Wednesday, 21 March 2012
How I made my vegan palm oil free soap
This is my first batch of soap I have ever made. I decided make my own when I was having trouble finding soap not containing beef fat (tallow) or palm oil. If you're unaware of the devastating effects palm oil harvesting is having on the orangutan population, I urge you to do some reading. I was very surprised to find out the other names of palm oil, and instantly recognised them as I have read them on so many products.
Anyway, back to the soap. It was fairly easy to make, and I found all the ingedients I needed at my local supermarket. Lye, used in all soap recipes, is actually caustic soda, found in the laundry section for around $3-4. I used olive oil, organic coconut oil, and a little castor oil. As organic coconut oil can be a little on the expensive side, alternatively you could use Copha, in the supermarket fridge section. Copha is solidified coconut oil.
The technique is a little messy and time consuming, this batch took me a few hours as it took much longer than I expected to reach 'trace' (where the liquid thickens a little after stirring/blending). The soap has been curing in a cupboard for about six weeks but I think it needs to cure a bit longer, as it's still a little bit soft. It does lather nicely though, and leaves my skin feeling very soft.
Here are the links I used, for the recipe and technique:
I'm looking forward to making more soap, I would love to experiment and use cocoa butter and shea butter in the next batch.