Organic Soaps Made in Cyprus
Cyprus is reach on various souvenirs; you can find almost everything you can imagine here. However it is always better when the choice is well thought. In this case you have to take into account the following criteria: for whom do you choose a souvenir? Shall it be rather small or big? Shall it be food or any other type of items? Small figures, fridge magnets, olive oil, different sorts of cheeses, silver jewellery and lace parasols were the most popular souvenirs tourist brought back home until quite recently. Now it is an organic handmade soap that is becoming a popular souvenir bought on the island. This type of cosmetic skin care is usually sold at souvenir shops and kiosks; the price may vary from 1 to 5 Euros for 100 g depending on the structure, shape and ingredients.
Types of Soap
The soap could be manufactured on a factory or handmade. As for me, I prefer to buy handmade. This one is usually very beautifully made, has a pleasant fragrance, could be stored for a long time and is perfect as a small nice present. The most common ingredients of an organic soap could be the following:
- rose petals;
- donkey’s milk;
- olive oil;
- volcanic ash;
- peach pits.
Rose petals soap
Organic soap with rose petals is the most loved one in Cyprus. Both my mum and my friend were excited to get it as a small souvenir. The flowers for the soap — world famous damask roses — are grown in Agros. The manufacturers tell that the petals of about 500 roses weight only 1 kg. The flowers are picked up at a certain time at dawn to preserve the aroma; the producing process can take up to 30 days.
A unique design together with gentle flower notes will surely become your favourite. The main ingredients are rose and sesame oil and rose water. It doesn’t contain any dyes or parabens. The soap helps your skin to regenerate and increases the skin elasticity. Besides it could also keep it young, has a soothing and moisturizing effect and eliminates the signs of fatigue.
The soap bar has a soft flower aroma and the petals added to it make it look more beautiful. I use this soap on wet skin: create foam and massage it gently over your face then rinse it off completely with warm water. You will feel a moisturizing effect right after this procedure. The soap could be used for the body as well. Another plus point is that the soap doesn’t dry out the skin and has a sweet odour.
Donkey’s milk soap
This kind of soap could be considered as a quite exotic souvenir. Its main ingredient makes this soap an anti-aging treatment. It is in high demand both among tourists and local women because it's a unique product that is perfect for any age. Its organic formula is good for the health: it renovates and cleans the skin and regulates metabolic processes.
Also this soap posses antioxidant and bactericidal properties. It increases skin elasticity, prevents and reduces the appearance of wrinkles, restores and activates the production of collagen. The product is perfect for dry skin because of its moisturizing effect and rich on useful microelements. It could be used a scrub that will refresh and make your skin softer as well as prevent any inflammation.
The soap has no contra-indications, could be used as a body and hair care and is suitable for small children. This type of soap is also known as a treatment against psoriasis. An interesting fact: soap that contained honey and donkey’s milk was one of skin care treatments used by the ancient queens of Egypt and Pauline Bonaparte, a sister of Napoleon. The soap refreshes the skin, makes it softer and lightens its colour.
This natural based product was manufactured in the VI century already. Nowadays it is mainly produced in the regions with olive groves. 80% of it compiles oleic acid, sea salt and water. These ingredients do not lose their properties even after the making process.
The list of additional ingredients may vary. Olive soap could contain:
- olive oil;
- herbal extracts;
- ground coffee beans;
- essential oils;
- peach pits;
- bicarbonate of soda.
This type of soap is very popular in the north parts of Cyprus. According to the locals, its regular use will make your skin more elastic, soft, gentle and healthy. I’ve visited a fabric manufacturing soap in Karpaz where I saw the whole process with my own eyes. Knowing the good quality of the products, I bought several bars for myself.
This popular skin care product can be used as antifungal treatment, a kind of infection you can get by visiting saunas, swimming pools and gyms. The medicinal property of olive soap is proofed by laboratory tests.
Other benefits of the product are following:
- it is suitable for any skin type;
- does not cause allergy or skin irritation;
- can be used as a makeup remover;
- is rich on E and A vitamins;
- cures acne and its effects.
Olive soap normalizes the metabolism of lipids, softens, tones up and protects the skin. It also rejuvenates it and improves the facial contour. The soap doesn’t dry out the skin or cause any allergic reactions. I’ve tried it on my hair and noticed they started to look stronger and shiny after just two times I washed them with this soap. Kyrenia market is the place where I usually buy olive soap, but you can find it in many different shops all over the Cyprus.
