When hearing the words "olive oil," your first thought would be food. Naturally, olive oil has been used in cuisine for centuries, but have you considered olive oil in a soap?
Olive oil is a popular additive when one wants to moisturize. Therefore, it's only natural that it found its way into soap. In fact, the earliest olive oil soap has been traced back right to the seventh century, where it was produced in Kufa, Nablus, and Basra.
If you're interested in learning more about this magical natural product, keep reading. We will discuss everything you need to know about olive oil soap and everything around it.
History Of Olive Oil Soap
Soap itself dates back as early as 2500 BC when a recipe for making soap was found written on a Sumerian clay tablet. Since then, people have been tweaking and creating several varieties of soap, one of which is olive oil soap.
From around the 16th century, they pushed animal fats to the side as more refined soaps were created in Europe using vegetable oils, such as olive oil, instead.
Due to the regions olive oil soap has been made, it's also sometimes referred to by Aleppo soap from Syria, Castile soap from Spain, Marseille soap from France, and Nabulsi soap from Palestine.
During WWI, the commercial soap that we're all familiar with was created. Shortly after the 1930s, Proctor & Gamble took over refining the production time of soap manufacturing.
What's In Olive Oil?
But why are we putting olive oil into different products? Are there benefits? The short answer is yes, there are benefits, which we will get into a little later. But for now, let's look at the Mighty Olive and discuss olive oil for a bit.
Olive oil is graded according to its level of acidity or free oleic acid. Therefore, in order to determine how much fatty acid has been broken down, one has to look at the quantity of free oleic acid present.
Olive oil also falls under two specific categories: refined and unrefined. The difference between the two is that refined oil gets treated with added chemicals to remove any imperfections, making it more marketable to the general public as a cost-effective option. On the other hand, unrefined has not been treated or heated, rendering it a pure oil.
There are an array of olive oils on the market, but the one we want to focus on is extra virgin. Due to its extraction process, it retains the most beneficial fats vs. other methods that involve heat.
As we said, extra virgin olive oil is extracted from olives via a cold-pressed method. This method retains more of the natural vitamins and minerals. Extra virgin olive oil is also considered an unrefined oil as it has not been heated nor treated with chemicals during extraction.
It's been previously believed that heating olive oil during cooking compromises its chemical composition and makes it carcinogenic. However, this is no longer found to be true. Extra virgin olive oil has a relatively high smoking point at 376°F. This makes it safe for most cooking methods.
However, it's not recommended to reuse already used olive oil. This is because it can lead to fat degradation and the formation of toxic compounds over time.
Whether you choose to use it for cooking or not, good quality extra virgin olive oil is always recommended enjoyed over a salad or as a dip for bread (add some balsamic glaze while you're at it). Maybe keep the less expensive stuff for cooking.
Health Benefits Of Natural Olive Oil
While there is still a debate around the health effects of dietary fats, experts agree that olive oil is, in fact, good for you - especially extra virgin.
Extra virgin olive oil is the primary source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet. It's extremely rich in antioxidants as well as fat-soluble vitamins.
You might have heard that people from the Mediterranian region show lower stats of suffering from cardiovascular disease and die from heart problems much less often. This is because the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil consumption, is the only one shown to reduce the risk of stroke, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension.
Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, accounting for around 73 percent of the total oil content. Along with healthy fats, olive oil is also full of powerful antioxidants, which may even reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.
As we've already spoken about the Mediterranian diet, it's safe to say that olive oil is not associated with weight gain. According to a study done over 30 months, there was no correlation between a large consumption of olive oil and weight gain or obesity.
In fact, a follow-up study on the Mediterranian diet three years later showed increased levels of plasma antioxidant capacity and a reduction in body weight.
Olive oil is also known to assist with treating rheumatoid arthritis (especially when combined with fish oil), has antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties, can reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and may fight Alzheimer's Disease.
Let's Talk Olive Oil Soap
There are different types of oils one can add to make soap. First, you get coconut soap with a rich, fluffy lather; then there is castor oil with a dense lather and sunflower oil soaps with a conditioning lather and a silky feel. If we compare commercial soap to olive oil soap, you will immediately notice that the olive oil soap feels a lot more gentle on the skin.
While it doesn't lather the same as traditional soap, it has an almost creamy lather consistency which goes hand in hand with how moisturizing it feels on the skin.
There are people who want that feeling of being "squeaky clean," but that's not always the best for your skin. Our skin is conditioned to have natural oils, and when we use harsh chemicals on our skin, we can cause it to dry out, give in to skin irritations, breakouts, allergies, and all kinds of other damaging effects.
That Clean Soap Feeling
If your skin feels "squeaky," then this is a sign that all the natural oils have been stripped. We have what is called an acid mantle which is a very thin film that covers the skin. This acid mantle is comprised of amino acids, sweat, and natural oils.
You want a soap with a higher pH balance, and soaps with a foamy lather are far more likely to be more alkaline due to the ingredients used having a high pH themselves.
