What Is Castile Soap?

by admin on February 14, 2011

What is Castile Soap?

Castile soap is a type of soap made exclusively from vegetable oil rather than animal fat or artificial ingredients.  It is ideal for the body as well as the environment.  True Castile soaps are the mildest and most moisturizing of all soaps, typically unscented and free of color additives, making it a perfect solution for those with sensitive skin.  Its production process creates less waste for the environment than synthetically produced soaps, and the all-natural bars are bio-degradable.

The Origin

In 13th century Castile region of Spain, an all-vegetable based soap was made from local olive oil. Castile soap, named after its birthplace, gained popularity and was exported for centuries to royalty throughout Europe.  By the turn of this century, “Castile” had come to describe any vegetable oil-based soap, unlike animal fat-based (tallow) soap.

The Key Ingredient

True Castile soap must be produced from a mixture that is at least 80% olive oil.  Many of modern “Castile soaps” contain little or no olive oil.  Olive oil brings many health benefits to the table.  First of all, it is a great source of antioxidants, and regular use may aid in fighting cell degeneration.  Secondly, olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps the body manufacture prostaglandins, which help moisten the skin and improve its texture.  In addition, the olive oil in Castile soap may help improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.  Olive Oil is a natural humectant, attracts moisture from the air.  When you bathe with olive oil soap, it passes its moisture-attracting quality to your skin.  Your skin will remain naturally moist throughout the day, without the need to apply lotions after bathing.

Olive oil makes Castile soap softer than other bar soaps and produces a low lather, different from other oils used in soap making such as coconut which produces a hardened soap with greater lather (tip – the greater the lather, the more drying the soap).  The low lather and soft feel allows you to gently cleanse your face and body without stripping the natural oils from the skin.

Beneficial for All

In history, Castile soap was used by royalty. Created for the Queen of Spain, it was nicknamed “The Queen of Soap”. Today, it is meant for everyone of every age, of every skin type.

Castile soap is the safest and gentlest baby soap there is, unlike most so-called baby-soaps that contain artificial fragrances and mineral oils.

Castile is the soap most likely to be well-tolerated by people with severe allergies and sensitive skin.  It soothes burned and irritated skin and has no fragrance that could prove irritating.

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