Palm Free Olive and Babassu Soap Recipe
This palm free olive and babassu soap recipe is easy enough for beginners and requires only three soapmaking oils! Formulated to be low cleansing and extra conditioning, this olive and babassu soap recipe is perfect for winter or year round for anyone who suffers from dry skin. Plus, it’s simple enough that even beginning soapmakers can give this homemade soap recipe a whirl!
My boyfriend, James, recently wanted me to teach him to make soap. Let me begin by saying, I’m kind of a crappy teacher. The whole “instructing” thing makes me nervous which in turn makes me impatient and, as such, I come off a wee bit snippy. This is one of the primary reasons I “teach” via my blog. My friends, however, understand my quirks so it’s different with them. However, we are also kind of bad in that we let the wine flow freely while we’re crafting. So, well, um. That’s why I’m always smiling in those photos that may or may not be on instagram. Ha ha.
James is wonderful, and super crazy smart, so I was able to rush through all of the explanations on the chemistry of this soap and not feel like a jerk. When we got to the part where he asked when he could actually USE the soap, however, is where things fell apart. He was rather miffed he had to wait four weeks. I told him that in the meantime he could just make me cookies. Luckily he stays super busy like me. Otherwise I’d have a constant soapmaking companion encouraging me to rush unmolding my soap loaves.
Anyhow, if you’ve never ever made cold process soap before, then you should first check out my tutorial on how to make cold process soap from scratch. You may even want to watch a few YouTube videos to give you a feel for the process, but it’s not necessary. Once you’re ready, here’s the recipe!
Palm Free Olive and Babassu Soap Recipe
2.4 oz. babassu oil
12.8 oz. olive oil
.8 oz. castor oil
4.8 oz. distilled water
2.1 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide
1 teaspoon (60% solution) sodium lactate
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8th teaspoon ultramarine blue pigment powder, optional
1 oz. Sea Salt & Driftwood fragrance oil, optional
For starters, or rather, here are some changes I would make a second time around… If you don’t let this soap recipe gel, it’s going to be soft for a bit and will take several days to unmold. I’d definitely either increase the sodium lactate to 1 Tablespoon and/or reduce the water as percent of the oil weight to 28%.
In addition, I have noted on the screenshot I took of my olive and babassu soap recipe (on SoapCalc) to use 1/4 teaspoon of pigment powder. I ended up using less as reflected in my recipe above. This gave my soap a nice baby blue color that I felt went will with the fragrance oil I chose.
The Sea Salt & Driftwood fragrance oil is a nice scent. James and I feel like it’s pretty unisex and it didn’t make me sneeze.
However, both the fragrance and the pigment powder are optional. The sugar is to help boost the bubbles a bit but you can omit it if you like.
You shouldn’t have any surprises with my olive and babassu soap recipe as indicated or with this specific fragrance oil even if you’re a beginner.
And then there’s the coarse sea salt on top…
As my fragrance oil and color theme was kind of ocean-y, I figured I’d decorate the top with sea salt. I’ve done this many times in the past with cold process loaf soaps. For example, my natural black clay and sea salt soap recipe (pictured above.) However, it didn’t work so well for the type of mold I used this time and I had to get creative in the end. So you can either, a) omit the coarse sea salt on top for smooth, even bars or b) take your soap to art class. (I’ll tell you what I did to mine further down.)
I used this Ozera 6-Cavity Silicone Soap Mold for my olive and babassu soap recipe.
Taking all safety precautions you’ll follow your basic cold process soapmaking method to create my olive and babassu soap recipe.
Begin by measuring out the distilled water into a heat safe container.
Then, using a digital scale, weigh out the amount of lye needed.
Stir until the lye has dissolved completely, then set aside to cool.
Next, use your digital scale to weigh out the babassu, castor and olive oils. Heat in a non-aluminum pot over medium to medium-low heat on the stove until your ingredients have melted completely.
Once your ingredients have melted, remove from heat and set aside.
Allow the lye-water and your soapmaking oils to cool to between 90°F-100°F.
Once your ingredients have cooled, use a measuring spoon to measure out the sodium lactate as well as the sugar then stir into your lye water.
If you are using a pigment powder to color your soap, measure out the pigment and stir into the melted oils with a stick blender.