Olive soap could be a good souvenir that will suit both for old and young. The bar has light odour of olive oil and possess antioxidant and bactericidal properties as well. The colour of the soap bar can vary depending on oil refining process and its type. Recently I have learned that using olive soap during pregnancy could prevent stretch marks. So I will definitely buy few more bars of it for my mom-to-be friends next time I’m going to visit Cyprus.
Almond is a symbol of love, youth and fertility. This kind of nut is popular in Cyprus due to its healing properties. Almond soap is produced both as a liquid and in bars, but I would recommend you to opt for the second one because it will be much easier to take it with you in your luggage.
Almond soap cleans the skin and has a wonderful scent of almond oil. It could be used as face, hand, body and hair care. The soap does not dry up the skin or cause any allergies or irritation, feeds the cells with useful microelements.
This rich on vitamins soap will refresh your skin after sleep, diminish the sense of fatigue, softens the skin and make it look healthy, tone you up and give you an energy boost for the whole day. More over it prevents various inflammatory processes and has an astringed effect.
Almond soap is suitable for all skin types, even for sensitive one.
I always buy different types of soap and alternate them for better effect. Besides I like how this soap scents my bathroom with almond fragrance. The additional ingredients in my almond soap I bought last time are: hemp, almond and olive oils, vitamin E and shea butter. I use this bar as a substitute to shampoo and shower gel.
The main ingredient of this soap is cinnamon leaf oil. The organic soap has a wonderful scent, is gentle on the skin and has a peeling effect. It often contains also orange peel, clove or/and ground nutmeg. Cinnamon odour will add a special touch to your morning and evening skin care routines and will stay on your skin for a while. This soap reduces skin inflammations and drowsiness, has a restorative effect.
It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and could be used as a shaving soap for men. Apart from all these features cinnamon soap intensifies the metabolic processes, restores cell turgor, prevents mimic and dermal wrinkles. It is easy to create cleansing foam for your face, just rub the bar with your wet hands. I like to use cinnamon soap for my morning skin care especially when it’s dark and cold outside because it’s a perfect way for waking me up. So I suggest you try it too.
Volcanic ash soap
This type of soap is a brand new product that is just starting to gain popularity and credence of the customers. It could be a perfect skin care due to precisely selected components. Volcanic soap will suit for oily and combined skin types. It effectively fights all kinds of acne and prevents further inflammations. The colour of the soap bar is black because of the volcanic ash. Maybe this is the reason why some women are skeptical about it. Among the additional ingredients are:
- olive or coconut oil;
- aloe vera;
- vitamins A, E, K;
- sodium, potassium or magnesium chloride.
This product has an antibacterial effect, cleans the skin and removes oily deposits, prevents skin irritation and has an astringent effect. It is also good against mimic wrinkles because it makes the skin look healthier. Volcanic soap brings down puffiness and itchiness, intensifies regeneration processes and works as an antiseptic. It creates thin protective layer on your face after washing, restores the skin immunity and has a healing effect that can reduce the visibility of old scars. Also I would like to mention that one soap bar would be more than enough for 3-4 month. However it is better to use it 2 or 3 times a week to not overdry the skin.
- renovates epithelial cells;
- brightens the skin, removes pigment spots;
- helps to release the toxins and neutralizes the free radicals.
Some of my friends who used volcanic ash soap as a shampoo said that the hair looked healthier and shinier already after they did it several times. The soap strengthens the hair roots, fights against dandruff, gives the hair more volume and reduces hair loss.
The very first bar of this soap I tried already at the hotel. It made my skin softer and gave it a healthy look right after the washing. It also helped with the acne issue I had at that time. So I bought two more bars of this soap next day, each of them for 1 Euro.
Peach pits soap
I remember I chose this one because I liked the ingredients and the fact that this product wasn’t tested on animals. This soap is suitable for all skin types; it has soothing and anti-inflammatory effect, moisturizes and softens the skin. It’s a perfect treatment especially for the sensitive types that have a tendency to reddening, irritation and peeling. The soap does not contain any artificial dyes, that’s why it has a natural yellow colour and very neutral light fragrance.
This soap could be used as a baby skin care as well. It softly refines and provides the skin with vitamins. Doesn’t leave a sticky feeling on the skin surface and can be easily removed with water. The peach scent could lighten the mood and give you a sense of freshness and purity. Peach pit soap prevents small wrinkles, tones up and has a regenerative effect.
That bar I bought for myself was consisting also vitamins, minerals, tea tree, orange, lavender and peach pets essential oils. These components will help the skin to regenerate faster after peeling procedures. It is a good treatment against itching, psoriasis and eczema. I used every inch of it in a three month.
