Previous posts dealt with lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, ricinoleic and oleic acids.
Soapmakers know of linoleic acid as the one that adds conditioning and moisturizing properties to soap and lends a luxurious silkiness, as well. Many of the high linoleic oils are chock full of the much sought after Omega 6’s. Sounds wonderful, does it not? It is!
Of course, linoleic also has a downside when it comes to soap. All of that luxurious moisturizing will also cause rancidity and DOS if calculated in high percentages. Furthermore, soaps high in linoleic fatty acid take longer to harden before unmolding and cutting. Most soapmakers therefore, cap oils high in linoleic at around 15%.
This decadent goodness also translates to a short shelf life, so consider adding mixed tocopherals or ROE to the oil to retard rancidity and keep it refrigerated or frozen until use. Plan to make soap with it within six months unless freezing.
Next blog post: linolenic acid.
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles Magazine
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