Castile & Bastille Soaps

Castile soap is a label that is put on many vegetable oil soaps. Sometimes it’s difficult to know if it is truly a castile soap or not. Most soap makers that have been at it for many years will tell you there is a distinct difference between a castile soap and all other vegetable oil-based soaps. So let’s explore the difference between two different olive oil bases soaps today…..Castile and Bastile.

Simply put, a TRUE, traditional, Castile Soap is made with 100% Olive Oil and no other oils added. It is still combined with water and lye in order to go through the process of saponification. Without the lye, there is no saponification which means there is no SOAP. Because of the fact this soap is 100% Olive Oil, it will produce a much softer bar of soap. Aging the soap helps to harden it by allowing more time for the moisture to evaporate. I have seen many companies giving the term “castile” to different soaps. Some contain an amount of olive oil and some do not. So look for a 100% Olive Oil soap if you’re looking for a true Castile Soap.

Olive oil is known for being very moisturizing. This property makes it perfect for sensitive or dry skin types, along with the fact that it is generally not fragranced in any way. It’s also perfect and gentle for babies. It can be made as a solid bar, liquid or cream soap (depending on the type of lye used). Some other uses for Castile soap, other than bathing, are: shaving, produce wash, dishwashing, laundry, floor cleaning, pet wash. With it being so pure and so gentle it is great for many different uses.

Bastille Soap

The difference between Castile and Bastille soaps is that Bastille has other vegetable oils whereas Castile is ONLY Olive Oil. HOWEVER, Bastille will have a MINIMUM of 70% Olive Oil. So Olive Oil should be the very first ingredient listed on the label (outside of water). No animal fats are used. And of all the oils included Olive Oil should be no less than 70% of total oils. Once again, as with Castile soap, there are many companies that will make soaps and call them “bastille” when in fact they are just a vegetable-based soap (using oils of vegetable origin and no animal fats). This is also a very nice soap and depending upon the other oils used would be good for the same uses as Castile soap. The addition of other oils helps to produce a harder bar (depending upon the oils selected). There may also be other benefits to the skin based on the other oils selected.