Before the war most soap was made from fats rendered down from dead animals and earlier still, mixed with wood ash.
Inspired in the ancient art of handmade soap NATURAL HANDCRAFTED SOAP. –
Castile Olive / Organic Coconut with Cocoa Butter (unscented) Excellent Soap for Face and Body
Although chemistry has refined some of the raw materials, handmade soap is basically the same as it was two thousand years ago although now thankfully we use vegetable fats rather than animal fats and these wonderful natural handmade Castile soaps are now available for us to buy.
The manufacturing of commercial soaps, on the other hand, changed radically during the ’39/’45 war when fats and oils became scarce forcing manufacturers to look for alternatives.
Synthetic soap made from detergents soon became normal and their relatively low cost and ease of manufacture ensured that this synthetic product was here to stay.
However, increasingly, consumers are looking for an alternative to the coarse and abrasive synthetic soaps that can be so damaging to the natural ph factor of the skin.
Handmade soap from natural oils is now very popular as people are looking for an alternative to detergent soap and a number of cottage industries have started making soaps the natural way from fats. Some still use lard ie animal fats, as their basis, but most use vegetable fats.
Vegan soap is now widely made using vegetable fats such as coconut oil, sunflower seed oil and many others. Coconut oil produces a good lather in liquid and hard bar soap but is very drying for the skin. Most people prefer the old fashioned liquid soap used by hospitals made with nothing but olive oil and potassium hydroxide. Olive oil is almost 90% Olmec acid, an extremely mild fatty acid. As a base for soap olive oil creates a gentle moisturising lather making it ideal for sensitive skin as well as safe for babies and children.
The first records of Castile soap being imported into Britain go back to the 1560’s and much mention is made in Crusader records of this pure white hard soap produced in Easter Mediterranean lands. Castile soap was originally 100% olive oil soap, named after the Castile region in Spain, and loved by our great grandmothers as the ultimate in luxury.