All oils and fats are complex compounds called triglycerides. All oils and fats are a mixture of triglycerides with a different fatty acid attached. To further explain ‑ an oil molecule is formed from one glycerin molecule and three fatty acid molecules. All fatty acid molecules are lipophinic and hydrophilic. Lipophilic means that it has a great affinity for oil. Hydrophilic means that it has a great affinity for water.
The glycerin component of an oil or fat is an alcohol with three locations on its molecule where the hydrophilic molecule of the fatty acids attaches. The best oils contain essential fatty acids because these cannot be synthesized in the human body. The most important are linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids. It is why you so often hear so much talk about essential fatty acids in toiletries.
Oils are acquired through processing by distinct and various methods. The information below will help you better understand oils and their methods of extraction.
Cold Pressed ‑ A method of mechanical extraction where heat is reduced and minimized throughout the batching of the raw material. This helps the oil maintain its original state, constituents, and depth. Temperatures are rigorously controlled to ensure that it does not exceed 80‑90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although not a practical method of extraction for all vegetable oils on the market it is highly regarded as the extraction method of choice.
Expeller Pressed ‑ A method of natural, mechanical extraction and processing of oils where a small amount of heat is produced simply through the frictional heat created by hydraulic presses. This is usually around 120‑200 degrees Fahrenheit and makes the oil suitable and economical as a base for cosmetics because of its fairly undisturbed molecular state. It also makes a fine food grade oil.
Refined ‑ A fully processed oil where it has been exposed to high temperatures as high as 450 degrees Fahrenheit, winterization as low as ‑10 degrees, deodorization (the removal of content which gives an oil its natural scent), and other forms of refinement that will alter its color, depth, and scent. This makes for an economical oil in cosmetics and body care products but it is not the healthiest as a food grade oil.
Caveat emptor: Refined oils may also be extracted with the use of solvents, extracting mediums or other chemicals.
Unrefined ‑ A process of mechanical extraction and screen filtering where no additional refining process has taken place. This ensures the finest quality product and makes the oil the most exquisite for food and cosmetic preparation. The unrefined process helps oil retain a rich, strong flavor and color that is true to its natural state. Unrefined oils are always darker in color and richer in scent.
Solvent Extracted ‑ Unfortunately many of the oils offered on the market today, including commercial store varieties are extracted with the use of solvents. This method of extraction often involves high yields at a low cost, but the chemicals used as the extracting agent have severe environmental impacts and endanger the health and vitality of the final product.
Please See the Essential Oils Properties Page for Details on EO´s
Although INCI is listed below, there is a much more extensive list on our INCI page
Aloe Vera Butter (Cocos Nucifera Oil / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract) Aloe butter is typically an extract of aloe vera, aloe vera gel, in a coconut fatty fraction. It is solid at room temperature, but melts on the skin. Can be used for cutaneous dryness, to moisturize after sun exposure. Suitable for a variety of skin care applications for lotions, soaps, skin creams and lip balms to enhance moisturization and to gain the properties of Aloe. Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3‑5% Balms: 5‑100% Bar Soaps: 3‑6% Conditioners: 2‑5%
Almond Oil, Sweet (Prunus amygdalus) Sweet almond oil is pressed from almond kernels. The almond tree is cultivated in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean countries and California. It consist mainly of oleic acid (69%), essential unsaturated fatty acids (25%), sterolins (.5 to 1%) and vitamin E (about 10 IU per ounce. A light nearly odorless oil. Sweet almond oil is said to have great nutritional value for all skin types. Has a similar make up to baby’s sebum, the oil naturally produced by the skin to protect it and is easily absorbed. Contains glucosides, minerals, and vitamins and is rich in protein. Sweet almond oil has very little natural smell and can be used as a perfume base. It was highly valued by the Egyptians for cosmetic purposes.
Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca) Apricot kernel oil comes from the large pits of apricots that yield up to 45% oil. The apricot tree is cultivated throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Apricot kernel oil has 30% unsaturated essential fatty acid content. The oil is similar in weight to human sebum. Extremely nourishing to the skin and excellent around the eyes and neck. Apricot kernel oil is an emollient. According to the AMA´s committee on Cutaneous Health does help make the skin feel softer and smoother, it also reduce roughness, cracking and irritation. And may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging.
Avocado Butter (Persea Gratissima) ‑ Ultra Refined Avocado butter is obtained from the fruit of the avocado tree (Persea Gratissima) which grows in sub‑tropical regions of the world. The butter is created from the avocado fruit oil through a unique hydrogenation process, which yields a soft, greenish butter. It has a mild odor and excellent melting properties, which is suitable for skin care. May be used in all types of soap and toiletries to improved moisturization and soften rough, dry skin. Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3‑5% Balms: 5‑100% Bar Soaps: 3‑6% Conditioners: 2‑5%
Avocado Oil (Persea americana) Avocado oil is made from the pulp of the avocado fruit. It is a rich, heavy but penetrating oil that is full of nutritive and therapeutic components. Avocado oil contains more than 20 % essential unsaturated fatty acids. It contains vitamins A, C, D and E, proteins, beta‑carotene, lecithin, fatty acids and the "youth mineral" potassium. Avocado oil is high in unsaponifiables (sterolins) which are reputed to be beneficial in reducing age spots, healing scars and moisturizing the upper layers of the skin. Unsaponifiables are a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. The sterolins in avocado oil have been found to diminish age spots. Oils with the highest unsaponifiables are shea butter, avocado oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and olive oil.Studies have found that treatment with avocado oil significantly increases the water soluble collagen content in the dermis, which effects the age of the skin. Avocado is used in many folk medicines as an aphrodisiac. Avocado oil is an emollient and very stable. According to the AMA´s committee on Cutaneous Health it does help make the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce roughness, cracking and irritation. And, it may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging. Said to help protect the skin from ultraviolet rays.
Black Currant Seed Oil (Ribes nigrum) Obtained from the fruit of the Ribes nigrum, grown in Europe. High in fatty acids, especially in GLA. Said to help damaged skin and aid in the reconstruction of cell membranes.
Borage Oil (Borago officinalis) Obtained from the seed of Borago officinalis, which grows abundantly in the Mediterranean region, Central Europe and Asia. Has an extremely high gamma‑linolenic acid (GLA) content. GLA is vital for the synthesis of prostaglandin an important function in the body, especially the skin. Borage oil also has the highest known content of essential unsaturated fatty acids. These are great skin conditioners. They regulate the hydration of the skin and are humectants.
Castor Oil (Ricinus communis) Castor oil is extracted from the sees of the castor plant. Commonly used commercially in 50% of lipsticks in the United States. Creates a protective barrier on the skin and is soothing. Castor oil is part alcohol and part oil. It is mainly composed of ricinoleic acid (87%), a fatty acid with a unusual molecular structure. Also known as Palm Christi Oil.
Castor, Sulfated (Ricinus communis) Commonly known as "Turkey Red", sulfated castor oil is created by adding sulfuric acid to castor oil. The resulting oil is water‑soluble and it makes a wonderful bath oil and is used in hot tub blends.
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao) Cocoa butter is the solid fat expressed from the roasted seed of the cocoa seed AKA beans. The cocoa tree is cultivated in most tropical countries and is native to South America. It is highly protective and acts as a water repellant. It contains about 5 IU of vitamin E per ounce. Cocoa Butter softens and lubricates the skin. If it smells like chocolate to you that is because it is the by‑product from the manufacturing of cocoa and chocolate. The scent can be overwhelming in recipes but you can use deodorized cocoa butter, or the ultimate "unscented" is white deodorized. May be used in a variety of cosmetic, toiletry and pharmaceutical applications to reduce cutaneous dryness and improve skin flexibility. Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3‑5% Balms: 5‑100% Bar Soaps: 3‑6% Conditioners: 2‑5%
Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera) Coconut oil is expressed from coconut kernels. Most Coconut is solid at temperatures below 76 degrees. Also available in higher degree oils. This highly saturated fat contains twice the heavy fats as lard. Coconut oil is commonly used to promote lather in soaps and gel. Wonderfully emollient and has cooling properties. You should use 30% or less in soaping as it can be drying in higher amounts. Available in various degrees. See Monoi’ de’ Tahiti Oil also.
