In another post Why Use Goat’s Milk In Soap?, we discussed the benefits of using goat’s milk and the properties it gives our soap. However, making soap is a lot like baking a cake. Every ingredient you choose , the amount of each ingredient, plus how all your chosen ingredients effect each other have an impact on the final product. We selected the oils in our soap to make bars that are gentle and moisturizing. And every time Isabelle felts bars for sale we have proof that we got our combination of ingredients right. She can felt twenty bars in a day and her hands stay soft and do Not feel dry!
The formula we use is calculated to leave a high percentage of moisturizing properties in our soap. And while all our soap contains two oils common to many hand-made soap formulas, tallow and coconut oil, what really sets it apart from many other hand-made soaps is a high percentage of avocado oil.
Avocado Oil: INCI NAME: PERSEA GRATISSIMA
Avocado Oil is a rich, heavy luxury oil that nourishes and restores dry, dehydrated skin. It is high in Vitamins A and E and is a superb addition in soap making because of its high percentage of unsaponifiables. (A saponifiable is a part of the ingredient that the lye turns into a cleansing agent. The unsaponifiables are the elements that help to keep a soap moisturizing and conditioning. ) The avocado yields a rich and extremely deep penetrating oil, rich in lecithin, vitamins A, D and E, as well as potassium – known as the youth mineral. Furthermore it has proteins, beta-carotene and more than twenty percent essential unsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acids contained are palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic.
A less luxurious but equally important ingredient (in our new formula) is sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil: INCI: HELIANTHUS ANNUUS:
However, sunflower oil’s components are what makes it such a fantastic choice in body care products. I cannot say it better so I will quote one of my suppliers, Voyageur Soap and Candle Making:
“High-Oleic Sunflower Oil contains linoleic acid, oleic acid, lecithin, carotenoids and has a high Vitamin E content. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid and a component of natural fats derived from either vegetable oils or animal fat. Oleic acid acts as an emulsifier, surfactant, thickening agent and emollient.”
The bottom line? Thanks to these properties this oil is especially kind to mature, dry or damaged skin.
The combination of three or four oils you find in our soaps gives them a rich creamy lather, which also makes them an excellent soap to use for shaving. We do include other oils in some recipes but you will find Coconut oil, Tallow and avocado oil in all our soaps. And any soap listed on Les Belles Bouclettes since March of 2015 will also include sunflower oil. The one exception is a soap we will be adding soon, a pure olive oil (castile) goat’s milk soap. Olive oil is a topic for another post but I will say here that while it has many wonderful properties one of the things a soap made using only olive oil does not do well is lather.
We are planning some other new additions to our soap line, and at this very moment I have oils being infused with herbs and botanicals for some special soaps, … look for them this summer. We are also planning to raid Isabelle’s garden, so you can look for cucumber and/or pumpkin based soap and maybe some other treats appearing in the late summer and early autumn on Les Belles Bouclettes.
Have you ever tried soap made with infused oils? Do you have any favourite botanical combinations you’d be interested in trying? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section, we love feedback!