Did you ever stop to think how much you take soap for granted? Just imagine if you would, what life would be like without it. We work and play hard and then can't wait to jump in the shower. But wait! There's no soap!
The first record of soap was as far back as 2500 B.C., though it wasn't soap as we know it today. It was more like a clay or mud, but, did the job at the time.
At one point, oils were used as cleansers, in conjunction with seeded berries or sand, as an exfoliant.
We have all heard of Cleopatra and how beautiful she was. She especially loved to take milk baths and attributed her beauty to same.
Soap, as we know it today, was "discovered" if you will, during the Roman Era when animal sacrifices were common. The place of sacrifice was a mountain known as Mount Sapo. When it rained, the remains of the animals as well as the ashes from the fire eventually made it's way down the mountain to the Tiber River. The locals discovered the foamy water was the perfect spot to do their laundry and to bathe as well.
To this day, Mount Sapo is recognized for it's "discovery" of soap in that the term saponification is the name given to the chemical reaction that occurs when a vegetable oil or animal fat is mixed with a strong alkali, resulting in the formation of soap.