The History And Many Uses Of Bar Soap

Posted by Sam Gomez on

Here at Nopalera, we are obsessed with bar soap, but we’re not the only ones! Soap has a history that goes back thousands of years and we’re just building on it! 


Soap can be traced all the way back to Babylonian times (roughly 2800 B.C.). Babylonians were the first to master the art of soap making. They made soap from animal fats boiled with ashes and used it for cleaning wool, cotton, textiles, and was used medicinally for at least 5000 years.

Ancient Egyptians (around 1500 B.C.) mixed animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to produce a soap-like substance. Many other civilizations created and used soap in different ways and then when the Celts made their soap from animal fat and plant ashes and they named the product saipo, from which the word soap is derived!

Overall, traditional soap was typically made with an animal fat source combined with other natural materials. This same formula for soap is still used, with some modifications and can be altered in so many ways to serve different uses, benefits, and ingredient preferences. 

Now we can create vegan soaps combined with plants (such as the nopal) to create a beautiful, hydrating, and cleansing household staple. 


Our soaps are uniquely shaped to resemble the “penca” or pad of the nopal. The nopal is a main ingredient in our products due to its many skin benefits. We use the “penca” or cactus pad in our soaps as it provides a gentle exfoliation as well as assists with soothing and cleansing the skin. Our signature cactus soaps are handmade with plant butters and oils that cleanse and leave your skin moisturized.

Planta Futura: Inhale the subtle scent of lemongrass oil to calm the mind and plan for tomorrow. The Planta Futura Soap is the only soap that contains mica to achieve the color. We source our mica from sustainable suppliers.

Flor De Mayo: The subtle scent of jasmine oil with rose clay creates a rich experience. The Flor De Mayo soap contains real Jasmine oil that is very delicate. This is not a perfume soap. No scent will be left on your skin after using. The Flor De Mayo Soap contains pink clay which adds a creamy texture to the lather.

Noche Clara: The subtle scent of eucalyptus and sage oil brings clarity of mind. Activated charcoal provides the gentlest exfoliation. The Noche Clara Soap contains activated charcoal. This provides a gentle exfoliation and is great for oily or acne prone skin.

Desnuda: Our signature cactus soap is completely unscented. The Desnuda Soap is the natural color of its ingredients.


Throughout the centuries of using bar soap, there have been some really great discoveries of uses beyond washing your hands. 

  • Full body soap/body wash 
  • Facial cleansing bar 
  • Keep fingernails clean 
  • Absorb shoe odors 
  • Keep drawers smelling fresh 
  • Coat sewing needles 
  • Mark fabrics when sewing 
  • Eyebrow gel 
  • Keep pets from chewing furniture 
  • Remove stains 
  • Shaving 

Bar soap is also a great sustainable addition to your self-care routine. Once you use it up, there is no waste eliminating the use of single-use plastic bottles! Not all bar soap is made equal, amig@! Our soaps are made with all-natural ingredients to care for your skin. 

bar soap clean beauty naturalbodycare nopal selfcare sustainability

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