Sunday, September 20, 2009

Non-allergenic Eczema Soap- Savon de marseilles Traditional Olive Oil Soap

If you're here, then you're familiar with the frustration of eczema.
That frustration made me search for the perfect non-Allergenic soap.
Although  my daughter had it birth, it wasn't diagnosed till 8 weeks.
And until we made a natural aromatherapy remedy, Surestop to Eczema it was tough going.
Initially, after much research, switching to 100% cotton, fragrance free cleaners & soaps, food modification, and changes around the house, I found she still had eczema outbursts every single time she had a bath with a soap.

I could not find any soap in stores, that wouldnt aggravate it.
After going through Aveeno, Cetaphil, Dove, Johnson & Johnson, Castille Olive oil and struggling through a Dozen others, for months, I stumbled on a soap that I never heard about in a website selling cotton diapers. (they no longer have the website, but I found them again here.)
I googled it for a couple of weeks, and was impressed enough to order it and to my pleasant surprise- IT DID NOT PRODUCE ANY ECZEMA OUTBURST.
I had found it!
Savon de marseilles Olive Oil & Sea Salt soap! Eureka!
Since I found very little info online, which is very sad, I am documenting all its benefits, so you'd be  helped by it. I used to be on a group Parents of children with Eczema- and received a lot of benefit from it- this is my way of passing it on.

About Savon de Marseilles (soap of marseilles)
With a high concentration of olive/palm oils, about 70%, it is made through an amazing Manufacture process -see pics -  the Maitre de Savon (soapmaster) takes two weeks to make Marseille Soap with a delicate mixture of olive and vegetable oils, alkaline ash from sea plants (sea flora) and Mediterranean Sea salted water are heated for ten days in antique cauldrons.

In 1688, the current monarch declared that only soaps produced following specific ancient methods, and with  the purest ingredients, shall bear the Stamp “Savon de Marseille"

Lavender & Palm Marseilles Soap
It came to me as a big soap square cube, light olive greenish in color with the words 72% oil(huile d'olive) on one side, the weight of the soap in grammes (300,400, 600 & 1000) and Savon de marseille stamped on the other sides.

Pic is of a 400g palm oil white soap cube, the green one was done to death ;)
I cut it into 4-5 pieces that I can grasp in my hand- "SA" is on the slightly used block and "ON" can just be seen on the block I've used little above a month.
Its too big to hold comfortably- or even uncomfortably,  for that matter- so you just need to cut it. But its really hard, as soaps go, so this is how to cut it:

Microwave 10 seconds at a time, and cut with a heavy knife when its just a bit warm- too much heat will cause the soap to bubble & froth into a humongous mass and swell up  6-8 times its size.
While it can still be used as soap, it'll have an irregular, bubbled up shape, and definitely wont fit into your hand.

Overall, it lasts easily for 6-8 months, even more and the handmade savon is a great investment compared to anything else you could buy as eczema soap.
I havent used the factory versions, which look prettier, they are well cut- or the liquid savon de marseilles soap, but I'm guessing they wont last as long- please let me know if I'm wrong - or right.

The Lavender variety however, did cause some very mild outbursts, so I stuck to the Green (Olive) and White (maybe Palm/olive oil or only palm, the seller couldnt say).
Purple one in pic above, below the white. The white powdery coating is actually sea salt deposit and it is part of the soaps benefits. In use, it has a mild lavender smell, that doesnt stay on the skin but gives a pleasing experience, not drying at all, but I wouldnt call it extra moisturising for winter use.
FYI, scents that stay on the skin are synthetic in nature, special chemicals called PHTHALATES are added to make them bond to skin- which is the reason that synthetic fragrances irritate.


Marseilles soap is great for stains, 1 tip I read was to soak any stain overnight and wash off next day -I've used it to wash stains instantly -just never tried on any that have dried and set.

I prefer to use it for anything I hand-launder- gentle, residue-free, and cleans well. Especially  socks.

(Bio Kleen for laundry also did a tremendous job of keeping flares at bay.
Currently All Free & Clear & Tide Clear do a good job. Dreft didnt work for me. I can also use some ecofriendly dryer sheets from Walmart.
Any tips for those who deal with eczema? please leave comments.)

