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Oat Milk Soap (palm free!)

oatmeal oatmilk palm free soap soap recipe

This is part 2 of the great oat caper! I've always wanted to partake in a caper, this may be the closest I get so let's just roll with it. To read about part one in which I made home made oat milk for this project click here

Recently I formulated twelve, yes, TWELVE new recipes and will be working through them all and writing (and possibly making videos if I remember) of the adventures. I am also going to be working with additives that I typically do not work with, it's a sort of learning and growing experiment that I am taking you all on. Today we will be using a palm free recipe that also contains shea butter. When I make test batches I make them at 1-lb each, large enough to have 4 nice sized bars to test out but not so large that I am wasting ingredients if a batch doesn't work out.

Let's look at our oil profiles:

I choose olive, grapeseed, coconut, shea butter and castor oils. 

Olive oil has a pH of 5.5 which is the same as the sebum on our skin so it's quite complementary and found in many soaps and skin care products. It is medium in weight, mild and conditioning. It does not make great bubbles and can make a soap feel slimy in high amounts.  It can also slow down trace and take longer to cure in high amounts. It can product a surprisingly hard bar of soap for being a liquid oil. This is the oil used to make a true castile soap.

Grapeseed oil offers medium lather and mild cleansing. I have read accounts that this oil is prone to a short shelf life and may cause early rancidity and possibly DOS in your finished product. I have read other accounts that it has a normal shelf life too so I am still forming an opinion on this myself. Personally I have not had grapeseed oil become rancid or ruin any products so I decided to use it in this recipe. It's always a good idea to ensure you are purchasing your oils from a reputable source. If you are purchasing from a grocery store make sure it's a store that is busy enough to be able to turn over their products at a regular rate, this will help to ensure as fresh an oil as possible.

Coconut oil creates a hard bubbly bar of soap. In high amounts (above 30%) it can create a drying bar of soap. To accomodate for a high % of coconut oil you would need to increase your superfat. For today though we are using a lower amount so it should not be an issue.

Shea butter is mild and produces a creamy stable lather, it will also contribute to a long lasting bar of soap.

Castor oil this is a special oil that has earned an interesting story in history, click here to read about how it was used as a form of punishment. It is the only oil to contribute ricinoleic fatty acid. It acts as a humectant and contributes to bubbles in soap.

I typically also add sodium lactate to my batches but for this project I am going to skip it so I can see how this recipe acts without it. I am curious to see if a palm free recipe will be as hard as I typically like.

Remember the oat "bits" from yesterdays milk making session? Well I saved them and added some at 1Tbsp PPO. So essentially since this was a 1 pound batch I added 1 tablespoon at light trace.

Below is the recipe listed by percentage. Please run through a soap calculator to get the size you need based on your chosen mold. I like this calculator if you need a recommendation:


Super Fat: 5%

Water Content (oat milk in this instance): 35%

Fragrance oil: 0.5 oz PPO

45% Olive oil

12% Grapeseed oil

20% Coconut oil

17% Shea butter

6% Castor oil

Notes: Since we are using a thick liquid that has solids which will account for part of its weight I chose to keep the water content on the high side. I also wanted to know if any of that mild, sweet oat scent will come through so I am doing my fragrance at half the amount I typically would do. Also, I am using oatmeal, milk and honey fragrance from Brambleberry, it's such a nice soft and sweet scent, very pleasant and plays very well in soap. You can find that fragrance here if you are interested.

Oatmilk soap in it's moldPost soaping notes: So I made the soap and unmolded, cut and cured it and am now coming back to add my batch notes. Overall I am very happy with the hardness this palm free recipe was able to provide and will definitely make it again. This soap performs great too, it is bubbly and long lasting, smells great and has some light exfoliating due to the oat bits I added.

Some things I will do differently are to cut the amount of oat milk to about 50% and dissolve my lye in 50% distilled water before adding the oatmilk. Another way to handle this is to increase the water amount using to make the oatmilk. They reason I just cut the amount and also use water is because I like to SEE that my NaOH is completely dissolved and with an opaque liquid I can't tell. It's a matter of preference really. I might also add the oat milk to my oils instead of the lye water so the lye water will not burn off the sugars. There are a couple of different options on how to work with this recipe. I was otherwise very pleased with the recipe and really happy that I did the fragrance at half the normal rate too, it was just such a soft, sweet and subtle hint. Perfect for this batch.  

If you try this recipe or do a version of it let me know, I'd love to hear how it went and what changes you tried to make it your own.

Happy Soaping until next time.

~Your Soapsmith

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