Cotton Seed Oil (Gossypium hirsutum, barbadense) Small trees that grow wild in the tropical regions of both hemispheres and grown commercially. The oil comes from the seed that is embedded in the cotton fiber. The oil contains about 20 IU of vitamin E per ounce and has a 39% essential unsaturated fatty acid content.
Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothers bennis) Evening primrose oil is taken from the seeds of the evening primrose. The name comes from the fact that its flowers blossom in the evening and wither in the day. Evening primrose oil has high gamma linoliec acid, which is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid that is converted into prostaglandins and hormones. Because evening primrose oil has an extremely high gamma linolenic acid (GLA) content it has been extensively researched. GLA is vital for the synthesis of prostaglandin an important function in the body, especially the skin. Linoliec acid is said to rejuvenated skin cells. Evening primrose is full of vitamins and minerals. It also repairs damaged skin, keeps skin healthy, helps repair sun damaged and mature skin. Evening primrose oil is an emollient. According to the AMA´s committee on Cutaneous Health does help make the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce roughness, cracking and irritation. And may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging.
Flax Seed Oil (Linum usitatissimum) Flaxseed oil is pressed from the seeds of the flax plant. It has a high concentration of omega‑3 essential fatty acids. It has a super polyunsaturated nature and is very unstable. It must be refrigerated. Commonly used for eczema, psoriasis, burns, inflammatory skin and other skin conditions.
Grapeseed Oil (Vitis vinifera) Grapeseed oil is made from the seeds of wine producing grapes. The lightest of oils and virtually odorless. Contains vitamins, minerals, high in polyunsaturates and protein. Grapeseed oil is wonderful used around the eyes and neck. Widely used in hypo‑allergenic natural products because it does not often cause allergic reactions in the highly allergic.
Hazelnut Oil (Corylus avellana) Hazelnut oil is extracted from hazelnuts. It penetrates the skin easily. It has some vitamin E content. Cold pressed hazelnut oil is a wonderful light, penetrating oil that is slightly astringent making it a good oil for acne prone skin. It is high in the essential fatty acids and is soothing and healing to dry irritated skin. Studies have shown that it can filter sunrays and is therefore commonly used in sun care products. A good oil for massage, hair care and cream/lotion formulas.
Hemp Seed Oil (Cannabis sativa) Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The Latin name translates to "useful hemp." and has nothing to do with marijuana per se, as there is no tetrahydrocannabinol in the final product of hemp oil. Hemp contains proteins and high quality fat. Hemp has a remarkable fatty acid profile. It is high in omega‑3 and a 1.7% gamma‑linolenic acid. It is 57% linoleic and 19% linoleic acids. Hemp is a wonderful oil for dry or mature skin since it is said to help stimulate cell growth. It has high levels of essential fatty acids, including linolenic acid. Natural hemp seed oil is dark green and has a nutty rich scent. Hemp seed oil is an emollient. According to the AMA´s committee on Cutaneous Health emollients help make the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce roughness, cracking and irritation. And may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging. Hemp seed has a lot of minerals and is good for the skin and hair.
Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis) Jojoba oil is cold pressed from the nuts of the jojoba tree. The jojoba tree is cultivated in California, Arizona, Mexico and Israel. Jojoba is pronounced Ho Ho Ba. Native Americans have been using jojoba for centuries. The first record of jojoba is from 1701. Father Junipero Serrra found that Native Americans were using Jojoba to treat sores, cuts, burns, as a conditioner and for all over skin and hair treatments. Jojoba is technically not an oil, but a liquid wax ester with a long unsaturated carbon chains.
