What are the benefits of Aleppo soap?

In more modern times, scientific studies of the essential oil of the bay tree (Laurus Nobilis) have demonstrated antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory activities. Anecdotally, using laurel oil soap can help treat and manage skin conditions like eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and acne. It is free from harmful chemicals such as parabens or other preservatives, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), EDTAphthalates or formaldehyde. Some personal care products have been found to contain toxic levels of benzene, leading to product recalls, while phthalates found in many products have been shown to increase the risk of cancer.

Anecdotally, some people who use this soap to wash say that it helps heal dry skin and rashes caused by excessive hand washing at work. You can read reviews by people who use aleppo soap to help manage skin conditions.

Can Aleppo soap be used as a solid shampoo to wash hair?

Aleppo soap can also be used for hair washing as it helps control dandruff. It can be worked up into a lather and then rinsed. Like any product, it may not be suitable for all hair types, but many people who use Aleppo soap as a solid shampoo do not need to use conditioner as it leaves the hair very soft to the touch. It also means you can avoid carrying liquid shampoo in your hand luggage when your travel by air. A £5 bar of Aleppo soap will last far longer than a £5 bottle of shampoo.

In hard water areas, using Aleppo soap may result in a waxy feel to the hair. There are some solutions to this, such as washing hair in cooler water, or using a dilute vinegar rinse after the wash. More on this here.

Can Aleppo soap be used for shaving?

Yes, it can be used for shaving. It doesn’t produce the same lather that shaving foams give, but it allows the razor to glide very smoothly over the skin. Either apply the soap to the face and shave, or lather the shaving brush on the soap and apply. See how to work up a lather here. You can discuss shaving techniques on some forums.

Can Aleppo soap be used as a laundry detergent?

Yes, it can be used as a laundry detergent. The recommendation is to grate some Aleppo soap into fine flakes, and dissolve in warm water before adding to the wash. There is some useful discussion on the use of Aleppo soap as a laundry detergent on this blog (or this PDF version) It would be best to try it once or twice to see if it works. If clothes feel waxy or oily after a wash, it may be because of living in a hard water area, and the accumulation of wax may be harmful to the washing machine. Hand washing may be more suitable for stubborn stains. 

What is the difference in laurel oil content?

For the difference in laurel oil content, the high laurel oil content soaps are good for people with dry skin (so often older people), and high olive oil content soap are good for people with too fatty skin (for example teenagers with acne etc.) A 50/50 olive to laurel oil ratio gives the best of both worlds.

Why is Aleppo soap more expensive than other soaps?

Aleppo soap is hand made in small batches. It uses olive oil and laurel oil. Laurel oil is very expensive! Also the soap rests for 6-9 months so makers can only make as much as they can store and aren’t able to sell instantly. Commercial soap is made using a highly mechanised process in very large volumes. Using inexpensive raw materials such as animal fats also keeps the costs down.

Hand stamping with the soapmaker’s stamp

What does Aleppo soap smell like?

Aleppo soap smell is very mild due to the laurel oil, as olive oil soaps have little to no scent. The scent of Aleppo soap is very pleasing and leaves a very mild aroma after a bath.

Is soap better than antibacterial hand sanitiser gels?

Hand santizer gels contain antibacterial chemicals that ultimately kill off healthy bacteria that naturally live on your skin. These gels allow some bad bacteria develop resistance to antimicrobials, so in the longer run they may do more harm than good. For regular home use, soap is better than antibacterial hand sanitizer gel. Some hand sanitisers have been found to contain toxic levels of benzene, a carcinogen.

Do you ship internationally?

I can ship internationally but please contact me on contact@alepposoap.uk BEFORE placing an order so I can calculate shipping. There are many options depending on weight and destination. You can view Royal Mail International shipping rates, for 1 bar of soap (0.3kg) up to 5 bars of soap (1.3kg). If you tell me how many bars you’d like I can work out the most inexpensive option for shipping. To remain within the 2kg weight limit, I can only post a maximum of 8 bars of soap. The default post rate does not accurately reflect postage costs. For international payments I’d recommend a debit card linked to a multi-currency account with Wise to save on exchange rate fees.

Are liquid soaps or bar soaps better?

Well, the environmental impact of liquid soap is thought to be worse because it:

  • Is heavier: Containing lots of water, liquid soaps are likely to be heavier than bar soap, resulting in a higher carbon footprint for transportation.
  • Involves more packaging: Soap dispenser packaging for body washes and liquid soaps tend to be plastic bottles, that if not recycled can end up landfilled, littered, or incinerated. Even if the bottle is made from recycled plastic, a thin paper wrapper or no wrapper for soap bars is better.
  • Contains petroleum: Many shower gels and body washes are made of petroleum-derived synthetic detergents and need emulsifying agents and stabilisers to maintain their consistency.
  • Damages aquatic life: What you use on your body ends up in the water system. Liquid detergents may contain harmful substances that can bioaccumulate in living organisms.