It makes an excellent shaving soap- being pure, natural, moisturising and loads of lather- see the shaveblog -its the guy that came on TV for shaving technique ;)
Scroll down to the olive oil soap


Buying the savon (soap)

Rose Petal Marseilles Soap
I got mine from - search for "marseille" only. This was the most economical price online
Heres where I got the 400gm, nearly 1lb cube - $8.99 for each or $25 for Lavender, White Palm & Green Olive varieties

Heres a really yummy sounding soap Rose-petal Marseilles soap - you can probably find it still under ebay seller frenchmaison 

Another soap that I tried after this was Aleppo, Olive oil soap from Syria or Lebanon, with an intricate manufacture process that naturally infuses Laurel berry leaves. See here
I found it tucked away into a small corner of an Asian supermarket in Irving, with no wrapper & something inscrutable written on it- the only reason I knew what it probably was- because I had already done considerable research on it. I probably paid $3.49

My Aleppo Soap
 I found this to be just as mild and residue-free. In times when I find her scratching her legs, I revert back to this soap or the Marseilles from commercial smelly liquid soaps like Aveeno/ Johnson & Johnson (convenience!) that she has tolerated since Surestop.

Pic of my aleppo soap right  - Have used it about 20 times, & you can see hardly an appreciable dent

I would think the Greek papoutsanis soap may also show similar benefits - I know theres some village or other in Florida which stocks it.

Laurel oil , from Bay leaf , which forms Aleppo's healing claims for eczema forms part of our own hypoallergenic, 95% Organic, remedy for Eczema, Surestop to Eczema .

 See Surestop Testimonial post & reviews on Fan Page on Facebook

This synergistic blend uses skin healing and immunity developing natural oils from various cultures like Seabuckthorn from Russia, India, Manuka from Australia. It has 100% natural ingredients, with no chemicals, preservatives, fragrances- is nut-free & ingredients are all hypo-allergenic. 95% USDA Organic oils are used to make it.
See full list of ingredients and important FAQ

Our remedies use ingredients from Ayurveda, Aromatherapy & herbal medicines. This is what makes them substantially more effective than others.

US & International buyers may see our website and Indian website is


  1. I tend to find soaps with natural ingredients may be better in the long term for dry skin conditions. Saponaqua has a range of natural, soaps and other products for eczema that contain a naturally occuring mineral called Zander. Feedback has been great with many claiming that it helps their dry skin conditions.

  2. What stores can you get the soap in

  3. Hi there,
    I have never seen it in stores, and I've always looked at the handmade soap sections.

    I see also has lesser qty. If you cant find the Green Olive soap, the White Palm works equally well.

    Esther Jo

  4. Hi,
    Someone said it may be available in L'Occitane stores.
    I could not find the Olive oil version online.

  5. but shortly to be available through a very large retailer Cx
    Feast your eyes on this beauty :-)

  6. You can find the raw olive oil soap in a Middle Eastern store.

  7. The subject of olive oil marseille soap has been covered intensively by the world press over the past decade. I find my self constantly drawn back to the subject of olive oil marseille soap. Cited by many as the single most important influence on post modern micro eco compartmentalism, olive oil marseille soap is featuring more and more in the ideals of the young and upwardly mobile.

  8. Personally I love Savon De Marseille soaps, they smell great and are luxuriously silky on the skin, as well as being natural so delicate with you skin, I have found Savon De Marseille soaps here - in many flavours. They are also brilliant for shaving with.

  9. Thank you for the update, Paul D,
    I love the scented Savon de Marseilles - very luxurious to skin, and the smell of real Lavender and Rose, instead of sweeter fragrances that generally handmade soaps contain. Have not tried Vanilla- so can't say anything about it.
    However, Eczema would be aggravated with anything except the Plain Olive Oil soap and the other soaps listed above. (including Marseilles Lavender and Rose Soap)
    For Eczema, I would say to steer away even from these. Fragranced Soap (& lotions, and other perfumes) contain a component added that binds to skin. this is the component which mainly aggravates sensitive skin.
    A Natural Product, or Perfume (actually 100% natural) does not have a binder and so works well for Sensitive Skin. The scent that comes from it is short lasting.

  10. business and personal webpages from france.

  11. Hi everyone! for babies' eczema I recommend TruBaby Sweet Baby Eczema Cream. It's Unscented, steroid and fragrance free perfect for babies. You can check it here:


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