Castile Soap vs Bastille Soap – 1 Basic Big Difference

Large Batch of Castile Soap Ready for Cutting

Castille Soap & Bastille Soap - Whats the Difference Between Them?

Castile Soap & Bastille Soap??  So, is there really a difference between these two soaps?  Is it more than the spelling?  The simple plain answer is YES there is a difference.

The difference is in the oil and fat components of the recipes that make up each soap.  As you know, soap is made of lye, water, oils, fats and butters.  The different properties of each ingredient effects the qualities of the finished soap.

Castile Soap - All About It

Castile soap is named after its place of origin. Castile is a region of Spain that was a well-known, highly regarded soap making center.  This soap was also made in other areas but the name given is Castile.

Are you ready for the big difference?  Castile soap has only one oil component.  True Castile soap is made with 100% olive oil.  The word “true” is used because to qualify as genuine Castile  it must be made with 100% Olive oil.

Pure olive oil makes Castile soap very different from the other soaps familiar to us. Castile soap does not lather in the same way as soaps that are made with a combination of oils.  Learn more about Castile soap by Clicking Here.  Remember that many modern soaps are called “Castile” but genuine Castile is made with 100% Olive oil.

Castile doesn’t produce bubbles. Instead, it feels very creamy when lathered. This is definitely not a bad quality. Some people like it more than bubbly soap, some don’t. It’s just the way it is.

Excess bubbles in soaps strip off too much fats from the skin making skin too dry. This is because soap acts as a surfactant. Castile soap is very gentle for all skin types.  Many “Baby” soaps are based on variations of Castile.  Just remember, true Castile soap is made with 100% Olive oil.

Bastille Soap - Similar but Different

Some people wanted more bubbles in their soap.  It is easy to vary the formula of Castile  to give it a more “bubbly” lather.

To denote a deviation from pure olive oil Castile the name Bastille was given.  Bastille soap is made with mostly olive oil (no less than 70%) with minor additions of other oils, fats, and butters.  Remember to qualify as true Bastille soap it must contain 70% Olive oil.

Since Bastille soap contains mostly olive oil, it will still have the characteristics close to those of Castile soap. It will be hard, long lasting, and with stable lather. Other qualities of Bastille soap will depend on the other oils used.  To learn more about the properties & qualities of different oils Click Here.

Bastille soap is often made with coconut oil and or castor oil for bubbles and lather.  Avocado oil and Palm oil are also often used.  The different qualities of the soap can be varied and controlled by the different oils, fats and butters used in combination with the Olive oil.  The thing to remember is Bastille soap is 70% Olive oil.

Summing It All Up

So the difference is plain to see pure Castile is 100% Olive oil to be genuine Castile and Bastille must be 70% Olive oil to qualify for this name.  Many modern soaps call themselves “Castile” but they are actually “Bastille”.

Castile is the most gentle and mild.  Bastille retains most of the gentle mild quality while having the properties given by the other oils.  Bastille is slightly harder and longer lasting. 

Bottom line:  these are both wonderful soaps that will pamper your skin.  Castile will be the most mild & gentle for your skin having “baby soap” like properties.  Bastille retains most of the gentle, mild quality and also has more “bubbles” and other properties.  They are both awesome soaps!

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