Olive oil soap is a traditional soap found in open-air markets in the Mediterranean region. For generations people around the Mediterranean have valued olive oil for its ability to rejuvenate skin. Olives are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, which help keep the skin supple and hydrated. Because olive oil is absorbed easily by the skin, your body reaps the full benefits of olive oil when you use it. Mieka Olive Oil Soaps are made with a traditional Mediterranean recipe. The base of the soap is 95% olive oil without added perfumes, dyes or preservatives, so the soaps are rich, gentle, moisturizing, and great for sensitive skin.
Yes, indeed. It is always a good idea to try a new product with some caution, checking to make sure you are not sensitive to any of its ingredients and testing on a small area first. However, the soaps are designed so that they can be used on all sensitive skin types. Since our soaps are made without any artificial ingredients or harsh chemicals, they are very mild. Each of the ingredients used in our soaps offer nutrients and benefits to promote and support healthy skin. While this information pertains to all of the soaps we make, we have two created especially for extra sensitive skin types. The first type is honey & oats, which has raw honey (to encourage new skin cell growth), oats (a gentle exfoliant), and shea butter (natural moisturizer). Our second is naked, which is a pure olive oil soap and without any added ingredients. As an extra safeguard, the ingredients of each soap are listed on the label, so you can make sure you are not sensitive to any ingredient in a particular soap.
No. People sometimes expect that a soap made of olive oil would feel oily. This is not the case. In fact, every soap you have ever used is made of an oil or fat base. The process of saponification (see below) removes the “oiliness” of the soap, and gives it that luxurious—and water soluble—feel.
Saponification is the process in which an oil or fat is combined with a strong alkali and transformed into a soap. In our soaps, we put the olive oil in contact with sodium hydroxide, which changes its molecular structure from one that is slick and sticky, to a substance that is water soluble and easily wicks oils and dirt away from the skin, thus creating what we know as soap. And while the slickness of the olive oil is gone, the final product retains the rest of its original properties. This means that you reap the benefits of olive oil, which is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, absorbs well, and leaves your skin feeling rejuvenated, supple, and hydrated.
I choose ingredients for me and my family that are healthful and lovely — and it is seems only fair that I should share the same quality of products with my customers. Each soap is enhanced with natural ingredients to meet specific needs and complement your skin in various ways. We have created soaps for dry, neutral, and oily skin types. We have some that are especially delightful for the feet (peppermint), some are designed for those with eczema or psoriasis (honey & oats), extra sensitive skin (naked), or for babies (lavender), and some are great for winter (shea butter) or for relaxing after a long, tiring day (oats & lavender).
Of course! The soaps are designed to be refreshing, cleansing, and effective from head to toe. This means that they work hard to remove grime, but are still gentle enough for delicate and sensitive skin.
Yes, they are! Handcrafted soaps have moisturizing glycerin occurring naturally in them. Although solid, these soaps do tend to get soft if left sitting in or near water. Some people are reluctant to use soaps that “melt,” but here is why you should embrace “melty” soaps: the natural glycerin that makes handcrafted soaps soft is also what helps keep your skin nice and soft (think: glycerin draws moisture to it)! Unlike commercial soaps that contain chemicals that increase durability or shelf life, Mieka Olive Oil Soaps put your body’s needs first. Because they contain glycerin and are free of all artificial ingredients or harsh chemicals, Mieka Olive Oil Soaps will not only remove dirt, but will also gently replenish and moisturize your skin. Does this mean you will need to take care to keep your soap dry between uses? It does. But your reward is a luxurious moisturizing bathing experience that does not leave your skin feeling itchy or dry.
Soap “melts” as a consequence of being close to too much moisture. Handcrafted soaps love moisture – which is why they are so good at keeping your skin feeling lovely. To prevent it from getting too soft, make sure your soap is kept away from water when not in use. The simplest wire dish (or shower caddy) usually works best because the soap is not sitting in a puddle of water and air can circulate around it.
Our soaps are very, very mild. All Mieka Olive Oil Soaps are designed for sensitive skin, which means that we use essential oils (plant oils) rather than fragrances (chemicals designed to mimic plant essences). Some people love aromas that pop out and can be smelled from down the hall. These are not our soaps. Mieka Olive Oil Soaps have a lovely but subtle aroma that you can enjoy while in the shower or bath but will rinse away with the water. When you are done washing you are able to wear your favorite perfume without fear of clashing scents… or just enjoy the fresh clean scent that is the result of a refreshing wash!
Beyond the internet, our soaps are available in several select stores in Virginia and Florida. You can find them in Charlottesville (Whole Foods), Staunton (Cranberry’s and Staunton Olive Oil Company), and Harrisonburg (Friendly City Co-Op). And you can find me at the Charlottesville City Market every Saturday from April to December. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest (coming soon) for other markets and festivals, as well as general information we would like to share with you.
Absolutely. We handcraft all of our soaps, which starts with a big pot of a deep green olive oil, into which we carefully blend the rest of the ingredients. The mixture is then carefully transitioned from the pot to our molds. In the final stage, we trim and wrap each soap individually for you to enjoy.