Jabón de Castilla (Castille or Castile Soap) was born in Spain in the Reino de Castilla (Castile Kingdom). There are records of this soap been produced as early as the 8th century, but it became popular much later in history.
While in the northern parts of old Europe soaps were made using animal fats, in the Reino de Castilla (Castile Kingdom) there was abundance of olives and pure olive oil, which is the main and only oil used in the making of this particular soap.
The soap became synonymous of royalty as it was the preferred choice of kings, queens and royal families of the time.
What ingredients does Castile Soap actually contain?
A true, original and genuine Castile soap is made with only 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, water and lye (sodium hydroxide) for a bar of soap. The true Castile soap contains no fragrances, and definitely must not contain other oils to render it harder or foamier. Any Castile soap containing coconut oil, fragrances, essential oils or any other ingredients, is not and should not be called Castile soap, although unfortunately this rule is not respected by many manufacturers offering fake Castile soaps especially in the US.
What is NOT Castile Soap
Any soap that contains little or no olive oil in its list of ingredients, or that contains palm oil, coconut oil, or any other oils, maple, honey, fragrances, colorants, added glycerine, etc.
Why is Castile soap so unique
The genuine Castile soap is very mild, suitable for the most sensitive of skin types and people who are sensitive to detergents, chemicals and fragrances, or suffer from skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. The soap makes a creamier foam with small bubbles, and might not be of the liking of many, yet this soap is so mild and gentle that can even be used on newborns.
Olive oil is high in oleic acid, 60%-80%, and palmitic acid, 8%-20%, making it an excellent regenerative and moisturizing ingredient. Olive oil also contains squalane, a natural compound known to protect and nourish the skin, especially the sensible dry ones. Olive oil is non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog pores making it suitable for acne prone skin. Since it's high in Vitamin E, it helps regenerate small scars and abrasions. Because of the properties of Olive Oil, the Castile soap is known as THE best soap in the world.
Many believe Jabón de Castilla is green and not white the fact is that olive oil makes a white bar of soap unless colour is added to it.
As the soap continues curing (because soaps never stop curing) and harden the soap will become completely white the reason why Castile soap was once called “The White Soap” by the Kings and Queens of Spain.