Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Palm Oil - How do you Feel about it?

I am interested to know how fellow soap makers feel about Palm Oil. A few of my best recipes include palm oil - it is cheap and makes my bars so hard and long - lasting. I even found I liked the suds better with palm oil. BUT - I don't feel right about using something that is so environmentally questionable. Do I want to contribute to cutting down Orangutan's homes? I'll bet I could find Fair-Trade Palm oil if I really searched but then it wouldn't be cheap....

So, I have been experimenting and experimenting, tweeking different oil quantities, trying to come up with a fabulous recipe without Palm. Some have been not bad.... One in particular I really loved until after using it for a while I realized it used up quickly and toward the end it got pretty mushy.... ah well. I was back to the drawing board.

Just yesterday I tried Batch 102 of mine (no name yet.... the photo is below) and I LOVED it. The suds are just as awesome as any of my soaps with Palm Oil and it left my skin feeling great! Loving the scent as well... a combo with lemongrass and lavender and other stuff. It smells so clean. Now I just need to continue using it in order to do the longevity & mush test. I just may have found my great No-Palm recipe. Now, please tell me - How do you feel about Palm oil?

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while, and no photos but I have come to Canada to be with my family for a few weeks. Seriously going through soap-making withdrawal but loving being with family as I live so far away.... Went to the One-Of-A-Kind show in Toronto the other day and met and spoke with some other pretty fabulous soap makers. They all say that it takes a LOT of work to make a living at this, but that it is possible. They were all passionate about what they do. It was very nice to see.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on Palm OIl.



innerearthsoaps said...

I use sustainable palm oil in my soaps ... I personally feel that it's one soapmaking oil I can't do without! But I would be interested to try some good palm-free ones to feel the difference.

Cocobong said...

I've been tossing the same question around for months now, but have not changed anything in my recipes yet. I did try the 50/50% recipe (Coconut/Olive), and it was alright...but not the feel I like in my soaps with palm oil. Question eco friendly is the rest of the stuff we use in our soaps? I gather that there is a hook in almost all of the base ingredients that go into soap making.

p-lee said...


Thanks for the comments! I am just a bit obsessed with my dog as you'll see if you keep reading my blog. But I love soap just as much. I just posted a big update on the last few batches we made. We've definitely learned a LOT. I would love to see more soapers confess to their early soap mistakes :)

As for palm oil, I really think my favorite recipes so far have not used it. My breakfast soap has nice lather and is pretty hard. No palm oil. Another of my favorites (and my very first 3 soaps I ever made) have no palm oil; just coconut oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax. Beeswax is a nice hardner and it smells great.

I think I will continue to buy palm oil though in my experimental phase. But I will make sure it is from a renewable, fair-trade source. A lot of suppliers are catching on that people who go through the trouble to hand make soap aren't exactly into destroying orangutan habitats.

Ambra said...

I can't find palm oil where I live, so I make soap without it. I'm sure I would try palm oil to see what the result is like if I could get hold of some. But in a way I'm glad I don't have to think about it. I'm still wrestling with the EO vs FO and to colour or not!

Dreaming Tree Soapworks said...

We use certified organic sustainable palm oils in our soaps. I love it it makes nice, hard bubbly bars that last and last. I feel the organic/sustainable is the middle road it only costs marginally more were we get it. We do have some recipes that just "happen" to be palm free but all of our soaps are ridiculously high in olive oil which helps make up for some of the hardness!

Splurge Sisters said...

I've been on the fence about the subject and found this post on pattiflynn's site about palm oil: She lists this link:

I've tried a few recipes without palm oil and I can't find one I like yet. I usually offer at least one or two soaps in my line without palm oil.