To those who are not familiar with either the soap or culinary worlds, homemade olive oil soap does not sound like a big deal. This is because they probably do not use this type of oil regularly enough to realize its market value. It is one of those products that have been expensive since its very first day of production.
Throughout the centuries of soap making, homemade olive oil soap has been a sought after product. It was a popular product among the soap makers in Spain, Italy, and France (the olive growing countries), and it is for this reason why it is also well known as Castile soap, being called after the kingdom of Castille in Spain. For a long time throughout the history of soap making, homemade olive oil soap was reserved for nobility and the very wealthy, since only they could afford the product. Its base ingredient is what makes it so special.
Olive oil adds fantastic qualities to a soap. Many soap makers add a bit of the oil to their other soap recipes so as to add a great moisturizing quality to their soap. This means that a soap whose has this as a base oil is one of the best moisturizing soaps you can ever get. Because of this, homemade olive oil soap is good for the skin, if not the best the skin can ever be bathed with from a bar soap. Many times a homemade olive oil soap bar is better than most commercial liquid soaps out there!
Another factor that makes homemade olive oil soap so good for the skin is that it does not undergo the process in which glycerine is extracted from the soap. Many commercial manufacturers extract the glycerine component from their products so that they can use this in other products like lotions or creams. This is because glycerine has the ability to trap moisture in the skin, keeping it supple and soft, and thereby lengthening its youth and beauty.
In recent years, Castile soap has become more available to the public, with manufacturers being able to mass produce it, thanks to a steady supply of the oil, as well as different qualities of oil (i.e. Extra virgin.) If you’re going to be making Castile soap, you might want to try using regular oil for your test batches and then using very good or extra virgin oil when you are comfortable working with it. Some say that it doesn’t matter what kind of you use, but trust me, your skin can tell which one is better!