Natural Body Care Products for the People who Want to Know!

Virgin versus refined carrier oils & butters

oil drop

My take is somewhat bias towards unrefined carrier oils & butters.  Embracing the natural essence of the oil or butter for all can do for your skin with as little processing is preferable.

What is the difference between virgin oil and refined oil?

Vegetable oil is qualified as virgin or refined according to the way it has been extracted.  If the extraction is done by pressing, then it is considered virgin oil.  If the extraction is carried out by solvents and heat, then it is called refined oil, which allows one to obtain a “standardized” oil by modifying its fatty acids. Cosmetic companies prefer a more standardized oil with little or no color and no aroma.   But for the case of “virgin” oils & butters, one gets an oil that is pure, without any foreign substances, exclusively purified through physical processes.

Why refine oils?

The refining process creates oil that is stable, easy to preserve, hardly colored, with no discernable aroma, and with a yield around 97 percent which is much more profitable to the industry.  Refining can also extend the shelf life of carrier oils.  However “pressed” oils preserve all their qualities, are more expensive, and can lose up to 20 percent of its substance when extracted.

Which one is best for my skin?

After refinement, the original composition of the oil has been deeply modified that results in an almost total loss of the healing active properties.  Refining can cause:

• a destruction of vitamin E, with its antioxidant, regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties

• the disappearance and/or the loss of the biological activity of essential fatty acids which are the base for a hydrated, plump, and dense skin, that is supple and luminous

• the disappearence of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant element

• even the disappearence of phospholipids and sterols that play a key role in cellular growth and the function of the plasma membrane

We encourage choosing virgin oils & butters for a healthy and beautiful skin.

Natural Body Care Products for the People who Want to Know!, Soap Recipes

Superfatting in hand made soap

Superfatting soap is done to obtain a more gentle, extra moisturizing silky smoother feel to your soaps.

It used to be superfatting was achieved when extra oil above your basic recipe (use ) was added at trace.

Superfatting soap is when oils are left unsaponified in the finished bars 

Now we have sophisticated tools online such as   

Whether you add the 40 grams of Castor oil at the beginning or at trace will not change the amount of superfat you have in your recipe.

Superfat is the amount of leftover oil after the lye has saponified completely. Saponification continues to take place after you have poured your soap into the mold. If there is lye still unsaponified when you add your castor oil at trace, the lye will find it and turn it into soap.

SAP values represent the amount of lye needed to saponify a given amount of oil. This has been figured out by soap calculators on line for you already and will not change by adding the castor oil in later.

When you enter the superfat amount into Soapcalc, the program will reduce the amount of lye needed which then leaves your soap with 5% unsaponifed oil. Setting the amount in Soapcalc is all you have to do.

An alternative method is to use a recipe that you have plugged into your soap calculator with to superfat and just add 2% of any sofy or melted hard oil, consider a nice oil that lends to great properties like hemp.  Remember to mix it well.