Castile Soap And Acne Prone Skin.
‘Beautifully, gentle, yet offers excellent cleansing, Super versatile, – if you are conscious of what they put on your skin- Castile soap is a must have.
Castile soap is named after its origin in Castile Spain. It is available either in liquid or bar form. It is made from different vegetable oils including Coconut oil, Olive oil, Hemp Oil, Avocado Oil, Grape seed Oil and Castor Oil. The oils are what give the soap its lathering and cleansing properties. It is alkaline and has a pH Scale of 8.9 (pure water is neutral pH 7).
Castile soap is biodegradable since it is made from natural carrier oils and natural occurring ingredients. It is also bio friendly during production because of its natural and non-toxic properties.
Castile Soap – Gentle cleanse without the toxins
History of Castile soap
This soap is versatile in that it can be used for beauty as well as cleaning. This soap became popular in the Mediterranean Europe region after the Aleppo soap which was from Syria. The history of it was that, after the Aleppo soap came to Europe and people got interested in it for hygiene purposes, the local soap production in the Mediterranean region spread to Italy and Spain in the 12th century.
Their dedication and continuous inventions enabled some cities to become the leading export areas of soap to the rest of Europe. Among the many soaps that were made during that time in Europe, one stood out amongst all because of its high quality and its ability to clean best. This was castile soap which became the most popular soap in Spain.
Castile soap is unique in that it’s both gentle and strong; it’s gentle on skin because it’s made from saponified oils that have hydrating properties, but it’s an equally powerful cleanser that can tackle even the most stubborn smudge
How castile soap is made;
In the ancient times, castile soap was made using olive oil and blending it with either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide lye, also known as caustic soda. The lye is highly alkaline and all favourable to make soap.
Sodium hydroxide is used to make solid soap while potassium hydroxide is used to make liquid soap.
Differences between soaps using sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.
The type of soap you make either solid(bars) or liquid is determined by the choice of compound you decide to use as your lye. You can either use sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH) also known as potash.
|Sodium hydroxide||Potassium hydroxide|
|Used to make solid soaps which are opaque bars||Used to make liquid soaps which are clear, translucent, flowing liquids.|
|It is affordable||It is 3 times more expensive|
|Generates more heat during mixing||Generates little heat|
|Its molecular level is a bit large.||It is a better cleaning agent because it has a smaller molecular level therefore can easily penetrate oil molecules thus breaking the oil’s hold on surfaces quicker.|
|Cannot be diluted in water easily.||Easily diluted in water hence easy to make liquid soap.|
|Moisturizing after use. It is not drying.||The soap turns out to be drying because KOH breaks the oils used in the making of soap and in turn removes oils from the skin.|
Cold process method: this process is pretty straight forward than the hot process method. The lye is mixed with water then vegetable oils and any essential oils are added. The saponification process begins in the mixture and it begins to turn solid in case the lye used is NaOH. The mixture cures for a period of weeks, not less than 6 weeks to be exact.
The hot process method: this process uses heat to cure the soap mixture. It is a quick way of making soap since the heat helps to fasten the saponification process. It also requires less oils to add scent to the soap. Sources of heat such as an oven, stove etc are required.
When making castile soap, the rule of the thumb is applied because it is advised not to use too many ingredients in this process. Since time in memorial, only olive oil, lye and water were the ingredients in making castile soap. Today one can come up with a castile soap recipe suitable for your needs and you can add more natural ingredients to the soap.
Uses of castile soap.
- Facial cleanser
- Bathing- it is considered a very healthy option than most soaps.
- Cleaning wounds
- Bathing pets
- As a DIY pest control i.e. spraying plants for bugs
- As a kitchen soap
- For laundry
- For washing produce
- For oral care as a mouthwash and brushing teeth.
- As a deodorant
- As a foot bath
- As a makeup remover and makeup brush cleaner
- As a hair shampoo
- For household cleaning i.e. mopping.
Castile soap on acne prone skin
Acne occurs when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil (sebum), dead skin, or bacteria. Sebum (oil) overproduction is also one of the main causes of acne. Sebum is a substance produced by the sebaceous gland which is used to lubricate the skin. Too much sebum may fail to be excreted out of the skin and block the pore. The bacteria present in the skin may get trapped and clog the pore, feed on the blockage and lead to bacterial overgrowth. Immune cells attack the bacteria causing redness, inflammation and pus.
Cleansing with Castile Soap
Cleansing helps remove any excess oils and dead skin. This is where Castile soap comes in. Castile soap is a strong cleanser but very mild on skin. With excess sebum, the soap molecules surround the oily molecules thus rinsing them off the skin. Castile soap is non comedogenic. It is made using oils like olive oil but does not clog pores because of the oils.
The oils were saponified thus they are not oils anymore but the chemical reaction between the Potassium Hydroxide and the oils has turned it into a completely different substance thus is safe to use on oily skin without fear of clogging pores.
According to reviews on Acne.org, 96% of people with acne prone skin would recommend castile soap to a friend due to its positive results on their skin. its recommended to always moistuirise and replenish the skin after washing with any soap.
Castile soap can be a good alternative for artificial shampoos in the market that contain harmful ingredients which may be harmful to your hair and scalp. Castile soap is really good I removing oil build-up from the hair as it molecules completely surround the oil molecules which allows it to be washed away during rinsing. Castile soap can however leave your hair feeling matted and therefore it is advisable to rinse your hair with an acidic solution for example a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar. The soap is either applied directly onto the hair or diluted first.
Don’t use castile soap on colour treated hair as it will strip some colour from the hair.
Castile soap can be a cheaper alternative for different household cleaning necessities. For hand soap, you will need 2 tablespoons of the soap and diluted into 12 ounces of water. It is organic and therefore gentle on your hands.
Make up remover
Castile soap can be used as a makeup remover. You will need a 1 teaspoon of the castile soap and mixed in an equal ratio with any of the following; Witch Hazel/Rose Water and a carrier oil.
Makeup brush cleaner
Castile soap is able to remove any stubborn makeup on your brushes and give you nice, clean make up brushes. You will need warm water in a container and add a few drops of the castile soap into the container. Place the brushes in the solution for about 20 minutes and rinse. Repeat as desired.
Do not combine or mix castile soap with vinegar or lemon juice due to their acidity. This will turn the castile soap back to its original state as vegetable fat or oils.
By Eila Oketch.
And Natasha Warimu