It is believed that we have been using soap for at least 1000 years, but in the past, soap wasn’t a household item like it is today, it was a luxury item that only royals could afford. In ancient Rome, people would spread sand all over their skin in order to try and get clean. After putting the sand on their bodies they would scrape it off using a big stick. Luckily for us, peeling techniques have advanced quite a lot since.
Legend has it that soap was first discovered in Rome, on a mountain called “Sapo,” while some Romans were sacrificing animals on the mountain. In the middle of the ritual, it started raining. The rain washed away the oil from the animals, and the Romans found that their clothes were cleaner than ever. That led to the discovery that if you want to get clean, mixing oil and water is actually a good idea. The first soaps were made out of ashes and goat fat. Scents only came in later.
Despite being discovered so early, people only started to regularly bathe and use soap in the 18th century. We can thank French microbiologist Louis Pasteur for that, who talked to anyone who would listen about how important soap in order to prevent illness. In the 19th century soap finally made it to the United States, and today, we all get to enjoy its benefits.