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sweet almond vs avocado


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Which one is better in soap? I have sweet almond but I don't have avocado. I was thinking that I would swap out the avocado for almond and run it threw the lye calculator.

Anyone have any advice on why I should or shouldn't?

Edited by Lorrie
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Neither one is really better. What's important is the recipe. With a good recipe, I wouldn't waste money on either one. Some cheaper oleic oil works just as well.

I agree. I have a great recipe that consists of only Coconut, Olive, Palm, Soybean and stearic, sometimes for a little extra silkyness, I add some shea butter. But I dont waste my money throwing expensive oils into a bar soap recipe.

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When it's said that expensive oils aren't worth it, I believe some people take that to mean that the cost outweighs the benefit. To be clear about it, what my experience tells me is that any benefit attributed to luxury oils is purely an illusion.

There's no such thing as avocado-oiliness or almond-oiliness in handcrafted soap. Once you mix those oils into your recipe, they are gone. They don't contain anything that will affect your soap apart from maybe the color. There are no qualities added to the soap that are particular to those oils.

Any good soap made with luxury oils can be matched by a soap made with ordinary oils, if the recipe is equivalent. So if you use a soap that's good, it's good because of the recipe. If you add a luxury oil and the soap comes out better, that's only because you changed the recipe, not because that one oil contributed something unique.

My favorite recipe happens to produce what I think is one of the best CP soaps. I once saw a thread where people were going apeshit over a recipe that was apparently really, really good. I plugged it into my design spreadsheets it happened to have almost the same fatty acid profile as my soap, but was made with a different set of oils. Different oils, but similarly excellent soap because the balance was the same.

Nothing makes a bigger difference in recipe design than balance, so trying to invent good soap through oil selection is barking up the wrong tree. The effect of balance on soap qualities is huge and easy to detect. Just a small change and the soap will be obviously different. In comparison to that, the effect of specific oils in the soap is impossible to detect.

The importance of choosing oils is to create a "pantry" that provides for ease and flexibility in controlling the fatty acid profile of your recipes. The best strategy is to make them all economical. Beyond that, inventing the best soap is all in how you combine them.

Luxury oils can lend themselves to "label appeal" if you mention them, but in cold process soaping it's essentially dishonest, if we want to be realistic about it. If you make CP soap with almond oil, I don't care what percentage lye discount you use, there's nothing resembling almond oil in the finished product.

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I can't attest to the scientific wherewithals of balanced oils but my skin tells me what it likes. It doesn't like certain oils that make it feel oily or dry but it does seem to like almond and avocado for some reason. I usually add these small amounts of oil into the batter just before pouring up into the mold and the soap "appears" to make my skin happy. Listing an oil on the bar is all that is required. Some customers swear my goatsmilk and others by other ingredients but probably it has to do with how that oil interacts with skin type (just guessing). Its not expensive to add an ounce to the final mix and it appeals to the mad scientist in me (I suppose). I could get by on the basics but that's boring and its much more fun to calc a recipe and see what results I can get. Right now I'm totally in love with beef tallow....its all relative.

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Right now I'm totally in love with beef tallow....its all relative.

The nice thing about beef tallow is that it's practically the best balanced single oil you can get. While using it at 100% doesn't produce the ultimate soap possible, there's probably no better oil you could use all alone. More significantly, it makes a good basis for various nice recipes because all you really have to do is adjust it. Essentially just soften it and add some bubbles.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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I agree with everything Top has said. However, I make vegan soap and I love avocado. I know the balance of oils and their properties are what create a good bar of soap. For what ever the reasons are 10% Avocado works best for me. I've tested pure avocado oil directly on my skin and hair and I really like the way it feels. I notice a difference in the soap I make with and without the avocado. I can't use almond oil on my face. I have acne prone skin and it causes brake outs for me.

Edited by PurpleHippie
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