• Native Nut
  • Native Nut
  • Native Nut
  • Native Nut
  • Native Nut
  • Native Nut
  • Native Nut

Coconut Oil in Soap Making

Coconut Oil has been spruiked as the latest and greatest super food in the last few years. So I am looking at it from both a soap making and a nutritional point of view. 

Firstly coconut oil is about 50% lauric acic and approximately 88% mid chain saturated fat. This gives it a higher saturated fat content than palm oil which is about 50% saturated fat and the highest mid chain saturated fat content of any widely available vegetable oil. 

For soap makers when coconut oil is turned into soap it helps to soap to foam, which adds greatly to the aesthetic not always to the efficacy. However if the base oil mix used contains too high a proportion of coconut oil, at the expense of say olive oil, the resultant soap can have a drying effect on the skin. With that in mind I would never work with a coconut oil content of more than 20% of my overall oil mix. 

The other benefit of coconut oil is that it can quite easily be used on both liquid and bar soaps, because whilst it is solid at room termperature (good for bar), it melts at a relatively low termperature (good for liquid). 

In addition the high saturated fat content make it less prone to oxidation (rancidity) so it is less likely to spoil than other oils particularly those that are liquid at room temperature (almond, olive, avocado, macadamia). To protect all your oils and fats from oxidation, keep them in a cool, dark place, preferably in opaque dark coloured bottle or tub. 

Now how about the nutritional value? 

Well lauric acid is associated with increased blood cholesterol levels, and that's both High Density Lipoprotien (good cholesterol) and Low, Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol). So high intake of coconut oil will increase blood cholesterol the mix of cholesterol may improve if you switch from butter but not if you switch from olive oil or margarine.  Either way the WHO organisation is quite firm in it's position that intake of coconut oil should be limited. Interesting. Personally I would not be cooking with coconut oil or any derivatives of coconut oil. 

We like to keep things simple so we chose to fragrance each of our soaps with a single essential oil. All of the essential oils we have chosen have some antiseptic properties.

We only use 100% pure essential oils. Some people do occasionally find their skin reacts to some essential oils, so if you think you might be sensitive to any of our fragrances l you should test the soap on a small area of skin before use.