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.

Recipe: 

36% Olive oil
32% Rapeseed oil
21% Coconut oil
11% Mango seed butter

7% superfat

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!

6 comments:

  1. This is interesting. I have always had this thing about rapeseed oil. I've not wanted to use it my soap, since I don't want to eat it. But you have given me very good arguments to change my mind and give it a try. Where do you get your mango butter from (if it's not a secret, which would be fine)? I am always looking for good suppliers for Europe.

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  2. I usually use rapeseed (canola)oil in my soaps, anywhere between 10-20%. It's inexpensive and really makes a nice soap with a silky feel. I have abandoned sunflower oil for the reasons you had abandoned rapeseed. It's true that rapeseed oil makes for a lovely lather as well.

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  3. Ambra: I get mango butter and most of other oils as well from The Soap Kitchen and occasionally from Gracefruit.

    Cocobong: I have abandoned sunflower oil as well for the same reason!

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  4. I get allergry very easily, so this soap is ok for my skin?

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  5. I've tried just about every oil available and - in my opinion - tallow makes THE best, most well-balanced bar of soap. I render my own fat, which I get from a local butcher. He's happy to give it to me, because otherwise it would go to waste. Tallow has been given a bad rap, unfairly. It's not bad for your skin as many people believe. The unfounded claims that it irritates your skin stem from back when households made their own soap and the chemistry was not precise, often times resulting in lye heavy soap. This is what irritated the skin, not the tallow. Around this time vegetable oil soaps started being made by companies with greater knowledge of chemistry than your grandma. This is the only reason vegetable oils are considered superior. It has nothing to do with the oil and everything to do with the chemistry. My family and friends have been using my tallow soap exclusively for ages now, and our skin is more beautiful and healthy than it's ever been!

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  6. Felicia: I think that allergens are very complicated thing and different for each individual. However, there are some oils that are more likely to cause allergies. For example shea butter is known to cross react with latex and nut allergies. Therefore, I was not very surprised when I got allergic reaction. This recipe contains oils that are less likely to cause allergies.

    Shea Butter: This is interesting. I had never heard before that there have been claims that tallow causes skin irritation. I believe most soapers know that tallow is not inferior as a soaping oil. Still some of us (like me) choose to use only vegetable oils for different reasons. Personally I do not use any animal derived ingredients. I used earlier beeswax but have substituted that with other vegetable waxes.

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