Now pour the lye-water into the soapmaking oils and mix until you reach a light trace. Add your fragrance oil at this point if you have chosen to scent your soap and mix again.
Once your soap traces again, pour the soap batter into all six of the rectangle cavities of your silicone soap mold. (If you think you’ll need to move your soap, be sure to place the mold on a cutting board before you pour your soap for easy transfer.)
Set your soap aside to complete the saponification process. You can check the soap 24-48 hours later to see if it’s ready to be unmolded. If it’s not, simply wait another day or two. There’s no rush. I mean, because James will tell you, you have to wait FOUR WEEKS too use it anyway and apparently that’s just INSANE. Ha!
Once you’ve unmolded your soaps, set them aside in a cool, dry location to finish curing four to six weeks.
Now, if you did a crazy experiment on the tops of your soap bars, it’s highly likely it can be fixed. My coarse salt on the tops of my bars kept falling off. And if I took the salt, off the soap just looked bizarre. So I improvised.
I simply sprinkled fine cosmetic glitter on top of my soap bars where the salt was. I then scented and tinted clear natural melt and pour soap base and drizzled over the tops of my bars, covering the salt. Not only does the salt now dissolve as you use the soap, but it kind of looks neat. Plus there’s no right or wrong way to do it. After all, they are YOUR art bars!
Plus I screwed up way less on this soaping gaffe than I did when I made my tea tree and sea mud soap recipe. You won’t believe how horrendous this soap looked before the fix. (You can check out the before and after transformation here.)
If you liked my palm free olive and babassu soap recipe then be sure to check out my other cold process soap recipes here. In addition you can also find more of my homemade soap recipes on my Simply Soapmaking Pinterest board as well my DIY Bath and Body Pinterest board.
Not ready to make my olive and babassu soap recipe? Try a homemade babassu soap sample set from Elegant Rose Boutique on Etsy! Her babassu soaps are made using only babassu, castor, apricot kernel and jojoba oils. As they don’t contain any coconut, palm or olive oil, they are great for those with sensitivities. For more of my favorites on Etsy, check out my Etsy collections here.
Also be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a new soapmaking book by Jan Berry in August! Jan, a fellow blogger, is the author of The Nerdy Farm Wife blog, as well as the book, 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home. Her new book, Simple Natural Soapmaking, will be released August 8th, and is available for pre-order now.
Sample recipes include Blue Agave Soap, Wild Rosehips Soap, Double Mint Sage Soap and Dead Sea Mud Spa Bar. The recipes are in tune with today’s trends―such as vegan options, shampoo and shaving bars, seasonal soaps such as Pumpkin Spice Soap and soaps highlighting popular ingredients such as goat’s milk and sea salt―while still retaining a rustic, old-fashioned feel.
And don’t forget to find and follow me on G+, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Blog Lovin’, and Instagram. You can sign up to receive new posts to your email via FeedBurner so you never miss a post.
January 24, 2017 at 8:06 pm
I had a blast making my first soap!
Rebecca D. Dillon
January 24, 2017 at 8:36 pm
Hooray! I’m so glad you did!
January 5, 2018 at 3:07 am
just discovered babassu as a substitute for coconut oil.
I made my usual recipe up (loaf) using babassu oil but found it didn’t come out of the silicone mould as it usually does making my usual soap. (Olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter) so have searched for a babassu soap recipe and found you recipe which sounds lovely. I see that you add sodium lactate which I have read in other blogs can prevent the sticking. Is this what you would recommend, you do have it as part of this recipe anyway, not something that I have ready on hand but should be able to locate without any problem. Is this why it is in your recipe and do you know if it is the babassu oil which is causing this. I will definately be giving this a try although I will try it preferably in a loaf adjusting the quantities to fill the loaf mould. do you think that would be ok or do you recommend the cavity moulds for this recipe. I also note that you left it longer than the 24 hours that I do for the loaf soap as well.
Rebecca D. Dillon
January 5, 2018 at 11:02 am
Olive oil makes a much softer soap regardless of the babassu oil. When making a soap with primarily olive, I always recommend doing a water discount of around 30% and optionally also adding sodium lactate. Additionally, when you use a silicone mold, the soap tends to not firm up as quickly as say a wooden loaf mold. I’d wait a few extra days to unmold or freeze the mold briefly before removing your soap. Hope this helps.
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