Tweaking soap recipes

There are many rules in soapmaking, some that are non-negotiable e.g using the right amount of lye and taking safety precautions, and there are other rules that are flexible if you are the experimenting type.

One of the firmest held rules for decades of soapmaking was that although coconut oil is brilliant for making large bubbles, anything more than 30% would take one’s hide off. Now it’s commonplace that with a large enough super fat (at least 20%), a 100% coconut oil soap can be very moisturizing.

I’ve made a very decent 100% Shea butter soap and the person I made it for loved the gentle creamy lather and super hard long lasting bar. I live in West Africa so this also has the advantage of being an affordable recipe to make! I would choose this over Castile soap (gasp!)

Another recipe I’ve been successful with (lather, mildness, etc) is a combination of 80% coconut oil and 20% Shea butter with a 10% superfat.


This is the most recent one I’ve made with that recipe. It’s for a guy so i used a blend of smoky patchouli and spiced mahogany from Brambleberry. Very masculine. The brown portion is colored with dark cocoa powder. Luxe!

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