For something that is such a staple of everyone's daily routine, soap has a lot of different looks. There is hand soap, face wash, body wash, bar soap, shampoo, multipurpose cleaner and dish soap just to name a few. Even within those categories, there is still a ton of variability when it comes to smells, colors, shapes and ingredients. Maybe you use bright blue body wash and herbal shampoo. Or, you might prefer a bar of Castile soap and dry shampoo. Me? I have some extra-foamy hand soap that smells like "Snow-Kissed Citrus" by my sink.
While the bulk of the soap we use these days is liquid and mass-produced, it's important to remember that some people still put a great deal of craftsmanship into helping us stay clean. No one demonstrates this better than Aleppo, which is widely considered to be the world's oldest soap. There are even stories of Cleopatra using Aleppo soap. Though these claims aren't verified by any scholarly source, it's fun to think of the possibility while using a soap with such an exciting history.
What goes into Aleppo soap, you ask? A whole bunch of olive oil, that's what. A bar of Aleppo soap is 82 percent olive oil, 12 percent laurel oil and just a small portion of lye. We understand that soapmaking doesn't sound like the most thrilling process, but trust us when we say that this inside look at an Aleppo factory is a sight to behold. Located in Northern Syria, many of Aleppo's factories were shut down when the war broke out. Fortunately, someone was able to take photos of the inner workings of one of the last remaining factories in the region. Continue reading to see this remarkable process in action.