The Castile soap, beware of the fakes!
A castile soap, by definition, must contain a minimum of 70% pure olive oil and the other percentage must be plant-based oils. A pure castile soap is therefore 100% plant-based and due to its ingredients, is also hypoallergenic and biodegradable.
The castile soap recipe dates back to the 8th century in the regions of Spain, specifically Castillo, explaining its name. Castile soap is the son of the famous Aleppo soap (88% olive oil) and the father of the Marseille soap (72% olive oil), both of which are categorized as Castile soaps.
Due to its high concentration of pure olive oil, Castile soap contains a lot of antioxidants like hydroxytyrosol, oleic acid and vitamin E. Please note that hydroxytyrosol, known as one of the two most powerful antioxidants, (the other being gallic acid) is only found in olive oil and nowhere else.
So, the main ingredients of a true Castile soap are the following, keeping in mind the decreasing order of the amount of each ingredient;
Olive oil (70%), coconut oil.
That is the major difference with the fake Castile soaps that are mainly made with palm oil (sodium palmate) and coconut oil (sodium cocoate)! We shall not dwell on the highly controversial use of palm oil in cosmetics; the manufacturers that use it are well aware of its dangerous ecological footprint. Here are the ingredients of a fake Castile soap:
Coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil.
Notice that the olive oil is the third ingredient, practically not even present. These soaps are marketed as being plant-based, but they are not real Castile soaps and they will never have the true therapeutic effects of the wonderful Castile soap.
The ‘bubble’ is in your court.