Interesting story....Chemically it resembles sperm whale oil or spermaceti oil. It was a popular ingredient in creams. In the 1970s the United States banned all sperm whale products because they were contributing to the extinction of sperm whales. In 1977 domestic commercial jojoba oil cultivation began because it is the natural substitute for spermaceti, which in other cases has been replaced by synthetic products
Jojoba esters are composed of straight chain alcohols. The acid and the alcohol portions have 20 or 22 carbon atoms and one unsaturated bond. It resembles human sebum; the natural coating our body produces to protect the skin and keeps it supple. Jojoba is skin therapy; our skin loses sebum with age, sun, wind, cold, and the environment. IT Contains protein, minerals and a waxy substance that mimics collagen. Jojoba is perfect for any skin type it has a large molecular structure. Jojoba can help dry or oily skin. If your skin has an over production of sebum jojoba oil will dissolve clogged pores and restore the skin to its natural pH balance. The reason jojoba oil works so well it actually penetrates the skin because it is accepted as sebum.
Although jojoba oil is very expensive it does have a long shelf life; it will never break down or go rancid. Jojoba is expensive because it can take up to 1200 nuts to get one pound of jojoba oil, which have a 50% yield of oil. Because jojoba has very little scent it works as a wonderful natural perfume base. Jojoba is not greasy and absorbs right into the skin. There is scientific research proving that jojoba can increase skin softness by up to 37%, it reduces superficial lines and wrinkles up to 25% upon application and up to 11% after 8 hours. Jojoba oil is hypo‑allergenic and pure.
Kokum Butter, (Garcinia Indica) Kokum butter is obtained from the fruit of the Garcina indica tree grown in India. It has a triglyceride composition that is uniform and consist of up to 80% stearic‑oleic‑stearic (SOS) triglycerides. Kokum butter has excellent emollient properties and high oxidative stability, which assists emulsion integrity. It is a solid, stable hard butter, which melts on contact with skin. Prevents skin dryness and said to reduce the development of wrinkles. Reduces degeneration of skin cells and restores flexibility to the skin. It is ideal for lipsticks and balms; it‘s also a great addition to bar soaps and skin lotions. Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 1‑3% Balms: 5‑100% Bar Soaps: 2‑5% Conditioners: 1‑3%
Kukui Nut Oil (Aleurites moluccana) Pressed from the nut of the tropical kukui tree, which comes mainly from Hawaii, Tahiti and Malaysia. High in essential fatty acids. Wonderful for sensitive skin, mature, damaged, wrinkled skin. Said to aid in softening and restructuring the skin. High in linoleic and linolenic acids which are essential fatty acids vital for the metabolism of healthy skin. Vitamins A, C and E are added to stabilize the oil. Kukui nut oil is easily absorbed by the skin. A wonderful massage oil. It has been used by the Hawaiians for thousands of years for dry skin, psoriasis and acne.
LARD (Lard) Lard is the layer of fat located along the back and underneath the skin of the hog. Unlike tallow (beef fat), it does not need to be rendered but rather can be purchased at the grocery store. It makes a hard bar of soap. It´s white and odorless. SAP value is 194.6 Stability of Oil: 6 Months to 1 Year.
Macadamia Nut Oil (Macadamia integrifolia) Pressed from the macadamia nut, which is an evergreen tree grown mainly in Hawaii. Macadamia nut oil is similar to sebum, the oil naturally produced by human skin to protect it. Absorbs well into the skin, is highly emollient and soothing. Contains magnesium and thiamin.