Thyme is one of the most effective skin treatments that are widely used in cosmetology. Its rich on vitamins composition includes tanning substances, thyme extract, carotene, olive oil, shea butter, thyme and apple acids and has a revitalizing and antimicrobial effects. It could be used as a face, body and hair care. Thyme soap gently cleans and moisturizes the skin and is suitable for normal and oily types. It fights acne, strengthens the hair and nails.
A perfect choice for aromatic baths that will lift the spirit and give you an energy boost for the day. Someone will find that the soap bar with dark inclusions looks unattractive, but its organic components and useful properties are unquestionable. Besides it has a pleasant herbal spicy fragrance.
- bactericidal and antiseptic properties;
- fighting skin irritation and inflammation processes;
- fresh feeling;
- improving skin health;
- shrinkening of the pores and cleansing;
- preventing wrinkles.
The soap doesn’t overdry the skin and leaves a nice feeling on it after washing. I bought only one bar of it but regretted I haven’t bought more pretty soon. Right after the first time I used it my skin felt softer, smoother, smarter and more resilient. Enlarged pores around the nose became less visible and skin irritation was significantly reduced. So I was more than happy with the result I got. I will definitely recommend thyme soap to my friends.
The last one I would like to tell you about is lavender soap with its fine and gentle aroma. It is produced out of leaves, stems and flowers of lavender growing in the mountains; the plant that contains about 2% of essential oils. This soap is also sold in bars about 100 g each. The colour of the bar is light, with dark inclusions of dried lavender flowers. This product soothes the skin and has a relaxing effect.
The additional ingredients in my soap bar are:
- olive and palm oil;
- antibacterial and antifungal components;
- vitamins C and E;
- organic lavender aromatic oil.
This soap is good against itching caused by mosquitos bites, moisturizes and softens the skin. It prevents both face and body skin problems like acne, cleans pores, relieves irritations and reddening. Could be used as a shampoo that will make your hair softer, easy to brush and stimulate their growth. Lavender is a treatment against hair loss and dandruff. Lavender soap has a gentle peeling effect and restores the water balance of the skin. It is suitable for kids and babies because of it moisturizing effect and ability to cure the diaper rash.
How to choose the right one
There are several criteria that will help you to see the difference between artificial and organic soaps and choose one, which will be better for your skin. Organic soaps contain only refined plant based oils that determine the specific features of these skin care products. Please, pay attention to the following while buying:
- Organic soap usually looks simple and unpretentious. It could even crumble a bit before its first contact with the water.
- The colour is pretty neutral because the organic soap doesn’t have any dyes in it. The artificial soap usually has very bright colour palette.
- The scent is also neutral, gentle and pleasant, which differs organic soaps from the artificial ones with strong and more chemical-like odours.
- Check the ingredients written on the package. Organic soaps include essential oils that will be listed in the first place. If you see that there are also sulfates and parabens — it means you are holding an artificial soap in your hands.
Do not trust such phrases as “100% organic” or “handmade” easily. If there is no list of ingredients shown on the package, it is better not to buy this product. And please, don’t be afraid of alkaline components in the soap because they are based on organic glycerin and refined plant oils.
Where to buy
You can buy souvenirs at shop malls and on the markets. The stores are usually open from 8 am to 7 pm. Some of the owners close their shops at 6 pm. That is what comes about a period from October to April. In high tourist season the working hours are extended till 8 pm.
Pretty good shops in Nicosia could be found on Ledra Street in the old town centre and on the streets nearby. You will find cosmetics, shoes, leather goods and souvenirs here. Perfect places for shopping in Pafos are Kings Avenue Mall and cultural gifts store The Place. Zenon Kitieos Street and Ermou Street are two well-known shopping streets in Larnaka. The wide range of different cosmetic products is also offered by the biggest supermarket chain stores in Cyprus like Metro and Sklavenitis.
Most souvenirs including organic soaps are sold at touristic areas, which exist almost in every city in Cyprus. You can ask your guide about them. However the most part of stores is closed at Sunday, you can still visit the Limassol Sunday Market that is located on the Limassol sea promenade. The assortment of goods on the market includes souvenirs, clothes, cosmetic and household products. The prices are lower than those in the shops. It is better to come to the market in the morning, before 12, because it is almost over after this time.
Do not miss the chance to treat yourself and your loved ones with a small souvenir from the “sunny” country during your journey. Cyprus handmade organic soap could be a unique and useful little present that will be not only a nice memory about your trip but can also improve your health and provide you with a certain mood for the whole day.