When it comes to making a good bar of soap there are five qualities that most soap makers formulate their soap recipe for: Bubbly, Cleansing, Hardness, Conditioning and Creamy.
Bubbly – this gives the soaps ability to lather
Cleansing – the ability of the soap to trap the dirt on the skin and wash it away
Hardness – the firmness of the soap bar
Conditioning – the amount of moisture that is left on the skin
Creamy – this measures the stability and creaminess of the soap lather
In most, not all, soap recipes that you find online you will see three soap making oils over and over again: olive oil, palm oil and coconut oil. I live to call them the staple soap making oils. There is a reason that these three were chosen in many soap recipes and still today are the core soap making oils.
Olive oil provided the conditioning quality of the soap. It’s what made the soap not drying but moisturizing. Coconut oil is used to give the soap its hardness after saponification, the cleansing quality we all want our soap to do in the first place and it also lends in the providing the bubble factor of the soap. Lastly, palm oil also helped with hardness of the soap bar but it also gave the lather it’s creaminess.
With just these three soap making oils you can formulate a balanced bar of soap. Now, that would make for a boring bar of soap especially with all the wonderful oils out there to add which can make each formulation unique.