Make Natural Soap Using Oils and Fats

We hear about lye and essential oils as handmade soap supplies, but we sometimes forget that we needs other oils and fats too to bind the lye to the other ingredients. These oils and fats come from natural plant and animal sources. There is a perfect blend of oils and plants – something that will make your own soap more perfect.

These oils allow you to be creative to find your perfect blend. Here are some oils and fats which are usually used for soap making:

Avocado oil

This is rich in vitamins A, D and E, has a mild cleansing property, and adds creaminess to the lather of the soap. Still, if you use this oil alone, your soap will be soft and though creamy will have a poor lather. This oil is good for soapmaking because the vitamins will not combine with the lye, so it will be intact in the final product. This is sometimes difficult to locate, and there is no known limited amount that you can put in your soap.

Coconut oil

This is extracted from the meat of the coconut, and aside from it being used in Asian dishes; it makes a big lather when included in soap. Coconut oil adds hardness to the texture of your soap bar. Take note however, that while small amounts of the oil makes the soap a great moisturizer, too much of it will cause your skin to dry too much, so great care is necessary in its use in the soap mix.

Olive oil

This is added for rich, creamy (but not much bubbles) lather and is known for its high moisturizing and mild cleansing properties. The best thing about this is, you can use even the lowest grade of olive oil – which is actually better because you can achieve trace faster than extra virgin or virgin olive oil. Like avocado oil, if you use this alone, you will definitely produce a soft soap with a very slimy lather. Best that you combine with one other oil (like coconut oil) for soap hardness.

Sweet Almond Oil

Mild cleansing, creamy and silky feel to the lather – just some of the properties of sweet almond oil that comes out through soap. This is also great for sensitive skin. It is not recommended to use it in large amounts because no matter how much you use, you’ll still get the same benefits should you use even just a tablespoon of it. It’s also somewhat expensive so it’s impractical to use a lot of this.


This, coming from rendered beef fat, has been blamed for pore clogging and other skin conditions because some low-quality commercial soaps are made by this. Unfortunately, what most people don’t know is that the harmful dyes and chemicals put in the soap would be the culprit of these unfortunate allergies, not the tallow. If you plan to make soap from tallow, it’s best that you combine it with other soap making oils to improve its mild, cleansing properties. You may store this in a refrigerator before using.

Shea butter

This is usually associated with lotions and other moisturizing creams. Mild cleansing properties, a creamy (but not too bubbly) lather, and soothing properties are just some of the reasons why soapmakers love to use this ingredient. It is also said to reduce wrinkles, soothe burns and heal acne.


These and a lot of other oils and fats can be used to make soap. Experiment. Be creative. And enjoy your time with your soaps.