Mango Butter (Mangifera Indica) Mango butter is solid and from the seed kernel of mango fruit. The Mango tree is a tropical evergreen tree from India and Malaysia. From its seed a firm "butter" is rendered, suitable for soaps, cosmetics, toiletries and pharmaceuticals. Mango butter exhibits excellent moisturizing for lotions and good lubricity on skin. It melts at skin temperatures making it ideal for sticks and balms. It also counters the drying effects of bar soaps and cleansers. Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3‑5% Balms: 5‑100% Bar Soaps: 3‑6% Conditioners: 2‑5%
Mowrah Butter (Madhucca latifolia) Obtained from the fruit seed kernels of the Madhuca latifolia tree, which grows in India. In India mowrah butter has important commercial value as both a food and cosmetic. Solid at room temperature, but melts with skin contact. Prevents skin dryness and said to reduce the development of wrinkles. Reduces degeneration of skin cells and restores flexibility to the skin.
Neem Oil (Azadriachta indica) Used widely in India as an antibacterial, antiviral. antifungal, antiseptic, antiparasitic agent in toiletries, soap, toothpaste and skin/hair care products. It is used to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, syphilitic sores, chicken pox etc. It can be used to get rid of lice and control dandruff. In toothpaste in helps relieve swollen and bleeding gums and kills the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Neem powder can be used in a foot bath powder to kill fungus and bacteria. Mixed with clay, it makes a great facial for those with acne and other skin problems. Add to liquid soap base for an anti bacterial hand soap. Use in bug repellant lotion bars to keep the bugs away. Use in pet soaps to kill and repel fleas and to treat hot spots. Neem oil can be sprayed on plants to keep insects from devouring the leaves.
Olive Oil (Olea europaea) Olive oil is obtained by crushing and pressing the fruit of the olive tree. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean area, but can be grown in other tropical and warm areas, California being one. The olive tree is an evergreen. An important historic oil used extensively in ancient times. Highly nutritive and stable. Contains protein, minerals and vitamins. Superior penetrating power. It is a yellow or greenish. Has acidic and antioxidant values. Olive oil is high in unsaponifiables, which is a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. Oils with the highest unsaponifiables are shea butter, avocado oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and olive oil.
Being pressed from the fruit, the grades of the oil come from the order of the oil extracted through a number of pressings. Grade A with a light color is a good oil to use. All of the grades can be used in the making of soap, the higher the grade generally the longer the saponification time. Colors will vary among olive varieties and there are many varieties of the tree.
EXTRA VIRGIN: Comes from the first cold pressing of the fruit (no heat used) and refinement is not needed.
VIRGIN: The next cold‑pressed squeezing produces Virgin Olive Oil and yields a higher percentage of free fatty acids within the oil, thus requiring some refinement.
REFINED GRADE A: The oil which is extracted after the Virgin Oil.
REFINED GRADE B: One of the final extractions of the oil, a solvent is used (for example, hexane) to obtain the final oil from the fruit previously pressed for the other grade oils.
POMACE OIL: Another of the final extractions of the oil but in this case both the fruit and pomace, or pits, of the olive are used. This oil is higher in unsaponifiables and is often used in soapmaking. Work quickly after adding scents (FO´s and some EO´s) when using pomace oil.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Olive oil was likely cultivated by Semitic people circa 3500 BC in its native region of the eastern Mediterranean. It is among the oldest known cultivated trees. The spanish missionaries in 1560 brought the trees to Mexico and later the Franciscan missionaries, led by Father Junipero Serra, brought the trees to the the land which later became part of the state of California. In 1769 the plants were established at the Mission San Diego. 99% of the olives produced in the United States comes from California.
These trees grow from 25 to 60 feet in height and produce a fruit which is rendered palatable by special processing which includes the use of both salt brine and sodium hydroxide (lye). Both the ripe as well as the green olives are harvested as food and oil is pressed from the fruit as well. The wood of the olive tree is very hard with a fine grain.
In mythology, Zeus had promised to give Attica to the god or goddess who made the most useful invention. The Goddess Athena brought the olive to Greece as a gift and won out over the Poseidon´s horse, a powerful war instrument. The olive was used for more peaceful and useful means: light, heat, food, medicine, thus, the olive branch is a symbol of peace to this day.
