Elaeis guineensis This oil is obtained from the kernels, taken from the cracked nuts of the palm. This oil contains large proportions of lauric acid, its chemical composition is quite different from that of palm oil and is used chiefly for making soap. Palm kernel oil is a lauric type, similar to coconut oil and produces hard soaps that lather well in all kinds of water. Soaps made with palm kernel oil are white, very hard, and lather beautifully; 10-30% is plenty when combined with other vegetable oils. This small percentage also keeps the final bars from developing an odour characteristic of the palm kernel oil. Like coconut oil, palm kernel can have a drying effect when used in excess, yet is moisturising when used in moderation.