Content created mostly by Genesa Tan with some interruptions from Hildra Gwee
In case you can’t tell, we are obsessed with these moss green cubes of magical goodness. We are talking of course, about the Savon De Marseille Olive Oil Soap. This incredibly versatile soap is gentle, natural, moisturising, anti-bacterial and yet insanely effective. It works as well to clean your body as it cleans your home, and even your plants!
DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS SOAP DATES BACK TO 1370?
The long-standing history of the Marseille soap is testament to its effectiveness. This soap has been produced in the French city of Marseille for more than 600 years and can still be widely found in many French households today.
A man stacking up dried cubes of Marseille - photo taken from the private collection of Monsieur Quittard
By French law, to earn the classification of Savon de Marseille, the soap must contain at least 72% olive oil and be fragrance free, no dyes, no preservatives and no animal fats. That's why, the ones that meet such conditions are proudly stamped Savon De Marseille.
At oasis:skin, we source our Marseille soap from one of the only five authentic savonneries who are still making these traditional Marseille soaps, Fer a Cheval, the oldest Marseille soap maker in Marseille. It takes a Master soapmaster two weeks to make Savon de Marseille. The delicate mixture of olive oil, alkaline ash from sea plants and Mediterranean Sea salted water are heated for ten days in antique cauldrons, then poured into open pits where it hardens.
So why do we rave about it? Read on to find out some of our favourite ways to use these soaps!
This nifty bar of soap can be used by the whole family, as it is suitable for all skin types, from kids to pregnant mothers to those with sensitive and allergy prone skin. It can be used daily by massaging the soap directly onto wet hands and skin. It even works on hair as shampoo (although not recommended if you have long hair!) and can be used as a shaving soap that won’t dry your skin like most of the shaving foam. No aftershave necessary.
AS A BRUSH CLEANER
Beauty director of YSL Beauty Tom Pecheux recommends using Marseille soap to clean makeup brushes. Simply wet the brushes and rub them directly onto a bar of Marseille soap after each use (or once a week if you are lazy like us). Let them dry naturally and standing up so the shape is maintained! Tom also recommends applying a bit of heat when drying them for best maintenance.
Read more on this on this blog
AS A STAIN REMOVER
According to Murphy’s law, when you are having a bad day, you are 10 times more likely to spill coffee down the front of your favourite white t-shirt. But fret not! Marseille soap works wonderfully to remove the most stubborn of stains. Wet your bar of Marseille soap (just a little so its barely damp) and rub it directly on the stain. Allow the soap film/crust to dry on the stain for a good 20-30 minutes and then wash as normal.
It works great on sneakers too! Just rub directly onto your sneakers, leave it on for 20-30 minutes, rinse off and your sneakers will be good as new!
AS AN ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
It’s good for pretty much any surface in your home, from your sofa to your floors. Simply rub a bar of Marseille soap on a damp cloth or sponge or even directly on the surface you want to treat, and rinse well.
We love to use this soap to clean our bottles and beakers in our beauty kitchen! Since we are often working with oils, we turn to our trusty Marseille soap often as it effectively cuts the oil while being gentle to our hands. Just wet a sponge and rub it directly on the bar and wash your dishes as per normal!
OUR SECRET RECIPE FOR CLEANING EVERYTHING
Ok not so secret because to be honest, we googled dozens of recipes and experimented till we found this great balance of soap and liquid ANYWAY here you go!
OUR NOT SO SECRET RECIPE
20g Marseille soap flakes (grate the soap yourself or get them in ready flakes here
1 litre of water (distilled or purified if possible)
1 tsp Baking Soda (optional)
30 drops of Organic essential oil (optional)
Step 1: Boil the water in a pot/kettle
Step 2: Place the flakes into a large bowl, and pour the boiled water in. Stir until well dissolved.
Step 3: Add in baking soda, followed by essential oils and continue stirring till everything is mixed in.
Step 4: Transfer the mixture into a glass bottle and store it away for your next wash!
HOW TO USE
For Laundry: Pour around 3-4 tablespoons of liquid for a 5 kg load.
For Jewellery: Rub each piece under the liquid before removing, then rinse with fresh water & dry.
As a natural Insecticide: This one is for all you plant mamas/papas! Transfer the liquid into a spray bottle instead and spray it over the affected areas of your green babies. This great thing is, this 100% natural insecticide can safely be used to treat your edible plants too.
We hope you found this article useful and welcome any other uses you can think of to share with the community! Leave your comments down below.