Tuesday, December 14, 2010
RAPESEED OIL IN SOAPMAKING
A few days ago I found from my stash this soap that I had made some months ago. It is a soap in which I had just dumped all the remaining oils I had that time so I did not expect very much of it. However, I was extremely amazed how good the soap was! So lovely for my winter dry skin. The thing different from my regular soap recipe was that this one had rapeseed oil in it. I had abandoned rapeseed oil earlier since it has been said to be prone to spoilage because of the high amount of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. That has never happened to me, but I just wanted to be on the safe side.
After trying this soap I started to look more closely into the issue and found out that there are so many good things regarding rapeseed oil that I am now considering taking it back as one of my soaping oils.
Firstly, rapeseed is one of the rare plants that is grown in Finland for vegetable oil production and thus one of the rare oils that I am able to source locally. It is also very beneficial in crop rotation where it improves soil and effectively prevents plant diseases. In addition, usually in the oil production, the crop is pressed once a year and the oil is stored as ready-made until the next harvest. On the contrary, rapeseed oil is pressed from the seeds year round, so it is always available freshly pressed. The vitamin E content of the Finnish rapeseed oil is relatively high (19 mg/100 g*). The coldpressed rapeseed oil would be the best choice since it is pressed from the seeds and then mechanically filtered many times before packing. The regular rapeseed oil is purified using chemicals and heating the oils which causes oxidization.
In soap, rapeseed oil is extremely moisturizing and contributes to creamy lather. It is slow to trace so it's a blessing when doing swirls, layers or other complicated patterns. And I just love the shiny and smooth texture it gives to a soap.
36% Olive oil
32% Rapeseed oil
21% Coconut oil
11% Mango seed butter
Scented with essential oils of bergamot, geranium, mandarin and lavender.
PS. You might have noticed that I am not using Shea Butter any more. My new favorite is Mango Butter instead. The reason is that I have become allergic to Shea Butter. Even a small amount of it in soap gives me a horrendous itch!