Not all soaps are the same!
We use it every day to cleanse our bodies yet we do not give it a second thought. Apart from its cleansing properties we do not consider what we are rubbing on our bodies and the effects it has on our skin. We assume that all soaps are the same and have the same effect on the skin. This is certainly not the case!Before we begin, a distinction needs to be made between natural soap and most commercial soaps on the market. Commercial soaps are nothing more than a concoction of surfactants and fillers that ‘mimic’ the cleansing properties of natural soap.
Natural soap, as opposed to most commercial soap, is made by combining an oil or fat with a strong alkali resulting in a natural crystal called soap. The structure of natural soap is made up of long string-like molecular chains, like a string of pearls, which have different properties at either end of the molecular chain. One end of the chain is attracted to dirt and/or grease and the other end is attracted to water. This is how dirt and grease are dissolved in water using soap.
The process in making natural soap is basically the ‘welding’ together of two different molecules, a fat/oil and a water molecule. Natural soap can be made from any fat or oil, be it animal fat, petroleum or vegetable oil. The resulting soap however has a different effect on the skin depending on what fat/oil is used. For example Castile, a natural homemade olive oil soap, as compared to a petroleum/chemical based soap.
All soaps leave a film on the skin when used; even when we think we have rinsed it all off with water. It is this film that can either be a blessing or a curse! The films left on the skin with soap made from petroleum oils and most vegetable oils, like palm oil, are drying, they tighten the skin and can cause irritations and itchiness. In the dry winter climates a lot of people complain of the ‘winter itch’ which is a result of the skin drying out in colder months and is exacerbated by the type of soap that is used.
Natural olive oil soap has been around for centuries. Originally made in the Castile region in Spain and is often called ‘Castile soap’. Olive oil soap has a unique property! Like all soaps it too leaves a film on the skin but in this case the film attracts and retains moisture on the skin. It is in effect a moisturizing soap and it does this without blocking pores or producing irritation.
Natural handmade olive oil soap is made using what is called a ‘cold process’, where the ingredients are blended, allowed to set naturally and cured for months. Like a good wine it improves with age! It becomes a gentle cleanser that nourishes and moisturizes the skin. It is gentle on the face and is the best soap for babies, sensitive skin conditions and as a relief for eczema and psoriasis sufferers.
Olives are grown all around the world and olive oil is made all around the world. They all perform the same effect but vary in colour. Spanish olive oil produces a beige soap while the French a brown, Greek and Turkish a dark green, and Australian, like Californian, an off white.
The olive oil we use in our natural homemade olive oil soap is grown in the Hunter Valley, NSW Australia. Just like the grapes that are grown in the valley that produce award winning wines, the olive oil grown in this region also produces award winning soaps. Our homemade olive oil soap is preservative free and we have been honored with many gold awards since we first started to make soap in 2001.
With all the positives going for natural homemade olive oil soap there must be a downside and yes there is, it is highly addictive. Once your skin has tried an olive oil soap it will not want any other!
Remember … Natural is Best!
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