Marseille body soap, natural (and sustainable) based on olive oil, produced in Marseille, France, for almost 650 years, has unexpected properties and benefits if you are not familiar with the product and have never used it. Its popularity is due to the natural formula with its hydrating and nourishing power, as well as the delicacy in treating even the most sensitive skin thanks to the content of vegetable oils.
For those who want to try their hand, however, this possibility also exists. We talk about it in this article, where we see the characteristics, properties and how to make DIY Marseille soap.
Marseille Soap For Body Use And Preparation At Home
Marseille body soap is renowned for being very delicate on the skin, even the most sensitive, such as that of children. This is because it does not contain dyes, perfumes, parabens or palm oil. It is not surprising that it has these characteristics, given that it is a natural, highly hydrating and nourishing soap. Additionally, Marseille soap is credited with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties, which can help treat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis (Marseille soap can relieve itching).
Many dermatologists recommend using Marseille soap for the body, as it is hypoallergenic. Savon de Marseille can be used in various ways: as a body wash, as a shampoo (particularly for greasy hair ), as a facial cleanser or make-up remover, as a shaving soap, and even as a natural toothpaste.
How To Make Marseille Soap At Home
Homemade Marseille soap can be an idea to make with the tools and methods you have, of course. The traditional recipe involves cooking at 100 or 110 degrees, as well as various washings with salt water. In this context, let’s see how to make Marseille soap with the cold procedure.
DIY Marseille soap
Essential premise: to make soap, you also need caustic soda, which is highly corrosive; in fact, soap is the result of a chemical reaction between fats and caustic soda. Therefore, the use of caustic soda requires wearing gloves, protective glasses and a mask to avoid breathing the acidic vapors emitted during preparation.
It is essential to handle caustic soda with extreme caution to avoid direct contact (here’s what to do if you come into contact with caustic soda ) It is also a good idea to always keep the windows open to let air pass through. Another fundamental precaution is that containers and various accessories made of glass or stainless steel must be used.
Ingredients For Making Marseille Soap
To make soap with the cold method, you need the following:
- 250g of olive oil
- 65g of distilled water
- 32g of caustic soda
- gloves, mask and protective glasses
- immersion blender.
How To Proceed
- Measure the water in a glass.
- Pour the olive oil into a jar large enough to hold approximately 300g of the finished product.
- Measure the lye into another glass.
- Carefully pour the soda into the water and stir with a wooden or glass stirrer. Do not use plastic or metal tools to avoid unwanted reactions with soda. Also, never pour water into the soda bowl.
- Allow the solution to cool to approximately 45°C after it has reached 90°C.
- Heat the oil in a bain-marie or the microwave until it reaches a temperature of approximately 45°C. The oil and soda solution should be at the same temperature.
- Pour the soda solution into the oil jar and mix with a mixer.
When the mixture becomes thicker and opaque, it is ready to be poured into a plastic mould. From this moment, the saponification process begins. In this case, having used only olive oil, composed of a high percentage of unsaturated triglycerides, the soap will have to rest for a longer time.
Marseille Soap, What Is It
Marseille soap, also known as Savon de Marseille, is a traditional French product appreciated throughout the world for its beneficial properties. With a history dating back over 600 years, it is an excellent example of how conventional manufacturing methods can provide effective and sustainable solutions. Originating from Provence, Marseille soap is made with vegetable oils, such as olive oil, without the addition of harsh or synthetic chemicals. The cold saponification process preserves all the properties of its natural ingredients.
The traditional method, called “cauldron saponification”, involves preparing vegetable oils in large copper cauldrons. The result is a natural, biodegradable and hypoallergenic soap known for its soothing and nourishing properties. Marseille soap, or Savon de Marseille, also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helpful in treating various skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. In addition to its cosmetic use, this soap is an excellent household cleaner, capable of removing stubborn stains and cleaning deeply, while at the same time respecting the environment.
To take advantage of all these properties, however, it is best to make sure you choose pure Marseille soap, distinguishing those that boast the label “Marseille soap” but actually contain synthetic ingredients or chemical additives from natural soap. In this regard, it is essential to note that there are strict regulations regarding the production of natural Marseille soap. According to French law, this must be composed of at least 72% vegetable oils, without the addition of colorants, perfumes or preservatives.
Characteristics Of Savon De Marseille
As mentioned, there are strict practices that govern the production of Marseille soap. It is no coincidence that the Union des Professionels du Savon de Marseille was born in 2015 to protect its authenticity. The authentic Savon de Marseille produced by the UPSM soap factories is recognized for being a rugged and compact soap of different sizes and shapes: cube, parallelepiped, oval, and flakes, as reported on the organization’s website. According to the rules, authentic Marseille soap must meet three requirements:
- Contain a maximum of four ingredients, including water, sea salt, sodium hydroxide and 72% vegetable oil (for example, olive oil, but variations with different oil bases exist)
- The brand must follow a rigorous 5-step manufacturing process.
- It must come from the Marseille region (the 13th), from the Bouches-du-Rhône department.
Among other features:
- It does not contain artificial additives, colors, perfumes or fragrances, nor animal fats
- can be used to wash the body, face and even hair
- It is used for cleaning and hygiene of linen and the home.