All Popeye the Sailor Man references aside, (ask your grandparents 🙂 ) Olive oil really is a wonder. Widely used in cooking, it is known for being heart healthy as well as tasty.
Before you go searching for a great Olive Oil recipe (Check out this site for 25 great Olive Oil recipes) It’s all about soap here. Olive oil and soap go hand in hand. One of the easiest oils to use in soap making and is GREAT on the skin. What makes Olive Oil so great?
Olive oil is by definition : an oil pressed from ripe olives a traditional crop from the Mediterranean Basin, used in cooking, medicines, soap and more. It is high in Oleic acid, which allows this oil to absorb into the skin and form a protective barrier against the elements. It also acts as a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin and is said to help aid skin cell regeneration. Olive oil is used to make the gentlest of soaps. Olive oil or Castile Soap named for the region Castile in Spain that is known for its olive oil. Nowadays a Castile soap can stand for any vegetable based soaps, but traditionally a Castile Soap was made with all Olive oil Lye and Water.
Castile Soap is wonderful for those with sensitive skin, including baby’s. It is easy on the skin yet still very effective in cleansing. It is very conditioning and produces a thin lather. Soap made with 100% Olive Oil needs a long cure time, sometimes as long as 6-8 months…yes MONTHS. That long cure time allows the bars to loose all of the extra moisture in them and become an extremely hard bar that lasts a long time.
When Castile Soap isn’t allowed that long cure time, it tends to have an almost slimy lather (eww!) So I let mine cure about 6 months up to as long as a year. Every New Year and very July 11 (My birthday) I make a new batch. It makes a great shampoo bar (with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse afterwards) as well.
In my very first post I talked about my very first bar of soap which was a Castile Soap. At the time I had no idea about the long curing time. I was so excited to try my new soap only to find I was going to have to wait a LONG time 🙂 Now Castile soap is one of my top soaps. A favorite of mine and my customers. I tend to have much more olive oil in my soap room than in my kitchen!
Want to try making a Castile Soap of your own? Check out this video tutorial by Cathy From Soaping 101. She even shows how to press your own olive oil.
From the Kitchen to the Bathroom, Olive Oil really is a Wonder Oil!
Wanna get some of our handcrefted products? Head on over to www.ladybugsSuds.com and pick up a bar of our artisan soaps or any of our other bath and body products!