Palm Oil (Elaesis guineesis) Palm oil is obtained from the fruit or seed of the palm tree. A rich source of Vitamin A. Palm 106 is a refined, food grade oil. Although it has little contribution to skin care and would not make a nice bar of soap by itself, it makes a nice hard bar when used in combination with other oils such as coconut and olive oil. It is less water‑soluble and resists "melting" as do many softer soaps. It saponifies easily and pulls other oils into saponification quicker. Too much in soap however will make a brittle bar.You should also take into consideration that there are a lot of people who are allergic to Palm oil.
Note: Palm Oil is not the same as Palm Kernel Oil. Just over 80% of the fatty acid content is divided almost equally between Oleic, which gives conditioning characteristics, and Palmitic which provides a hard bar of soap with a stable lather.Palm oil soaps clean well but a high percentage can cause drying, used in excess is brittle and, because of the high fatty acid content, the amount of glycerin in a soap made only with palm oil is low. Use palm oil to add conditioning and hardness but balance your soap with other oils chosen for specific benefits.
According to PORIM (Palm Oil research Institute of Malaysia), "Palm oil and palm oil products are naturally occurring sources of the antioxidant vitamin E constituents, tocopherols and tocotrienols. These natural antioxidants act as scavengers of damaging oxygen free radicals and are hypothesized to play a protective role in cellular aging..."
Palm Kernel (Elaeis guineensis) Taken from the palms of the African palm oil tree. Palm kernel oil is very similar to coconut oil in that it has a high percentage of lauric acid, which allows it to produce a hard soap that lathers well. It lends a smooth texture to soap.
Peanut Oil (Arachis hypogaea) Extracted from the nut of the Arachis hypogaea plant. Peanut oil is heavy scented, penetrates the skin well and is often used to increase a products nutritive value. It is super susceptible to fungus and can easily be contaminated. Many people are highly allergic to peanuts and must avoid peanut oil all together.
Pumpkin Seed Oil (Cucurbita maxima) Native Americans used pumpkinseeds to treat enlarged prostate. Herbalist use it as a nonirritating diuretic. Contains fatty oil, albumin, lecithin and phytosterol.
Rose Hip Seed Oil (Rosa mosqueta) Rose Hip oil is extracted from ripened fruit of a hybrid, thorny, wild rosebush native to South American countries. A healing oil that is said to regenerate the skin and counteract the effects of aging. Rose hip oil is a rich source of omega‑3 and omega‑6 fatty acids, is high in gamma linoliec acid (GLA) and vitamin C. Rose hip oil is often used in products made for stretch marks, burns, scars and mature dry skin. Rose hip seed oil is an emollient and strengthens the hair shaft. According to the AMA´s committee on Cutaneous Health emollients do help make the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce roughness, cracking and irritation. And may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging.
Safflower Oil (Carthamus tinctoorius) Safflower oil is from an annual plant that is native to Mediterranean countries. It is also grown in Europe and the United States. It can be obtained by pressing or a solvent extraction. Safflower has one of the highest linoleic acid (70%) contents of all oils. The moisture content of human skin is proportional to the content of essential unsaturated fatty acids. Wonderfully moisturizing.
Sal Butter (Shorea robusta) (aka Shorea Butter) Obtained from the fruit kernel of the sal tree grown in India. Contains mainly fatty acids. Has a uniform triglyceride composition with a high oxidative stability due to a very low polyunsaturated fatty acid content. Is extremely emollient, prevents drying and reduces degeneration of skin cells. It is suitable for soaps, cosmetics and toiletries. Due to its uniform triglyceride composition, it exhibits high oxidative and emulsion stability, and good skin softening ability. It melts at skin temperatures making it ideal for sticks and balms. Ideal for bar soaps and skin creams. Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3‑5% Balms: 5‑100% Bar Soaps: 3‑6% Conditioners: 2‑5%
Sesame Oil (Sesamum inducum) Made from sesame seeds. Contains natural antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, proteins, lecithin and amino acids. From the edible seeds of an East Indian herb. Traditionally used in the healing art of Indian Ayurvedic. Sesame oil is high in unsaponifiables which is a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. Supposedly has a natural SPF of 4.
Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) Shea butter is solid and comes from the natural fat obtained from the karite tree grown in West and Central Africa. Often referred to as karite butter. Shea butter is an emollient. It is extremely therapeutic, helping to heal cracked, aged and damaged skin. Its chemical constituents help to heal bruising and soreness. Shea butter penetrates the skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth. It has vitamin A, E and is highly compatible with skin. Shea butter has a high content of unsaponifiables and cinnamic esters, which have antimicrobial and moisturizing properties and provide protection from the UV rays of the sun. Unsaponifiables are a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. Shea butter is expeller pressed without use of solvents, making a lipid suitable for soaps, cosmetics and toiletries. Shea butter is renowned for is skin softening and moisture retaining ability. It melts at skin temperatures making it ideal for lip and body balms as well as bar soaps and lotions. Often when suppliers incorrectly heat or store shea butter it forms little fat granules or crystals that make it feel lumpy. To correct this simply heat it in a double broiler to 170‑185 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3‑5% Balms: 5‑100% Bar Soaps: 3‑6% Conditioners: 2‑5%. Supposedly has a natural SPF of 4.
Soybean Oil (Soya max) The ancient Orient cultivated soybeans for its protein, oil and lecithin content. Currently soybean oil is one of the most important oils produced in the United States. It is pressed from the soybean. Most of the lecithin (phospholipids) used in cosmetics are derived from soybeans. Soybean oil has a very high‑unsaturated fatty acid compound, 2% sterolins and 30 IU per ounce of vitamin E. Unsaponifiables are a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. The sterolins in avocado oil have been found to diminish age spots. Oils with the highest unsaponifiables are shea butter, avocado oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and olive oil.
Sunflower Oil (Helianthus annuus) Obtained from the milling of the seeds from the sunflower. It is rich in both vitamins A and E. Sunflower oil is very high in essential fatty acids and helps to moisturize, regenerate and condition the skin. Can be used as a main oil or in a blend. Good for mature, sensitive and dry, damaged skin. Leaves a second "skin" feeling when dry.
Walnut Oil (Juglans nigra) Pressed from the nut of the walnut tree. Walnut oil is high in linoleic acid and helps to regenerate and moisturize damaged dry skin.
Wheat Germ Oil (Triticum vulgare) Wheat germ oil is from the golden germ of the wheat. It is extremely high in vitamin A, B1, D, lecithin, protein, a high content of unsaturated fatty acid compounds and a very high vitamin E content at 250 IU per ounce. Wheat germ oil has a heavy wheat nut scent. A very emollient oil that needs to be blended with other oils to overcome its extremely sticky texture. According to the AMA´s committee on Cutaneous Health emollients do help make the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce roughness, cracking and irritation. And may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging.
Non‑comedogenic: Term meant to indicate that a product will not clog pores. This term is not regulated by the FDA or any other organization, so a cosmetics company can make this claim regardless of proof or substantiation of any kind (Source: www.fda.gov).
