky. You only need a little amount of castor oil in your soap to reap its thick, lathering benefits.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil in soap making

Using coconut oil in soap will provide superb lather while increasing the hardness of the soap. It gives bubbles and lathers well in soap. We usually use it at rates of 15-30% of the oil ratio. Too high a content of Coconut Oil can dry on the skin. If we use more un-saponified oils in the bar of soap, we can super fat it.

Almond Oil

Almond oil has been very well known for its beauty and anti-aging properties. Not just for the skin, but also your overall health as well. Almond oil moisturizes and conditions the skin.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is made from the fat of cocoa beans. Using cocoa butter will provide a moisturizing bar of soap. Only use a small amount of this ingredient. If you use too much, the soap will melt in your hand.

Palm Oil

When used in soap, palm oil can produce a firm bar. It makes a long-lasting bar with a stable lather. Can be used at rates of 25 to 50%. It is an excellent oil for soap making.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil is soft oil. It lathers well and helps a bar of soap maintain its lather. It has a creamy lather that is mildly cleansing. It is mildly cleansing and gives a creamy lather. We use it in a ratio of 10 to 20% some recipes can be as high as 40%. It can be used to replace some olive oil in a recipe or quite a lot of olive oil.

sunflower oil soap making

When applied to the skin, sunflower can help heal wounds. It is often used to prevent skin infections, reduce acne, protect the skin from sun damage, and help with the signs of premature aging. It contains a lot of essential fatty acids and vitamin E.

Soybean Oil

In soap, Soybean oil helps to maintain lather and is gently cleansing. It is typically used in the range of 10% to 25%. It can be used to substitute some Olive Oil in your recipe. soybean oil soap

Soybean Oil has a small molecular structure and so can penetrate the skin. Soybean Oil has a short shelf life of around three months.

Rice Bran Oil

This oil is made from the husk of rice grains and is high in Vitamin E. It can be used to substitute some Olive oil in your recipe and gives small bubbles. Rice Bran Oil has a shelf life of 1 to 2 years and can be used up to 100 percent in cold process soap recipes.

Apricot kernel oil

It is soft oil and can be used to replace some Olive Oil in a recipe. They have similar properties to olive oil. It’s a light oil that feels great on the skin. Apricot Kernel Oil has antioxidant properties, is an emollient moisturizer, and helps to support the skin. It’s antibacterial, and it’s been used to help heal wounds.

Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil can be used in soap between 5% to 6%. The people in Tahiti treat burns, insect bites, and many skin conditions have traditionally used it. It is an amazing oil for skin health and appearance.

Vitamin E oil

vitamin e oil soap

Act as a preservative when you add fresh fruit or other additives at risk of spoiling.

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil is soft oil. It is usually deep green. This oil makes a gentle and mild bar of soap and is ideal for babies and sensitive skin. It is usually included at rates of 5 to 15% of the oil ratio.

Avocado oil has numerous health benefits and is excellent for the skin. It is used as a moisturizer and, when applied topically, can help to reduce itchiness and dryness. It is often used to treat eczema and psoriasis and in wound healing.

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