Aleppo Soap, One Soap Many Uses
In this week’s article I’d like to go over the many benefits and uses of Aleppo Soap. But first, let’s start with “What is Aleppo Soap?”
What is Aleppo Soap?
Aleppo Soap is a hot process soap that’s been made in Aleppo, Syria for centuries. This soap is made with Laurel Berry Oil and Olive Oil and cured for a very long time prior to use. Many middle eastern countries have been making this Olde World style soap because of its many uses. Its origin is unknown but said to have been used by Cleopatra and Queen Zenobia of Syria. Usually, Aleppo Soap is made with 12% or higher of laurel berry oil, with many suppliers keeping it between 12% - 20%. Some suppliers go as little as 5% laurel berry oil which I don’t really see the purpose of calling it Aleppo Soap. Here at Simply Organico we like the benefits of this oil and therefore prefer to use it at a higher concentration. All Simply Organico Aleppo soaps have at least 40% laurel berry oil.
Traditional Aleppo Soap
is made with extra virgin olive oil, laurel berry oil, soda ash (sodium hydroxide/lye) and water. The soap is made by soap masters in Syria using large vats where they cook the soap for several days while stirring constantly.
The mixture is then poured over large sheets of wax paper and leveled out where it’s left to cool and harden up. After which, the soap is cut into small blocks and stamped with the maker’s logo. The soap is then stacked into tall towers and left to dry for 6-9 months. This long curing process leaves you with an extremely mild soap bar.
The outside of the soap discolors to an almost mocha brown with a gorgeous bright green at the center.
Benefits of Laurel Berry Oil
Laurel Berry Oil (Laurus Nobilis) is a dark green oil that is very viscous and has an earthy scent to it. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Laurel Berry Oil is not to be confused with Bay Leaf Oil which is laurel leaf that has been steam distilled to produce an essential oil that can be used for many purposes including skincare and aromatherapy. Laurel Berry Oil helps with acne; dry, damaged or sensitive skin; eczema; dermatitis; dandruff and cradle cap among many other ailments.
Helping to Treat Acne
For acne, laurel berry oil has antibacterial benefits. It helps treat acne by targeting the bacteria buildup. Bacteria buildup is caused by excess sebum (oil that our bodies naturally produce) that causes pores to become clogged resulting in inflammation. Acne is also cause by dead skin cells not being shed. By using the Aleppo soap, it effectively cleanses your skin and helps remove bacteria without stripping it of moisture.
In the same way that it helps with skin shedding and excess oil buildup, using the Aleppo soap as a shampoo bar can help with dandruff. When using a shampoo bar you may have to do a vinegar rinse since shampoo bars are sulfate free and don’t strip off the hair’s moisture like many shampoos do however it can leave your hair feeling weighed down. Prevent this by doing an apple cider vinegar rinse (or ACV rinse) prior to shampooing. I do an ACV rinse at least one a month. Simply mix one ounce of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces of water and apply it to your hair. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse off. This ACV rinse acts as a conditioning treatment as it has a low pH which closes the cuticle and leaves your hair feeling really soft however, because of the smell you may want to apply a little bit of conditioner to your hair afterwards.
For Cradle Cap
Babies can sometimes get cradle cap. I know this because my son had this when he was two months old leaving him with a horseshoe hairline. To help, you can wash the scalp with the Aleppo Soap and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry and follow with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and massage it onto the scalp. Continue to do this several times a week. You should start noticing less flaking within several days. Within two weeks you will eventually see the cradle cap go away and a luscious head of hair starting to replace it.
As A Facial Soap
Aleppo Soap can replace your current facial soap by gently cleansing your skin, helping to rid the bacteria on it and keeping it hydrated by not stripping it of its natural moisture.
For Sensitive Skin
Because Aleppo Soap is only made with two types of oil (Olive and Laurel Berry), both of which are mild for sensitive skin, people with dermatitis issues such as eczema or psoriasis can use it. As I stated earlier, it is a GENTLE SOAP and does not contain any fragrance. Since it is “all natural” it has an earthy scent that’s from the laurel berry oil.
How We Make Aleppo Soap
Here at Simply Organico, we make the Aleppo Soap using the cold process method. We use a ratio of 60% Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 40% Laurel Berry Oil. After the soap is in the mold it tends to heat up very quickly (some soap recipes do this more than others) so we “insulate” the soap in the mold and allow it to go through a “gel phase”.
This heating process begins in the center of the soap and works its way outward and is caused by the heat that's generated during the saponification process. The resulting soap has a brighter appearance and a harder soap bar. We cut the soap loaves into bars then allow the soap bars to cure (dry out) for 9 months prior to listing them on our site.
By curing the soap, we are allowing the water content in the soap to evaporate which in turn helps the soap last longer. This long curing process allows for a milder soap (lower pH) and more fluffier bubbles, though olive oil soaps don’t bubble as much as others do.
I hope I was able to answer many of the questions that people tend to have regarding Aleppo Soap.
If you’d like to purchase our Aleppo Soap you can click HERE.
Till next time,