Olive Oil Soap - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

It is said that prior to the invention of soap, Egyptians spread olive oil on their bodies to clean themselves. Because olive oil attaches itself to dirt and can then be wiped away, this would seem to make sense. Evidence indicates that Babylonians first combined olive oil with soda ash to create Olive Oil Soap as early as 2800 BC. Ancient Egyptians combined animal and vegetable oils with salts to create a soap-like substance that was used not only as a cleanser but also to prepare wool for weaving.

Olive oil when added to lye and water creates Olive Oil Soap. Olive oil has been a main ingredient in soap since its invention thousands of years ago. Mediterranean people have long known about the moisturizing properties of olive oil, as the early Greeks and Romans had plentiful supplies of olive oil to produce Olive Oil Soap. Soap making processes improved through the centuries and by the 6th century, an Olive Oil Soap factory was opened in Marseilles, France. Olive Oil Soap factories soon followed in Lisbon, Genoa and Constantinople.

Castile soap made strictly with olive oil originated in medieval times. When it was discovered that using olive oil created a richer superior soap than those made from animal fat, Castile soap was born and soon became a desired commodity. Castile soap was named for its place of origin, The Kingdom of Castilla, located in present day Spain. Castilla was a land rich in olive groves that were introduced to the region centuries earlier by Romans. In the 17th century, King Louis IX of France was so enamored with the soap that he declared that only Marseilles soap makers could make soap with olive oil and restricted use of the name "Savon de Marseilles" (Marseilles Soap) to soaps made only from olive oil in the Marseilles region. Typically producers of Marseilles soap would use olive oil from France, but due to poor harvests, French merchants imported olive oil from producers in Crete to supply their factories in Marseilles. Soap making became an important industry in Crete and during the 18th and 19th centuries, there were over 40 soap making factories in Crete that exported large amounts of Olive Oil Soap to neighboring regions. Small family owned soap making and olive oil businesses in Crete still make Olive Oil Soap today.

Olive Oil Soap is excellent for dry skin due to its mild emollient and moisturizing properties. Olive Oil Soap contains olive oil known for its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil contains vitamins A and E and may help repair free radical damage caused by sun exposure, diet and pollution. Olive Oil Soap penetrates the skin to add softness and use of Olive Oil Soap on skin may benefit such skin conditions as psoriasis and eczema. Olive Oil Soap helps skin retain moisture, leading to healthy younger looking skin. Skin and hair cleansed with Olive Oil Soap retains resilience, suppleness and brightness. This creamy soap will keep you clean and refreshed all day. When searching for gourmet products online, look no further than igourmet.com.