Handmade Olive Oil Soap Bars -- History and Benefits
We’re all familiar with olive oil when it comes to our food. Those of us who have backgrounds from areas along the mediterranean like Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain to name a few; are even more intimately familiar with olive oil. We consume it with practically everything. We even use it as a topical treatment for certain ailments. But did you know that for thousands of years, olive oil was also used as a soap? Today, cities like Aleppo (حلب), Nablus and Izmir are popular for producing some of the world’s best olive oil soap bars. But their popularity goes back centuries and even millenia.
History of Olive Oil Soap
Although the earliest uses of olive oil as a soap or a way to clean your body is shaky and debated, we know that the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Mesopotamians were among the first to use olive oil to cleanse themselves. Egyptians would rub the oil all over their body then scrub it against the coarse sand to get rid of the dirt and dead skin. In Mesopotamia it was mixed with soda ash to create the earliest version of an actual soap. Lye was also a key component in creating the soaps and the methods developed over the centuries.
The soaps eventually made their way to the Greeks and Romans, and it was through the Romans that it spread into Anatolia, as it was under their rule at the time. Years later, during the medieval times, Arab and Persian chemists refined the process to create the soaps we know and use today. The Ottomans developed these soaps and created them on a larger scale using the abundance of olive trees along their mediterranean coasts.
Over time the Ottomans and the Greeks competed in creating companies that produced and sold these soaps all around. Since the 1500s the Turks have maintained the use of natural ingredients to make their soaps using olive oil, salt and natural scents.
What is in Olive Oil?
So what is it exactly about olive oil that makes it so special? Well, for starters it contains a number of vitamins including A, E and K. It is also a source of calcium, potassium and magnesium. Its richness in antioxidants makes it a great oil to use both for skin treatment and overall health.
It is commonly known that people in the mediterrean region suffer from heart and cardiovascular issues much less due to the regular consumption of olive oil in their diet, known to have inspired the Mediterranean Diet.
Benefits of Olive Oil Soap
The benefits of using soap made with an olive oil base are numerous. We’ll go over some of the more relevant and important ones here. We’ll start with the most common reason people have fallen in love with the soaps: skin enhancement.
Olive oil soap bars can do wonders for your skin. One of the benefits it is most popular for is its ability to relieve eczema, acne and dry skin. Because olive oil’s pH levels are healthy for your skin, it does not cause any irritation to the skin and can be used across people of all kinds of skin. This alone is a major reason many people use this soap. You can spend years trying to find the right soap bar that works well for your skin. Some soaps make your skin dry, some have too many chemicals, some irritate your skin, and some are flat our allergenic.
This brings me to my next point. Olive oil is a natural hypoallergenic, which means if you have certain allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients or other soaps, you won’t have to worry about that with olive oil soap bars. It contains anti-inflammatory properties as well. Its components help improve the texture and skin tone of those who use it, reducing wrinkles. Using reverse oxidation, the olive oil in our soap bars prevents damage-causing elements from hurting your skin. This means your skin isn’t just going to look and feel nicer, but it will also make your skin healthier. The health of your skin is just as important as the way it looks and feels. That’s why its richness in vitamins helps boost your immunity and overall health as well.
We pride ourselves on bringing you world-class products from the places that make it best, and our Handmade Olive Oil Soap Bars from Turkey is just another example of that. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any specific questions about our soaps. Carry on the centuries’ old tradition of the Ottomans and try one of our natural soaps today!