Soap bars made from different olive oils can have a different feel from one bar to the next. For example, soap made with Pomace olive oil, which is cheaper than extra virgin, will result in slightly harder bars. Whereas when extra virgin olive oil is used, the bars will render softer.
Can I Use Olive Oil Soap On My Face?
Yes. In fact, olive oil soap is ideal for use on the face due to the high levels of antioxidants. This helps keep your complexion even and bright from wash to wash.
What Is Commercial Soap?
Commercial soap typically is produced en masse by large multinational companies worldwide. They're made as cheaply as possible to minimize cost and maximize profits. In fact, commercial soap manufacturers often remove glycerin from the soap that they produce. Glycerin is responsible for keeping the skin moisturized.
These soaps, in comparison to olive oil soap, are not handmade. Instead, they are created in a factory by machine, where various additives and preservatives are added to extend shelf life for the consumer's benefit. But is it really?
Commercial soap will commonly have chemicals and additives such as parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic perfumes, SLS/SLES, and artificial coloring added.
That's a lot of additives that are not in handmade soap. So let's look at each a bit more in-depth.
They are often used as an ingredient to create plastic (also known as a 'plasticizer'). Unfortunately, this chemical is also known to be linked to several cancers, congenital disabilities, and infertility.
Synthetic ingredients have been known to cause allergic reactions in the skin and can also be linked to hormonal disruptions.
Natural fragrances are typically made from ingredients harvested from sustainably grown plants; however, synthetic perfumes are often used in commercial soaps. Why? Because they can smell stronger, last longer, and are much less expensive than natural fragrances.
This is an ingredient that acts as a chemical preservative that aids in extending the shelf life of commercial soap. You can find these in a wide range of beauty products as well.
Chemical preservatives, such as these, have estrogen-like properties, interfering with the endocrine system and causing unbalanced hormones.
Since little is known about the long-term effects that petroleum will have on our system, these chemicals should be reconsidered and deemed unsafe.
SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate) and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate):
This is the ingredient that is responsible for creating a thick lather. It's an inexpensive chemical that can be found in many personal care products.
However, while it produces a rich-looking lather, it also will strip your skin of its natural oils. This leaves your skin feeling dry and irritated.
Too many commercial soaps have artificial dyes (such as Red 33, Blue 1, Yellow 5, and Titanium Dioxide). These dyes have been known to cause illness and various health issues in people.
The list goes on to include chemical additives such as Mineral Oil and Petroleum Oil, which all sound good but actually end up blocking your pores which causes blackheads as a result.
When you have the option of purchasing a high-quality natural olive oil soap, it's hard to see why you would willingly choose to put these chemicals into your body.
Six Top Benefits Of Olive Oil Soap In Your Skincare Routine
Incorporating olive oil soap into our skincare regimen is essential if we want to be gentle on our skin and take care of it correctly. Olive oil soap is less acidic, so it's great to use on your skin without stripping it of all essential oils.
So let's chat about the actual benefits of using olive oil soap in your skincare routine.
1. Skin Moisturizer
Olive oil soap is one of the top treatments for dry skin. The moisturizing properties found in olive oil help your skin stay soft and supple, thus allowing your skin to hold more moisture. This is because olive oil is naturally rich in vitamins A and E.
This is also because olive oil has the ability to retain water which helps with dryness and cracked or chapped skin. In addition, using olive oil soap regularly can help your skin regain some of its moisture loss, resulting in smoother, softer skin over time.
2. Great For All Skin Types
Olive oil is hypoallergenic, which makes it great for all skin types. From adults right down to babies, the natural olive oil soap is gentle on even the most sensitive skin, so you shouldn't need to worry about adverse reactions. It's even gentle enough to use on the face.
3. Naturally Anti-Aging
Due to the oleic acid, we spoke about earlier, and with the addition of polyphenols, these two components function together to improve overall skin tone and texture.
Olive oil is also rich in fatty acids that olive oil soap goes a long way to replenishing lost oils in our skin as we age. This, in turn, helps with the reduction of wrinkles or age spots.
The increased levels of antioxidants found in olive oil can also help protect your skin from free radicals, which are prevalent in the air all around us.
4. Relief From Eczema and Psoriasis
It's been said that olive oil-based soaps can help relieve the symptoms that come with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. These symptoms may include itchiness, redness, and dryness.
The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil can help with the enflamed skin of people living with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes red, scaly patches, which can be incredibly itchy to the sufferer. It's most commonly found on the knees, torso, scalp, and elbows.
5. Ideal For Acne Problems
Olive oil has both anti-inflammatory properties and anti-bacterial agents. It's these anti-bacterial agents that help clear acne breakouts but also assist in preventing them from reoccurring.
Olive oil soap is, by nature, non-greasy, so it won't clog pores, which is one of the leading causes of acne. Pairing olive oil soaps with an essential oil toner like tea tree oil can make for a powerful but gentle solution for problem skin.
