The Humble Bar Of Soap is Back
With so many different types of facewashes, gel cleansers, and cleansing milks available in the market today, people seem to have forgotten about the good old bar of soap. The traditional soap has been used as a cleansing product for centuries, and is still widely used in the shower, albeit not on the face as much. Here are some fun facts about the different types of soaps that are available today.
1. Traditional soap bar
The traditional bar of soap that foams, smells good and gently cleans the skin conjures up nostalgia in most of us. As it was deemed too rough on the skin, it was long neglected in favour of more creamy, oily, gentle textures.
Yet with its natural properties and unique cleansing power, traditional soap is a beauty product that has it all: available in a range of shapes, colours and scents, made with natural ingredients like honey, milk, sweet almond and olive oil, generally no additives, washes skin thoroughly and rinses without leaving a film on the skin.
The most traditional kind of bar of soap is based on the combination of oils, generally vegetable (like olive oil), and minerals (potassium or sodium). As it is a bit aggressive for the skin; with a pH around 9 for a skin pH of 5; it must be accompanied by decent skin care to bring the dose of hydration necessary for comfortable skin.
Superfatted soap is a natural soap that has been enriched with nourishing ingredients such as shea butter or sweet almond oil, which moisturise the skin while cleansing it. Ideal for dry skin! Finally, dermatological bars of soap do not contain soap; they are made of a blend of cleansing agents that are more gentle than ordinary soap. They therefore do not dry out the skin as much.
2. Savon de Marseille
Savon de Marseille is a type of hand-crafted soap that originated in France. It results from the saponification of a mix of oils (generally vegetable) with sodium. As this name was never protected, there are soaps that call themselves Savon de Marseille that are mere imposters. The real Savon de Marseille must contain 72% vegetable oil (olive, palm, and coconut), some water, salt, and sodium. No perfume, no colouring, and no additives are added to this soap.
It is known for being an effective cleanser, but is also very gentle on the skin. This pure, natural soap cleans without aggravating allergies and is therefore perfect for even the most sensitive skin. And it has a bonus: Savon de Marseille is 100% natural and therefore totally biodegradable. So it is environmentally friendly too!
Traditional Aleppo soap from Syria is known for its numerous benefits and is made up of two kinds of oil: olive oil and bay laurel oil. It is non-greasy, long-lasting and has a lovely golden brown colour. It is made in a cooking pot then takes 10 months to reach maturity and is considered one of the oldest soaps in the world. Its cleansing, antiseptic properties are suitable for all skin types, but it is particularly recommended for dry skin, acne, eczema and psoriasis. Aleppo soap is pure, hypoallergenic, preservative-free, perfume-less and additive-free, making it suitable even for babies.
4. Black soap
Black soap, made from a mix of olive oil and crushed black olives steeped in salt and potassium, is 100% natural, respects the skin's natural hydrolipidic film and is suitable for different skin types. With a pH close to that of your skin, it pampers the epidermis. Black soap cleanses the skin and removes impurities from pores without attacking the skin's protective film.
It moisturizes the skin gently while protecting your cells from oxidation, thanks to its plentiful vitamin E. Finally, even without granules, it exfoliates the skin and eliminates toxins and dead cells that smother it.
Castile soap has been around for hundreds of years. It is as important in Spain as Savon de Marseille in France! It was originally made with 100% olive oil and is perfume-less, free of essential oils, additive-free and does not contain foaming agents or colouring. Today, Castile soap is made from vegetable oils (palm, coconut, hemp, jojoba, olive) but is just as easy on the skin. It is highly nourishing, moisturising and gentle and repairs and softens all types of skin.