I’ve finally made the decision to go completely palm free in my soap and bath and body products.

I’ve been wrestling with the issue for the last couple of years and have done a great deal of research to make my decision.  I went palm free in all of my personal soap recipes but then used palm oil in classes.  That didn’t make much sense!  I thought that maybe using sustainable palm oil was a good solution and also wrestled with telling myself that I’m just a small soapmaker…I couldn’t be making that much of an impact.  But it just feels wrong.

I also don’t believe in sustainable palm oil.  I believe that it is simply a way to “greenwash” the consumers of the world to make them think they are using palm oil that isn’t resulting in any kind of destruction.  After doing some research…I simply don’t buy it.

Here are some great links to get you started in making your own informed decision:

Marla Bosworth has two great posts on going palm free HERE and HERE.

Watch Green The Film HERE.

Learn about the threat HERE.

Adopt an Orangutan HERE.  We did!  I’ll tell you about that later!

But mostly…I wanted to share with you some great palm free recipes.  I’ve formulated several and wanted to test them out side by side to see how they do.  I have several testers that will test them for me and hopefully give us some good feedback so we can either improve on the recipe or stamp it as awesome!  I’ve soaped five today and plan on soaping five tomorrow.

Let’s talk about what we can use in place of palm oil.

Palm oil is a great base oil.  It makes a hard long lasting bar of soap and helps to stabilize the lather.  Alot of people like to use it in place of lard or tallow.  Which brings up a good point.  Lard or tallow is a great substitute for palm oil but I’m personally going for animal free products.  So we’re looking for oils that make a hard bar of soap.  Three great ones are olive oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.  Olive oil?!  Most people think of olive oil creating a super soft bar of soap, but have you ever made a 100% olive oil castile bar?  After a nice long cure…its super hard.  And I mean hard as a rock!  You could knock somebody out with that baby.  So yes, olive oil is initially quite soft when first unmolding but gets super hard.  Most of my palm free recipes have a water discount.  Because they do contain a high amount of unsaturated oils (liquid oils such as olive, rice bran or sunflower) it does help to use less water to help them firm up quickly.

The next post I’m going to share with you five palm free recipes that I soaped today.