The exact timeframe and circumstances on the discovery of soap is unknown, but it is known that ancient Sumarians were using forms of soap by 3000 B.C.E. The first known recorded recipe for soap was discovered on Babylonian clay rolls dated from around 2800 B.C.E. For most of that 5000 years, soaps consisted of animal fat or plant oils boiled with wood ash or mixed into a slurry. These crude soaps were then used for industry, frequently used in wool and cloth processing for dying, or for household use.
As soaps became more refined, medicinal use was also added to treat skin conditions, but use for general hygiene wasn't part of soaps uses until relatively recently. Considered a luxury, soap was even taxed in some areas when it drove candle prices beyond the reach of poor when tallow was in high demand.
Due to soaps history in industry, most soap recipes were closely guarded within families or passed from master to apprentice, with the actual science of soap not well understood. It wasn't until the late 18th century that understanding increased and the road to modern, industrialized soap making began.
Chemically speaking, "soap" is a salt, or a solid left with water after an acid and a base substance chemically react. Saponification is the term used for this acid/base reaction that results in "soap". The building blocks for sapon-ification are simple; water, acid (lye) and base (any plant oil or animal fat). This simplicity allows for amazing variety, however without saponification, cleansers are not soap. These non-saponified cleansers are termed as either cleaning agents or detergents.
Once created, soap attracts and traps oils, as well as the dirt and debris typically carried in them, and allows water to wash it away. According to the Center for Disease Control, the most effective preventative for the spread of germs is still simple soap and water and proper technique.
With careful selection of oils and additives, natural soaps can be tailored for any cleaning purpose. From laundry and household use to facial and newborn washes. Liquid soap, soft soaps and creams, or solid bars; any skin type or allergic sensitivity. Natural soaps versatility is nearly endless.
Most commercial soaps are only a fraction of actual soap, if there is any in them. Often, it's just enough for the FDA to allow the use of the word "soap" on packaging. What's the rest? Bubbling agents, water softening and cleaning agents are usually just the start. These additives tend to be harsh and strip natural oils from the skin, leaving it vulnerable, dry and itchy, or the drying effect has been over compensated for and you end up sticky or filmy. Yuck.
Commercial soaps are also mass produced, for the average user. While that doesn't sound bad, it's not necessarily good either. If you are finicky, or more correctly, your skin is finicky, you know the pain and frustration of finding a soap that works well, smells nice and doesn't leave you looking for the lotion every 20 minutes, or worse, leaves your skin red, and irritated.
Ideally, you would make your own homemade soap and tailor it to the needs and preferences of your family. Just like you do when making dinner. You'd know exactly what went into it, where it came from, and maybe even grew it yourself. Who has time for that?
Just like with dinner, you have options between "fast food" and "from scratch". Let us be your "5-star" option, without the 5-star price.
Or, better yet, let us be your personal chef and customize your soaps for you.