Men’s Soap: Then and Now

Then: A Brief Historical Overview

Have you ever held a bar of soap and wondered “who came up with the idea of soap, anyway?” or “Where did the word ‘soap’ come from?” The answers to those questions require a little bit of time travel—all the way back to 2800 BC. Archaeologists have discovered soap-like elements in Babylonian clay pots from that era. Fast forward to 1500 BC, and we find Egyptians mixing various oils with salts to create a soapy salve for treating skin issues and diseases. Unfortunately, soap-making declined during the Medieval period, which allowed for greater opportunity for diseases such as the Black Plague to spread across Europe. What about America? Soap making began in the British colonies in the 1600s, and by the 1850s, soap-making was one of the fastest growing industries in the USA. 


As for the word “soap,” we can look to ancient Rome. In that era, there was a popular legend about “Mount Sapo” -- rain would spill down the mountain and mix with ash and other materials on its way down, resulting in something resembling soap. Cool!


Now: Soap, Soap, and More Soap!

In our contemporary society, soap is everywhere. Especially in America. A European friend of mine once joked that when he moved to America, he smelled his own body odor for the first time, as he was the only one who didn’t shower each day, nor did he apply deodorant! He quickly changed his grooming habits so as to fit in better in the USA. Some people have even taken up soap-making in their own homes. Others turn to tried and true brands such as Dove, Dial, Ivory, Old Spice, and others. There are soaps with multiple scents, one scent, or no scent at all. Soaps with volcanic ash, charcoal, sea salt, and any number of floral & vegetable extracts. Soaps targeted for specific areas of the body, and of course: soaps designed for men and soaps designed for women. 


Let’s Talk About Men’s Soap

Even if you are not a man yourself, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with men’s soap. Maybe you grew up with a dad who always used Old Spice and every time you catch a whiff of that familiar scent, you smile and think “Dad.” Or maybe your husband uses Dove Men’s Body Wash and you are accustomed to adding it to your shopping list. Then there are men’s exfoliating soaps, soap for men’s oily skin, men’s bar soap, men’s natural body soap, men’s shaving soap, men’s face soap, and much more. The brands and options certainly seem endless! 


Men’s Soap Gift Guide

Everyone wants to smell good and feel fresh & clean—all the more so as we deal with the daily reality of the Covid-19 pandemic. Scientists and doctors agree that regular hand washing is one of the best ways to reduce coronavirus transmission. Soap is a wonderful gift idea for anytime, but 2020 feels like an especially perfect year to give the men in your life some soap for the holidays!


Keep reading to get the inside scoop on the best men’s soap for Holiday 2020, including a video smell test!


    • Old Spice Red Collection Swagger Men’s Bar Soap
  • Dove Men+Care Elements Charcoal + Clay Body & Face Bar Soap
  • Dr. Squatch Men’s Cedar Citrus Soap
  • Duke Cannon Buffalo Trace Men’s Soap
  • Oriflame North for Men Cleansing Fairness Soap Bar
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