What is Aleppo soap?
Aleppo soap is named for the city in which it was first made – Aleppo, Syria. The first documented production of Aleppo soap dates back to the 8th century, though many say that it existed well before that and some say that it is the oldest soap in the world – a veritable soap forefather, if you will.
The centuries-old tradition of Aleppo soap making — which uses no chemicals or other additives —involves secret family recipes handed down for generations. In the 11th century, the Crusaders brought Aleppo soap back to Europe, starting a centuries-long love affair with the olive-oil and laurel oil based soap said to be intensely moisturizing. Aleppo soap is thought to be one of the world’s oldest types of soap, and also said to have been the inspiration for the equally famous Marseille soap of France.
Traditional Aleppo soap is made through a “hot process.” The olive oil, lye, and water are mixed in a large, in-ground vat, in which the ingredients are boiled and mixed for three days, during which time the oil reacts with the lye and water to become a thick liquid soap.
Because it’s natural and chemical-free, Aleppo soap has withstood the test of time and continues to be sought after today. The olive oil acts as a moisturizer and the laurel oil as a cleanser. Together, they can help to calm inflammation, irritation and redness. Some say that using laurel oil can help treat and manage skin conditions like eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and acne. Indeed, Aleppo soap is often tolerated by those with even the most sensitive skin.