Handmade soaps - The What, Where & When

Handmade soaps - The What, Where & When

Cleanliness has become synonymous with soaps. With different brands producing different soaps for different purposes, the soap has made a long run. But it all started with handmade soaps. Do you know the history of handmade soaps — where, when, and how did it all happen? Come, let’s see some interesting facts about soap together!

Content Index

  • Some interesting facts about soap
  • What really is a 'soap'?
  • Why should you go for handmade soaps?

Some bubbly facts about soap

The invention of handmade soap dates back to 2800 BCE in Ancient Babylon and Mesopotamia. But surprisingly, these handmade soaps were not used for cleaning ourselves, but for our prized possessions. And while it didn't look any way similar to the modern handmade soaps, it paved the way for it.

Combining animal fats or vegetable oils with ash一 this was the formula used by all early handmade soaps. These handmade soap bars were only used for cleaning textiles and dishes. And very rarely were they prescribed by doctors for the treatment of serious skin conditions. 

There's an interesting myth associated with the invention of soap 一 that these natural handmade soaps came from Romans. This comes as no surprise as Romans were known to be cleanliness freaks. The Roman mythical story goes like this. In a place called Mount Sapo, Romans would burn animal sacrifices. The rain would wash the remains 一 the ash and fat, to the nearby river. The Romans who did their washing in that river found something wrong with the water but realized it made cleaning much easier. Another interesting fact about soap is that the term 'soap' was derived from Mount Sapo.

Early handmade soaps were made of lye and animal fats. When ash met with water and intense heat, lye was formed. When lye combined with fats or oils, the result was natural handmade soap. No one knows exactly how handmade soap was invented. But the Roman mythical story gave some idea of an otherwise miraculous invention of soap. Even though Romans were known for their cleanliness, they too didn't use these handmade soaps for cleaning themselves. Instead, they used perfumed oils for the same.

With the fall of the Roman empire, Europe came under the strict Catholic church, and "excessive bathing" was discouraged. When the cleanliness bar went down, Europeans became more susceptible to plague while people outside Europe stayed pretty clean and plague-free. As time went on, handmade soaps slowly resurfaced on European land.

Soap-making was just another household chore before scientists took the matter into their hands. Even though some artisans made special handmade soaps, not everyone could afford them, since it was expensive. But over time, recipes for handmade soap became more widely known. This gave people a chance to make their own handmade soap bars. So, if they wanted to stay clean, they had to do so with the lengthy soap-making process themselves. 

In the seventeenth century, the practice of soap-making was revived. From Spain and Italy, handmade soap-making moved slowly to France, where it saw momentous feats beginning in the 1700s. 

In 1791, Nicholas Leblanc, a French scientist invented a process by which an alkali could be made from a simple salt. Alkalis such as potash and soda ash slowly replaced the labor-intensive lye and made soap making a bit easier. With the Industrial Revolution, handmade soaps started to be made in large numbers. These factors allowed soap to be sold for significantly less money.

Until the 1980s, no further landmark moments occurred in soap making. Liquid handmade soaps existed even before a hundred years, but until the mid 1900s they remained harsh, and thus not suitable for personal hygiene. In the 1980s, companies like Colgate, Minnetonka and Proctor were able to come up with gentle liquid handmade soaps. But the question of how to sell it puzzled them. This was when Minnetonka bought all the plastic soap dispensers available at the time and thus established a monopoly. This drastic step set a standard for the very modern handmade soaps.

What really is a 'soap'?

When an alkali combines with fat or oil under heat, the soap is formed by a process called saponification. During this process, they thicken and are transferred to a mold and left to cool. Simple and pure as it sounds, this is how a natural handmade soap is formed. Modern natural handmade soaps are made very similar to the early methods of soap making in the 1800s. Nothing much has changed.Why should you go for handmade soaps?

Did you know many of the regular modern soaps that we now identify with are actually detergents? It has chemicals added to increase lather, to lower irritation, and to better moisturize. Why let your skin struggle with these nasty chemicals, when you have all the natural sources to make it happy? If you are looking for a clean and sustainable skincare, then natural handmade soaps are the best. By saying no to the modern regular soaps, you are not just saving your skin from toxic chemicals but Mother Earth too.

 It's time to go back to the goodness of nature. Get your hands on these 100% natural handmade soaps from the Intelligent® range of Tuco.

Skin Brightening Handmade Soap Dermat Proven To Even Out Skin Tone With Kakadu Plum & Rosehip 100g

To treat:

  • Kakadu plum, rich in vitamin C, boosts skin brightening

  • Curcumin from turmeric acts as a powerful antioxidant and eliminates free radicals

To prevent recurrence:

  • Rosehip oil exfoliates and brightens skin

  • Witch hazel helps in relieving inflammation and pore-tightening

It’s time to show your skin a little love with the goodness of natural handmade soaps. Be Intelligent® when choosing your handmade soap bar. There are brands out there such as TheUnbottleCo. to help you with gentle (yet effective) skincare. Don’t wait! Get your pack of handmade soap now and experience the magic of being ‘natural’. 

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