Olive Oil Soap Benefits
It would be difficult not to notice the many virtues of olive oil as you can’t go too far without seeing site after site and advertisement after advertisement proclaiming olive oil’s health and beauty benefits. Enterprising people today, ranging from one person shops to large multi-billion dollar companies have produced products to help everybody take advantage of olive oil soap benefits and, of course, make a dollar or two in the process. No harm in that.
But what makes it so good for you? Why may you want to consider spending three dollars for a bar of soap? Is this soap you use every day or perhaps just once a week for special feeling of clean? Is it hype or is it actually better? What are others say? All good questions so let’s dig in a big.
A brief history of olive oil soap
Thankfully, soap has been around for quite awhile. The earliest references date back about 5,000 years. Kudos to the early Babylonians. These early soaps were made of things like animal fat, ashes, and water. It wasn’t until the 7th century when Arab chemists started using oils in their soaps and, not surprisingly, olive oils was one of the earliest used. So it’s not inaccurate to say that olive oil soaps have been around for about 1,300 years, give or take. Soap began being manufactured in factories around the early 1800’s but actual commercial soap wasn’t around until the end of World War One when processes were developed to streamline the process so soap could be made in less than a day.
Olive oil soap benefits
- Moisturizing: Perhaps one of the most noticeable and sought after effect of olive oil soap is it’s ability to moisturize your skin in the driest of times.
- Anti-aging: Contains oleic acid and polyphenols which work together to improve skin tone as well as texture
- Hypoallergenic: Olive oil is, by nature, 100% natural and free of any additives or chemicals found elsewhere. Because of this, olive oil soap is good for all ages and all skin types. Pediatricians often recommend olive oil based soaps for newborns. Olive oil is considered one of the best natural treatments for dry skin.
- Antioxidants: Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that help keep skin healthy and elastic and helps promote skin cell regeneration.
- Promotes radiant and healthy skin: The reasons mentioned elsewhere result in skin that is clean, smooth, healthy, and radiant.
- A bar of soap lasts longer: Olive oil soap is typically harder than commercial soap and lathers less so a bar of olive oil soap tends to last a long time
- Smells good: Sure, commercial soaps smell good as well but this is different. Whereas commercial soaps offer a perfumed scent, olive oil soap is more earthy and fruity. Many people who may experience irritation due to commercial soaps can use olive oil soaps with no problem.
- Low pH levels: Many soaps with higher pH levels can interfere with your skin’s natural pH levels and cause irritation. Olive oil’s naturally low pH level prevents this type of irritation.
- Removes eye makeup: Yep, helps with this as well. Give it a try!
- No oily residue: Perhaps counterintuitively, olive oil soap does not leave an oily residue. This of course depends on the quality of the soap you buy and other ingredients that are in the soap.
What type of olive oil soap (and how much)?
Olive oil is broken into several categories with “Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil” at the very top of the list in terms of purity, quality, and cost. One (very small) step below that is “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” which is still very high quality.
You’ll find soaps made of each, as well as other varieties of olive oils. To reap the most olive oil soap benefits, you’ll want to choose soaps made of the best olive oils. The price, however, can be drastic so check your pocketbook. One thing to watch out for is olive oil soap made with Pomace olive oil. This is the lowest grade of olive oil and, in fact, can’t officially even be called an olive oil as it it made from the scraps of olives after all of the other processing is done. However, you will see Pomace based soaps pronouncing the same health benefits as higher grade olive oil soaps.
Olive oil soap on Amazon
Two of our favorite choices for oil olive soap can be readily bought on Amazon. Take a look at them here:
Made in the old Greek traditions, Papoutsanis soap contains 70-80% oleic acid composition. Great price for 4 bars of olive oil soap
Hugely popular pure olive oil and non-GMO soap containing only 3 ingredients: Olive oil, water, and sea salt.
Make your own olive oil soap
It’s not as far fetched or difficult as it sounds. The following is taken verbatim from the Soapqueen site.
A word of caution before you begin. You’ll be using lye and lye can be dangerous. The directions call for slowly pouring lye into the water. It’s important that you follow these steps closely and never pour water into lye (the other way around). Doing so can cause an immediate and unexpected chemical reaction that can cause you harm.
Also, this is discussed below but to set the expectation up front, this is not something you’ll do today and use the soap tonight. Depending on the exact process you use, the soap will need to cure for at least a couple of weeks and sometimes up to six months.
And the last note before you dive in is the process below specifies using a mold and a Savon stamp to stamp your soap. Of course, you can use whatever molds and stamps you want. Here are some good ones available on Amazon as well as a couple of other ideas to dress up your homemade soaps:
Simple Castile Cold Process Soap Tutorial
- 10″ Silicone Loaf Mold
- 35 oz. Olive Oil
- 4.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
- 9.2 oz Distilled Water (20% water discount)
- 2 oz. Tomato Leaf Fragrance Oil
- Savon Soap Stamp
- Optional (but highly recommended!): Sodium Lactate
- Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. For this recipe, I highly recommend using sodium lactate. Sodium lactate will hep you remove the soap from the mold much faster. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 2 teaspoons sodium lactate. Add the sodium lactate to the cooled lye water.
- Pour the olive oil into your mixing bowl, and heat to 120-130 degrees. Once the lye water and the oils have both cooled to about 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until you reach a light trace. This may take a little longer than usual, since this recipe is 100% olive oil!
- Add the Tomato Leaf Fragrance Oil and use the stick blender to mix in. Continue pulsing the stick blender, and using it to stir until there is no longer streaks of fragrance oil. Don’t worry about over stick blending, this recipe gives you plenty of time to work with it!
- Continue to stick blend until you reach a thin-medium trace. Pour the soap into the mold, and use a spoon or spatula to even out the top if necessary. Tap the mold on the counter to help get rid of any bubbles. Spritz the top with alcohol to help prevent soda ash. Cover the mold, and insulate the soap for 24 hours to help promote gel phase. Gel phase is not absolutely necessary, but it will help the soap unmold a little sooner! Once the mold can be pulled away from the sides of the soap with little resistance, carefully remove from the mold and cut into bars. With a 20% water discount, sodium lactate and gelling, I was able to unmold and cut this soap in 2 days. Without one, or all of these methods, this soap can take up to 2 weeks to remove from the mold, so be patient. =)
- Once the soap is cut into bars, use the Savon Soap Stamp to stamp the soap directly in the center. Check out this video for tips on stamping your soap. I found it was best to stamp these bars after right after unmolding. I also used the soap beveller to clean up the edges of these bars. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks, and enjoy!