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Author Archive for thermalmermaid

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Stearic Acid

Stearic Acid is a saturated fatty acid that contributes to a hard stable bar. This ingredient is usually added into lotions and soaps as a thickener or hardener. It also contributes to stability although it is recommended to use sparingly in cold process soaps, as it is a notorious contributor to a fast trace and […]

Ricinoleic Acid

Ricinoleic is an unsaturated fatty acid that contributes to the conditioning/moisturizing levels, and the stability of lather. This fat has properties attributing to a little slip and glide to the lather. Castor oil is the only common soap making oil known to contain ricinoleic acid, and it’s a super high 90%! The typical range for […]

Palmitic Acid

Palmitic is a saturated fatty acid that contributes a long shelf life, a hard bar, and stable creamy lather. Oils with a high profile in palmitic fatty acid add this to increase stability in the bar. The lather from the palmitic oils create a dense slick lather, or minimal lather with tiny smooth bubbles. Popular […]

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid seems to be one of the fundamental base fatty acids around which soap makers build their recipes. It contributes to a moisturizing and conditioning bar, yet is slow to trace and it offers a long shelf life. The most common oil with the highest profile in oleic acid is olive oil. Oleic acid […]

Myristic acid

Myristic acid is a saturated fatty acid profile that creates a dry hard bar of soap with fluffy lather. Myristic is often associated when combined with Lauric fatty acid because there is no common oil for soap making that in itself has a high myristic acid profile. Most commonly myristic acid in a soap recipe […]

Linoleic Acid

Linoleic is an unsaturated fatty acid that contributes to the conditioning/moisturizing of skin care products, This is not used in high amounts in cold process recipes and ranges in the single digits in recipe %s. Soaps high in Linoleic acid do not have a long shelf life, and almost always soft oils like soy bean, […]

Lauric acid

Lauric Acid is a type of fatty acid profile that contributes to the qualities of your hand made soap. Adding lauric acid to your recipe profile comes from the type of oils selected. Oils high in lauric acid are coconut, babassu, palm kernel oil, cohune, tucuma, and murumuru butter. Lauric acid is a saturated fat […]


For soap makers Iodine is an aspect of measurement that appears in many soap making calculators that help gauge the stability in a hand made bath of soap. Specifically, iodine is the measurement of the polyunsaturated quality of the fatty acid profile. The higher the number the more polyunsaturated. This a a rough measure of […]


The INS value in a soap recipe is related to iodine as it relates to the saponification value in the entire recipe of soap.This is a number that was formulated in the 1930’s with vague origins. The first time the term INS is widely sourced it is in Dr. Robert McDaniel’s book, Essentially Soap who […]


Hardness in soap making refers to the hardness of the bar of soap after it has finished the curing process. When crafting a soap recipe many calculators will offer a hardness range. This is typically a number between 29 to 54 with the higher number being a harder bar of soap. This number is a […]