Coconut oil allergy

by Dee
(Omaha, NE)

I have an allergy to coconut oil and am looking for a good natural substitue for coconut oil in my soap recipes. Any suggestions?


Answer:
On my Soap Making Oils page you will find information about the different types of oils used in soap making. In addition to listing links to the individual oils, you will find groupings of oils that share similar qualities and can be substituted for each other.

Babassu and Palm Kernel oil can both be substituted for Coconut oil in a soap recipe (be sure to run the recipe through a soap calculator before making) but you may find that the qualities that make you allergic to Coconut oil are present in Palm Kernel or Babassu.

Before making soap with either oil, I would do a test patch with just the oil. Rub a small amount of oil on the inside of your elbow and leave for 24 hours to see if there is a reaction. Remove immediately if you do start to experience any adverse effects.

If you happen to be allergic to all of those oils, you will need to create soap using other oils. You can still make great soaps but they will not have quite the bubble factor that a soap containing coconut, palm kernel or babassu has.

Try substituting in butters like shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter and/or oils like rice bran and avocado and/or tallow or lard.

Good luck,
Cathy

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substitute soap recipes without coconut oils.
by: Anonymous

Thank you for this information on alternatives to coconut oil. I have always found that the coconut oil leaves an off smell on my skin. I will try the coco butter. Please let me know the ratio of other hard oil substitutes or perhaps recipes with other hard oils excluding coconut oils. Many thanks.

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coconut oil free recipe
by: Anonymous

please give me a recipe for a recipe free of coconut oil. thanks jean

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Allergy
by: Anonymous

I was told that if you are allergic to coconut oil you also are allergic to palm oil since they are both a palm tree product so be careful recommending as substitute

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Palm oils
by: Julie

Oh BOY!!! I can se why if you are allergic to coconut oil you would be allergic to any oil derived from a Palm tree. I have issues with coconut oil. I made calendula soap and it dries my skin out. SO I will make Olive oil soap with some caster oil in it. I can infuse the olive oil with calendula flowers. Thanks for posting your info on this

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So many allergies
by: Anonymous

I'm allergic to coconut and palm, but also olive oil, and possibly canola. Is there a recipe that doesn't call for any of those?

Answer:

Sorry but all of my recipes contain at least one of those ingredients. Coconut and olive are pretty much the mainstays of handmade soaps.

You could try using SoapCalc to formulate one that looks something like the following Babassu oil, avocado oil, rice bran and shea butter.

Though it would probably be a good idea to skin test the oils first in case you are allergic to those as well.

It may be that you are allergic to a specific fatty acid contained in the oils. Many oils contain the same fatty acids.

Cathy

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Babassu is palm
by: Anonymous

Please remember babassu oil is another type of palm so do not suggest to anyone with an allergy.

I'm allergic to coconut, palm, apricot, canola, animal fats. I don't buy babassu as it's still palm, you also need to watch for things like steric acid as many are derived from palm, all things like sls, slsa and so many more.

I haven't had issues formulating without these things do far, yes I may not get any numbers in the cleansing and a softer bar but still works great and with 5-10% castor it bubbles and lathers great!

Just don't forget babassu is palm, I've had to teach so many soapers as they keep recommending it not having any idea it's what I'm trying to avoid.

Answer:

As allergies come in all shapes and sizes it's very hard to know what a person's allergy might be due to.

In my answer to the original question I said as follows:

"Babassu and Palm Kernel oil can both be substituted for Coconut oil in a soap recipe (be sure to run the recipe through a soap calculator before making) but you may find that the qualities that make you allergic to Coconut oil are present in Palm Kernel or Babassu." - that's a pretty strong heads up that these oils might not be a good choice for them.

I then go on to suggest doing a skin test before formulating a soap if you have allergies to fats and oils.

And that's the thing...name an oil and someone will have an allergy to it and it might not be for the same reason that the next guy is allergic to it.

While we (soapers) will try to help the best we can, we don't have all the answers. Ultimately, if you have allergies, you will need to test the oils on your skin to determine what you can and can't use.

Once you have a list of safe oils, you can get to formulating the perfect bar of soap for YOU.

Happy Soaping,
Cathy

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Allergic to a lot of nuts!
by: Janet

Thank you for this article. This has given me a lot of valuable info and a great place to start. I recently became even more allergic to coconut and can't use it in any form at all. I'm allergic to legumes in general and have been told to avoid all nuts. I've got to find substitutes for washing my hair, body, clothes, and dishes! Any ideas would be welcomed!

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