6. Acts As A Gentle Makeup Remover
If you have sensitive skin, then using olive oil soap as a makeup remover can really help keep your skin moist while removing residual makeup. You want to be extra gentle with the skin on your face as it's one of the first areas of the skin to show the signs of aging.
There is a lot to be said about switching to a softer, gentler, natural olive oil soap. With those benefits, it's hard to say no to switching to a milder, more delicate soap.
Benefits Of Hand-Crafted Soap Vs. Commercial Soap
So why would you choose an organic soap over a commercial one? Surely one is more complicated to acquire? That might be so; handmade soap is not available as readily as most commercial soaps, but it's worth seeking them out.
Longer Lasting Moisture
Natural olive oil clean soap will have glycerin, a natural fat found in plants. Glycerin helps hydrate the skin and organically keeps the skin soothed for longer.
Animal-Friendly And Vegan
Typically handmade soaps are vegan-friendly as they contain no animal by-products like milk, honey, or animal fats. In addition, the fact that smaller companies make them often means that they're also not tested on animals.
Only Natural Ingredients
Commercial soap is closer to detergent when it comes to all the additives they put in, like petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, and phosphorus which can dry out the skin over time.
On the other hand, handmade soaps are made with only natural ingredients like vegetable oil, lye, distilled water, and sometimes skin-safe fragrances.
A lot of handmade soap comes from small, environmentally conscious businesses. As a result, most handmade soaps will come in either little to no packaging or environmentally-friendly packaging using recyclable materials.
Safe For Oceans
Because handmade soap is made from natural ingredients, it's not harmful to the environment when these get washed into the waterways. In contrast, commercial soaps will have synthetic chemicals like phosphorus, harming water-dwelling creatures.
Natural Olive Oil Soaps
There are some excellent natural olive oil soaps on the market. Still, our promise to you is that we are committed to working with nature in order to bring you a conscientious, environmentally-friendly quality product.
Our products are alcohol-free, VOC-free, sulfate-free, DEA-free, paraben-free, SLS-free, and free from synthetic chemicals. We are also proudly Cruelty-Free, and we are certified by Leaping Bunny.
We package our products in either recycled glass bottles or plastic bottles made of recycled materials; however, we try to avoid using plastics in our packaging as we believe in using as little packaging as possible.
Peppermint Cleansing Bar Soap
A beautifully classic, handmade olive oil soap that treats your skin to a decadent lather. The addition of peppermint essential oils wakes you up and offers an invigorating energy boost.
This Peppermint Cleansing Bar Soap will leave your skin feeling conditioned, revived, clean, and smelling incredible.
White Birch Cleansing Bar Soap
A beautifully classic, handmade olive oil soap that treats your skin to a decadent lather. The addition of white birch essential oils gives this soap a minty aroma that is soothing and calming on the mind.
This White Birch Cleansing Bar Soap will leave your skin feeling conditioned, revived, clean, and smelling incredible.
Balsam And Clementine Cleansing Bar Soap
A beautifully classic, handmade olive oil soap that treats your skin to a decadent lather. The addition of balsam essential oils offers a scent similar to vanilla with a touch of cinnamon.
Balsam has a soft, sensual aroma to it, while the Clementine adds a vibrant citrus punch to the soap, leaving you feeling soothed yet rejuvenated.
This Balsam and Clementine Cleansing Bar Soap will leave your skin feeling conditioned, revived, clean, and smelling incredible.
Lemon And Vanilla Cleansing Bar Soap
A beautifully classic, handmade olive oil soap that treats your skin to a decadent lather. The addition of vanilla essential oils gives you a boost to the libido and will leave you feeling relaxed, while lemon uplifts you with its fresh scent.
This Lemon and Vanilla Cleansing Bar Soap will leave your skin feeling conditioned, revived, clean, and smelling incredible.
Balsam And Cedar Cleansing Bar Soap
A beautifully classic, handmade olive oil soap that treats your skin to a decadent lather. The addition of balsam essential oils offers an aroma similar to vanilla with hints of cinnamon.
Balsam has a soft, sensual aroma to it, while the calming properties of cedar oil provide harmony to the mind and body.
This Balsam and Cedar Cleansing Bar Soap will leave your skin feeling conditioned, revived, clean, and smelling incredible.
Claim Your Calm Today
Whether you're looking for relief assistance for your skin troubles or you just want to give your skin the best care you can, olive oil soap can be the answer. Rich in antioxidants, olive oil soap will always leave your skin feeling clean, soft, and taken care of.
And while you're treating your skin to a luxurious foamy lather, you can also rest easy knowing that your purchases are environmentally mindful so you can make your purchases guilt-free. In fact, why not give some olive oil soap to friends and family for their next special occasion?
If you're interested in purchasing olive oil soap for yourself or someone special, be sure to visit our shop to see our full range of classic, handcrafted, bespoke soaps. So find your scent and claim your calm today.