What Is Aleppo Soap: Benefits, History and Uses For Hair & Body
5 CommentsWednesday, 20 January 2021 | Nicola Wood & Ken Shaw
What are the Benefits of Aleppo Soap?
Aleppo soap is a product loved for its naturally nourishing qualities and is among the best bar soap for sensitive skin. Authentically made in Aleppo, Syria, it dates back to the 8th century A.D.
The soap traditionally comes in hard blocks made from olive oil and lye, but the ingredient that sets it apart is the bay laurel oil.
Apart from being one of the most all-natural products available in the world today, Aleppo soap is versatile and can be used on the face, body and hair, and shaving - yes even you ladies.
What is Aleppo Soap?
Aleppo soap (or Savon d’Alep, if you’re French) is, of course, soap: the stuff you wash with. It’s a hard soap made from olive oil and lye, like Castile soap from Spain.
But Aleppo soap is made with an extra-special ingredient that takes it to another level: oil of bay laurel. This precious oil, derived from laurel trees (like bay leaves), acts as a gentle cleanser and is well-tolerated by even the most sensitive skin.
Laurel Oil Soap Ingredients:
This soap doesn't have a lot of ingredients, but they all-natural: Olive oil, laurel berry oil, sodium hydroxide and water.
Where Does Aleppo Soap Come From?
So what are the origins of Aleppo Soap? To answer this question, we’d like to take you back in time; go on, indulge us.
As its name suggests, this unique soap originates from the ancient city of Aleppo, the main city in Syria’s Levant region. Historically, Aleppo was a central trade hub, thanks to its location at one end of the famous Silk Road.
Aleppo is said to be among the earliest soap producers. Myths abound that Queen Cleopatra of Egypt was an Aleppo soap fan, before the first century AD. It is believed these soaps were first introduced to Europe by the Crusaders in the 11th Century A.D.
Queen Zenobia of Syria was also a raving fan, probably leaving untold pictures of this natural soap on a Facebook page.
Whatever the truth, we know that Aleppo soap has been around for centuries and is still loved today for its remarkable benefits.
How Are Aleppo Soaps Made?
Turning oils into soap is a manufacturing process that requires expert craftsmanship – a quality that Aleppo’s legendary soap-makers have in abundance.
These veritable wizards boil olive oil, lye and water in a large vat for three days, which creates a thick soap-like substance; known as the saponification process. They then add oil of bay laurel – the key to Aleppo soap’s powers.
The soap-making magicians then pour the mixture from the vat onto a vast sheet of wax paper to cool and harden. At this stage, it’s a vibrant emerald-green colour.
After some time, the wizards hand cut the soap into individual blocks using a special rake. The Grand High Wizard’s name is stamped onto the cubes, so you know who to worship when you take a bath. True story.
How long does Aleppo soap last?
These artisans then stack the soap cubes in such a way that allows maximum air exposure; they leave them to age like this for seven months.
During this drying process, which is critical to the quality of the soaps, the outsides of the cubes turn golden-brown, while the insides stay deep green. If you’ve ever sliced your Aleppo soap in two, you’ll know how gorgeous that colour combo looks!
As you can see, the soap making process can take a long time, and when finished, these soaps are very dense and extremely long-lasting; Great value for money.
These soaps can be kept for years too; they often look better as they age and turn a richer colour. They will dry out slightly over time, but they remain perfect to use and their skincare properties won't diminish.
What are the Skin Benefits of Aleppo Soap? What is it good for?
Natural beauty fans have been saluting the quality of Aleppo Soap for years. “Soap is just soap!” I hear you cry. But we say, non: Aleppo soap is in a class of its own.
Traditional Aleppo soap contains no unnatural gunk, chemicals or animal fats. It typically has a laurel oil content of 2-20% and a characteristically rich earthy fragrance that makes it a pleasure to use.
This fabulous laurel soap is also biodegradable and therefore on point with its eco values *pushes up glasses*.
Can I Use Aleppo Soap For Hair?
Aleppo soap is the original 'all-in-one' product and is perfect for all skin types, including skin prone to dermatitis and other itchy, inflammatory skin conditions. It can be used to wash the face, body and hair, and lathered to create a natural shaving cream.
Aleppo soap is so gentle it can even be used on babies’ skin, making it a family-friendly choice.
Here are just some of the many skincare benefits of Aleppo soap:
- Cleanses and purifies without stripping the skin’s natural essential oils.
- The olive oil hydrates, moisturises and nourishes dry, flaky skin.
- Oil of bay laurel can help manage skin problems like eczema, dermatitis and acne.
- Together, the properties of olive oil and bay laurel oil help calm redness, irritation and inflammation.
- Has Antiseptic, Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties
- Dermatologists often recommend that this soap is suitable for the most sensitive or baby skin
TL;DR: Traditional Aleppo soap is natural, gentle, moisturising and the Best Bar for sensitive skin!
How can you tell if your Aleppo soap is genuine? It will float :)
Et Vous?We’re presuming since you’re here and you’re human that you use soap, non? Have you ever tried Aleppo soap? Got any thoughts on these unique, natural blocks? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!