A soap that is still being made according to ancient traditions, by hand and by foot, with planks of wood strapped onto the feet to flatten the soap before it is cut into bars.
It’s nearly impossible to trace the origin of Aleppo soap because it predates documented history. It is with no doubt one of the oldest soap ever known.
Aleppo soap is made by the hot process method, in which olive oil, water and lye are boiled together in a large in-ground vat. Then laurel berry oil is added at the end of the cooking process, and the solution is poured over a waxed paper-covered floor to cool and dry. As it dries, workers walk over the soap to help flatten and smooth it.
Aleppo in ground soap vat
The soap is cut into cubes, stamped to identify the maker, and stacked like staggered bricks, where it is left underground to age for six months to a year. This curing period allows the soap to fully harden as moisture escapes. The surface of the soap becomes pale gold while the inside remains a lush green, and the lather and mildness improve over time.
The cured soap is effective for shampooing, shaving, and cleansing of especially sensitive skin. Many people find it relieves eczema and psoriasis, and soothes dry skin.
Aleppo Soap in a traditional store