LOW CLOGGING PROBABILITY
Almond Oil (Sweet Almond)
Apricot Kernal Oil
Emulsifying Wax NF
Evening Primrose Oil
Polysorbate 20 and 80
Aloe Vera (cold pressed)
MEDIUM CLOGGING PROBABILITY
Glyceryl Stearate SE
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Sulfonated Castor Oil
HIGH CLOGGING PROBABILITY
Wheat Germ Oil
It’s easy to protect your skin from the sun naturally. There are a number of natural ingredients that offer some sun protection (use at your own risk of course). They are:
Sesame Seed Oil: SPF 4
Shea Butter: SPF 4
Jojoba Oil: SPF 4
Zinc Oxide: SPF 2 ‑ 45
Titanium Dioxide: SPF 2 ‑ 45
Red Raspberry Seed Oil: 28‑50
A Note on Green Tea
27/12/2000 ‑ To avoid damage from the sun that could lead to skin cancer, researchers now believe that spreading a compound made from green tea on the body may protect us from skin cancer. Scientists at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, used a byproduct of substances in green tea , polyphenols, on the buttocks of six fair‑skinned adults. Caucasians were chosen because they are much more likely than people with darker skin to develop skin cancers. They found that the green tea polyphenols interfere with DNA damage from ultraviolet radiation, Santosh Katiyar, PhD, lead author of the study wrote in the journal Cancer Research. The latest study was based on previous studies by Katiyar´s team and others that showed green tea compound applied to the skin of mice prevented skin inflammation and cell division , signs that indicate DNA damage. Katiyar suggests that the polyphenols absorb some of the ultraviolet light, and that they inhibit some of the radiation´s penetration into the deeper layers of the skin. He adds that it is possible the green tea compound may work as a sunscreen and that using it in skin care products may be an important way to prevent DNA damage and ultimately cancer.
Another report says...
Green Tea has been found to counteract the adverse biological effects of UV
Radiation and protects against skin cancer and the effects of both UVB & UVA
sunrays. Green Tea works in the cells after exposure to skin damaging sun
radiation. Sun rays can cause genetic changes in skin that can lead to skin
cancer even with chemical sunscreen protection. Green Tea blocks this action
by causing abnormal cells to kill themselves, a type of programmed cell
suicide that prevents the development of abnormal growths. Green Tea does
not absorb UV rays. It inhibits UVB‑induced erythema response in the skin
[redness reaction]. At the same time, it supports the production of
Melanin, the skin's own natural sunburn protection
You can extend the life of oils by adding anti‑oxidants such as ROE (Rosemary Oleoresin Extract) or Vitamin E oil which will keep it from going rancid for a longer period of time. Oxidation causes rancidity and of course, anti‑oxidants help. You can tell if an oil is rancid by that nasty, old smell that occurs and an oil that has gone rancid should be thrown away. If storing at room temperatures, it is recommended at temperatures of 65‑75 degrees F. The cooler the better. Refrigeration or freezing oils is also an option if you store in smaller container with larger openings to make access easier to scoop out instead of thawing every time. It's not advisable to freeze oils and then microwave them at quick and high temps to liquid before formulating as you will risk loosing some of the properties and possibly altering texture. I don't freeze butters. Based on a variety of information, I have compiled the following list. I have noticed however that some research information varies as to how long, so in erring on the side of caution, I entered the smaller amount of time.
Apricot Kernel Oil. 6 mo. ‑ 1 year in cool place
Avocado 1 yr. Approx. In cool place
Calendula Infusion 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. Based on oil used for infusion
Canola 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Castor 1 yr. Approx. In cool place
Cocoa Butter 1 yr. + In cool place
Coconut 1 yr. +. In cool place
Corn 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Emu 1 yr. room temp. 3+ frozen
Evening Primrose 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Flax Seed 3‑6 mos. Refrigerated
Grapeseed 3 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Jojoba Indefinite at room temp. (it's a wax, not an oil)
Mango Butter 1 yr. Longer if refrigerated
Neem 1 yr. Approx. In cool place
Olive 2 yrs. In cool place
Palm 1 yr. Approx. In cool place
Peanut 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Safflower 1 yr,. Approx. In cool place
St. Johns Wort Infusion 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. Based on oil used for infusion
Sesame 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Shea Butter 1 yr. Longer if refrigerated
Soybean 3 mos. ‑ 1 yr. Longer if refrigerated
Sunflower 3 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Sweet Almond 6 mos. ‑ 1 yr. In cool place
Walnut 3 mos. Approx. In cool place
Wheat Germ 3 mos. Approx. In cool place
This list comes in very handy when you want to substitute one oil for another when making soap