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19th February 2020

The sustainable, multi-use French girl beauty secret

Skincare has become increasingly gimmicky in recent years but this simple soap could be the answer to your beauty woes (plus, it can also be used as stain remover)
The sustainable, multi-use French girl beauty secret
Photo: Alvaro @ Flickr

Want to get an insight into a French-girl beauty secret? Let us introduce you to the Savon de Marseille.

Unlike the majority of soaps available, Savon de Marseille is made from pure vegetable oil, traditionally olive oil. It is fragrance-free, colour-free and synthetic-free. It is traditionally cooked in a cauldron where, under the effects of heat, the olive oil and the caustic soda form the soap.

The Marseillaise manufacturing process guarantees an ‘extra pure’ soap, free of all impurities. It takes care of all skin types and is particularly good for more sensitive skin as it helps to clean and nourish the skin in a gentle way.

And, not only is Savon de Marseille good for you, but it is also good for the planet! It is fully biodegradable, and since it has no phosphates or synthetic products, it does not pollute rivers -great if you are trying to limit your environmental impact. In addition to that, it requires very little packaging and lasts a long time.

There are, unfortunately, many soaps that unrightfully claim to be Marseille soaps. Make sure to check the ingredient list, which should be quite short, as well as the price. Marseille soap is quite affordable, especially considering its longevity, and should cost between 5€ and 20€ per kilogram, far from the 55€ to 100€ which some fraudulent shops sell it at. Lastly, it should come in the form of a cube with a sign indicating “72%” and a logo registered by the Marseille Soap Professionals Union, an association created in 2011 by four founding members. This logo guarantees you an authentic Marseille soap, produced according to three essential criteria:

  1. Composition: vegetable oils only – fragrance-free, colorant-free, preservative-free.
  2. Manufacturing process: cooked in a cauldron, according to a specific saponification process, called the ‘Marseille process’, comprising of five steps. The production lasts between one week and 10 days.
  3. Geographic origin: made in the historic Marseille soap manufacturing area which today corresponds to the Bouches-du-Rhône department.

But how to use the soap? It takes care of the most sensitive skin and is recommended by dermatologists in case of intolerance to synthetic soaps. You can also hang a slice of Marseille soap in your wardrobe to keep moths away.

Additionally, placing a slice of it at the bottom of your bed helps relieve cramps and rheumatism and it can also be used as a stain-remover that is more effective than conventional synthetic detergents.

Marseille soap is also effective in cleaning small wounds and abrasions and finally, can be used as toothpaste – it is good for the gums and makes teeth clean and white.

There aren’t currently any shops in Manchester which stock Savon de Marseille however, it is available at the following online retailers:

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