in Spain it’s Jabon de Castilla.
In France it’s Savon de Marseille.
In Italy it’s Sapone all’Olio d’Oliva.
In Greece it’s Sapoúni Elaioládou.
In parts of the Middle East its Aleppo (blended also with Lauren Oil).
Here it’s known as “Castile Soap”. By whatever term you call it, it’s all basically the same – soap made with either 100% olive oil, or olive oil used at more than 72% of the oil blend.
Today I wanted to write about why I make only 100% Olive Oil soap (pure Castile) instead of soap with multiple oils/butters. I won’t bore you more with the handcrafted soap vs. commercial soap argument, as I’ve written about that already. Here’s a link if you want to read about that: Top 5 Reasons to Use Handcrafted Soap.
So why do I only make 100% Olive Oil Soap? The answer is simple and complex at the same time.
Olive oil gives the gentlest, mildest and most luxurious cleansing out of all the oils. Its expensive to use as the main oil (or in my case, the only oil) but I feel its worth it. Those who buy olive oil in grocery stores know its not a cheap product, and when you’re using it in pounds instead of ounces, believe me that cost adds up! Olive oil by its very nature doesn’t offer up much in terms of bubbles or lather, but makes up for in silkiness and non-dryingness (non-dryingness? Is that a word? lol)
I don’t want to say that it moisturizes your skin because the fact is, all soap in the cleansing process will eliminate the excess oils on the surface of your skin and not moisturize per say. The term “moisturize” means to leave something on your skin that will penetrate and soften and/or attract moisture. Soap is a wash-off product, so its not “moisturizing” you. Soap, in its very essence, is meant to strip you of oils, dirt and grime and nothing more. However, olive oil soap doesn’t do this harshly or too much – it will help your skin retain its natural moisture while washing away only what it needs to. Here’s how it does that:
- Olive Oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid that contains linolenic, alpha-linolenic, and oleic acid. This helps the body produce prostaglandins which helps the skin retain its natural moisture.
- Olive oil is non-comegenic, (which means it will not clog your pores) making it great for people who suffer from Acne.
- Olive oil is an emollient – so great for dry skin, too.
- Because Olive oil soap is so mild, its great for cleansing sensitive skin, and gently cleanses skin with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Its also good (and usually recommended) for washing babies’ delicate skin.
- Olive oil soap is naturally hypoallergenic.
A final note: I’m not saying that my soap is better than others. It doesn’t heal, cure, treat or prevent anything, all it does is cleanse you. That’s all soap does. There are as many soap recipes as there are stars in the sky and each soap maker works on formulating their own fantastic recipe, and I have great respect for other soap makers and understand fully how much goes in to creating these products. I myself tried out many different recipes and formulated my own different variations over the years. However my personal preference is, and always will be, olive oil soap for its gentleness, mildness, and luxurious feel, and have decided that will be the only formula I will sell to my customers. I use no other soap myself nor do my family, and my customers have expressed their preference for it as well.
So there you go! Cleanse yourself gently with Olive Oil Soap!