Almond Oil

Produces stable lather and skin conditioning in handmade soaps. Wonderful for dry, inflamed, or irritated skin. Contains vitamins and minerals. Widely used for soaps, lotion bars, and cosmetics.

Apricot Kernel Oil

This is the choice oil for most professional massage therapists. Absorbs easily into the skin - a light, moisturizing oil that is good for even the most sensitive or dry skin. Commonly used to superfat soaps.

Avocado Oil

Rich in vitamins A, D, & E as well as amino acids and protein. Wonderfully moisturizing and excellent for anyone with extremely sensitive skin. 

Babassu Oil

Babassu oil is considered to be a superiot emollient that is beneficial for either dry or oily complexions. It gently moisturizes the skin without leaving an oily sheen.

Canola Oil

This oil has gotten a bad rap lately due to an Urban Legend. Canola is also known as lear oil and comes from rapeseed, a member of the mustard family. It has actually been cultivated for over 4000 years and has become popular in the last decade or so for being low in saturated fats. Its oleic acid content is almost that of olive oil. Canola contributes protein and moisturizing qualities in soap. Used alone, it would produce a soap that is too soft.

Castor Oil

Acts as a humectant by attracting and retaining moisture to the skin. Also contributes lots of bubbles to soap - a "bubble booster". Used alone, it would create a soft, transparent soap.

Cocoa Butter

Made from the same bean as chocolate and cocoa. Cocoa butter is a by-product of making chocolate. When used in soap, it puts down a protective layer that holds moisture to the skin, acting as a softener.

76 degree Coconut Oil

If you are going to make soap, you gotta have coconut oil! Coconut is the only oil that will lather in *any* type of water - even seawater. Solid at room temperature. (Fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temp and is mostly used for cosmetics and lotions.) When used in the correct percentage, coconut oil is moisturizing and adds lots of fluffy lather.

Corn Oil

Can be used as a cost effective addition to soap recipe while providing moisturizing properties. Combine with other "hard" oils or soap will be too soft.

Cottonseed oil

Most commonly combined with soy shortening (i.e. Crisco) because the composition is similar. Provides a quick and abundant lather, but a softer soap. Can be slow to saponify and prone to rancidity. This can be corrected by using a lower amount in proportion to other base oils. Contrary to popular belief, there is no greater risk of pesticide contamination when using cottonseed than any other oil.

Grapeseed Oil

light oil commonly used in massage oil preparations. Rich in vitamins and minerals. Can be used in soaps, lotions, creams, etc.

Hempseed Oil

made from the crushed seeds of the Cannabis sativa, aka the marijuana plant. High in protein, but very prone to rancidity. The cost is prohibative compared to other oils. Moisturizing emollient that helps heal dry skin and burns.

Jojoba oil

it's actually a liquid wax rather than an oil. Commonly used in shampoo bars for its conditioning properties, but can be used in other soaps and creams as well. Jojoba has some anti-inflammatory properties and is highly resistent to rancidity - can actually lend those properties to other oils thereby extending their shelf life as well. An extremely stable oil to have onhand for its moisturizing potential.


fatlike substance obtained from sheep's wool, although it is actually a wax. Known to be effective in softening dry, cracked, chapped skin. It is easily absorbed and lays down a protective barrier therefore holding moisture in. Wonderful emollient when added to soap or lotion. A very small percentage of the population *is* allergic to lanolin. Average usage is 1-2% of your total oils, or 1 Tablespoon per pound of base oils. You can use cocoa butter or another hard oil to counteract the "stickiness" from the lanolin.

Neem Oil

used to treat a variety of skin problems including psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, etc. Has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. Used in pet soap shampoo bars to repel fleas and ticks. Can be used as a natural bug repellant in "people" soaps and lotions. Adds hardness and skin conditioning in soaps.

Olive Oil

An excellent oil to use in soap as it is a moisturizer that forms a "breathable" layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture. Produces small, silky bubbles and contributes hardness to the bar. Olive oil was used for centuries to make traditional 100% "castile" soap. May be used in any amount in a soap recipe.  Suitable for babies and even the most sensitive of skin.

Palm Oil

Made from the pulp of the fruit from the palm tree. When used in a combination with other oils, it makes a very hard bar of soap. It is very mild and cleans well, but does not offer much in the way of skin conditioning.

Palm Kernel Oil

Made from the kernels of the palm tree. Like coconut, palm kernel lathers well in almost any type of water. It lends to a very white, wonderfully lathering, hard bar of soap. If you use too much, it can be drying to the skin, but does offer moisturizing properties if used correctly. Average usage is 10 - 30% of your total base oils.

Shea Butter

Also known as the African karite butter. It is expressed from the pits of the fruit of the African butter tree which grows in Central Africa. Fabulous for superfatting soaps to add moisture and nourish the skin. I LOVE shea butter! It's great stuff and if you haven't tried it, you must. High in unsaponifiables, therefore leaving lots of skin conditioning emollients in your soap.

Sunflower Oil

Rich in vitamin E, provides skin conditioning for dry skin.

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