Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Soaping Ingredient Choices

Let's talk about ingredient choices in my soap.
If you are a soaper you probably already heard about palm oil and what's being happening to the poor Orangoutang.  For none soapers, palm oil producers which mainly located in Southeast Asian countries have been destroying Orangoutang's habitats (and killing them) to plant more palm trees.  There has been a big movement of anti-palm oil in the soaping industry or at least moving over to using sustainable source which charges an arm and a leg.
Now, here's my personal feeling about this whole thing, please don't attach me if this does not suit your taste.

I believe in using everything in moderation, who's there to say if we switch to none palm there's not going to be another environmental emergency because all of a sudden some other oil is in HIGH demand and something else is being destroyed?  I don't want to be a hypocrite, I eat meat, I use gasoline, have all fancy electronic toys, wear leather boots, fly airplane burning jet fuel.  The world is grey, not black and white, I'm just human.  Besides, the biggest threat to the environment is us the human anyway. We should boy cut ourselves really.  I'm not going to say poor Orangoutang I'm going to boy cut palm related products and turn around continuing eating my juicy steak and yummy fatty tuna sashimi.
For that said, I'm going to share my soaping ingredient choice philosophy with all my readers.  Unlike a lot of soapers I use a lot of different recipes or formulas for my soap.  All depends on what oil or butter I can get with reasonable prices.  For example, cherry kernel and jojoba used to be affordable 3 years ago, so I formulated to soap with these oil.  Then it got expensive maybe because of the demand or production difficulty, I moved on.  Then there was the hazelnut, peach kernel, then pistachio, macadamia nut and walnut.  Have you checked the prices for these oils lately?!  And now even olive oil price is hiking up!  When I finish soaping with the ingredients that are no longer feasible I move on to find something else and reformulate.  I guess I would classify myself as a "seasonal" soaper as soaping with seasonal ingredients.  I always maintain variety of soap recipes, some with palm some without, some vegan some not.  I am very flexible and adoptable.  I experiment on ingredients all the time.  There are thousands of trees in a forest why stick to one specific tree?


  1. I think you are a very thoughtful and reasonable person Emily. I know you are restless,so you will always looking for the next best thing. Thank you for being so candid and sharing your thoughts about this controversial topic.

    1. I really do agree with you on this one. It is so hard to be in business and trying to do the right thing all the time. Palm Oil is a great oil for making soap; simple as that - and the people who are producing the palm oil also need to make a living - simple as that. I honestly love animals of all descriptions, and the Orangutans being killed to take down their habitat is just not right; however, lots of things in this world are just not right. There are so many human beings on our planet today, that food production will soon be a huge issue and there will not be enough land to produce what we need; are we campaigning about that? It is such an emotive issue whether to use palm oil or not. I have lately decided not to use palm oil, and have run out of my last supply, so will not be buying any more. And you are correct, Emily, if I don't buy palm oil, I will need to buy more of another product to compensate. With prices increasing all the time, I am not putting as many oils in my soaps as I once used to. Is my product any less better? I don't believe so. I think it is all a matter of choice and what you need to do to provide a good product for your customers. I am not a vegetarian, vegan, or anything like that, so using tallow or lard is not out of the question for me in making soap; however, I choose not to use these products on a regular basis, but that is just my own personal preference. Thank you for writing this article, Emily :) Linda

  2. Yeah... I totally agree with you. Everything have both side.
    Thank you for our sharing.

  3. I appreciate your perspective. I bought a two pound jar of palm kernel oil before I knew anything about the orangutan controversy and I do like it, but like you Emily, I experiment with so many different oils. I've been pondering whether to buy more.

  4. I totally agree all things in moderation. Striving to ease away from palm oil as it is the #1 cooking oil in the world. With all the science at our disposal it is still possible to make pure soap with a variety of materials and still offer a superior product. Beef tallow for one or deer or sheep tallow should be a by product that is used in our industry oils that are readily available and reasonable. Some vegan some not something for everyone.

    Emily your experimentation and documentation is exceptional. Thank you for sharing!

  5. The way I have dealt with this issue is to educate myself. The palm I buy comes from a sustainable certified source. The WOMEN that planted these trees and that harvest this oil have a process of planting replacement trees so they stay in business. Much like an apple orchard. Most of the world's palm (96%) does not come from an area that has an issue with orangutangs and I only buy from those that do not. This is much like the "butter kills you, eggs kills you, ....oh wait real butter is fine, eggs are good protein ..blah blah" There is a palm oil council that can give better information then I have given here but fear not...just like the dang jojoba was never in danger!! I am from Arizona and I could walk outside and see it every where when the prices shot up. It is all fear based price gouging as far as I am concerned.

  6. First - if I haven't already told you this - I LOVE your soaps! So beautiful, I am always in awe when I see what you have made! And secondly, I read this and I agree. You speak truth, not what everyone wants to hear, but still....if it's not one thing, it's another ya know? We all do what we feel is right for us and our business - it is what it is, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.