A brief history of soap


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A brief history of soap

The word “Soap” is derived from the Celtic word “Saipo”. Soap has been in use for several thousand years; although, not necessarily accessible to the common person. There is evidence that early civilizations, such as Phoenician and Roman, made soap but for industrial and medical purposes, not for cleansing the body. For instance the Romans applied oil to the skin and used a strigil to scrape the skin down to remove dirt.

It’s believed that early soap makers used animal fats and ashes to produce soap. They combined ashes, most likely plant or wood ashes, with water and added a fat to the solution. This mixture was then boiled, with ashes being repeatedly added, as the saponification process took place. During the Middle Ages slaked lime was used to causticize the alkali carbonate thereby making it easier to saponify neutral fats.

In England, early soap makers had to pay a high tax on all the soap that they produced. This tax was as high as three pence per pound. Tax collectors placed special lids on boiling pans that could be locked at night so that soap could not be made in secret. The state final abolished this tax in 1853.

What is soap anyway?

Soap is defined as an alkali salt of fatty acids, which when it is dissolved in water has the ability to remove dirt from surfaces. The soap molecules contain a water-insoluble part (hydrophobic) or fatty acid or long chain carbon group. This part attaches itself to the surface and to dirt. It also has a water-soluble part (hydrophilic) that attaches itself to water. The process of cleaning a surface begins with first wetting the soiled surface. Soap can aid in this by decreasing the surface tension of water. A layer of soap is absorbed at the boundary of the surface and water, and the soil and water. Often there is a thin layer of oil that adheres dirt to a surface. Soap aided by warm water and agitation, will break up dirt and this oily layer, if present, and disperse the dirt into the wash water. The soap will then form a colloid that will prevent the dirt from re-depositing on the surface so that the dirt can be rinsed away in wash water.

Lololi Cosmetics Vitamin E Soap

Ingredient of the Month: Vitamin E

Vitamin E

Vitamin E was first recognized in 1922, obtained in pure form in 1936 and finally chemically identified in 1938. It is a fat soluble compound found in certain plants and in the leaves of certain vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli). There are also several similar compounds that are classified as tocopherols.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means that it prohibits oxidation of body tissue by peroxides and free radicals. It may prolong the active life span of biological membranes by slowing the rate of oxidation. It is use commercially to prevent fats, including vegetable oil, from going rancid.

You can find Vitamin E in our new Vitamin E soap that also contains Apricot Kernel Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, and of course Shea Butter. This soap will be available  July 20, 2014.


Ingredient of the Month: Pomegranate Oil

Pomegranates, botanical name Punica Granatum, are said to have their origins in Iran, and have been cultivated since antiquity. Punica granatum is a fruit bearing deciduous tree or shrub. These shrubs can now be found in Middle East, Northern Africa, the Mediterranean, Central Asia and the Caucasus. In 1796 Spanish settlers brought the tree to the Americas and they are now grown in Arizona and California.


The fruit is rich in Vitamin C and K and polyphenols. The seeds are a good source of fiber. The oil contains Punicic acid (65.3%), Palmitic acid (4.8%), Stearic acid (2.3%), Oleic acid (6.3%) and Linoleic acid (6.6%). The oil is said to improve elasticity in the skin and that it helps slough off old skin cells quicker. Pomegranate oil is also believed to be anti-inflammatory, soothing and moisturizing to dry and mature skin, and for people with eczema and psoriasis.

You’ll be able to find Pomegranate oil in our Pomegranate and Mango soap, which is coming soon!


Visit www.lololicosmetics.com to buy our handmade soaps.