QUESTION: What does Coconut Oil have in common with Palm Kernel Oil when making soap?
Both will equally dry your skin out if using too high of a percentage. Both are commonly used as base soap oils. If used correctly, both make great lather and leave the skin feeling smooth and soft.
Most any formula will suggest limiting Coconut Oil to about 30% of the total fats and oils. In reading a wonderful soap book I have had for years, I learned that fatty-acid chains containing fewer carbon atoms than 12 are more acidic than fatty acid chains with more carbon atoms. The higher the acidic acids, the better it cleans which is great...but when overused, it becomes drying to the skin.
This is because fatty acids with 12 carbons or less remove more of our skin’s natural oils. The surface of your skin has an acid mantel layer of oil that acts as a protective barrier to anything trying to get “in”.
Palm Kernel Oils as well as Coconut oils closely match the skin’s oil. Used in the right proportion and mixed with other less acidic oils, your skin is left clean, smooth and soft. However, oils with 12 carbon atoms or less, used in excess, remove your skin’s protective barrier, protons are released and your skin is left dry and red.
It is important to use other less acidic oils with your coconut and/or palm kernel oils and keep your ratios to the right proportion. Olive oil is one good choice. There are many others to choose from also.
If you have a question or a bit of knowledge you would like to share, let us hear from you.