Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Natural soap means a true soap made by saponifiying plant-based whole oils (not isolated fatty acids). At Ancient Roman, we use only certified organic oils for our bar soap and liquid soap base recipes. We oppose the body care industry's use of the word "natural" to include synthetic fragrances, colorants, and preservatives. We add no artificial substances to our soaps, such as synthetic fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, and where possible, we use organically grown products.

All our soaps are scented with essential oils only, and we do not allow fragrance oils in our building. We color our soap with a variety of organic herbs and plant derived products. For custom production, we also use mineral pigments. Our products do not contain parabens. Read through our ingredient list to see what we mean by "natural soap." Then, to really see what we mean, take a copy of our ingredients with you next time you go to the store and compare them to the ingredients of soaps on the shelves. It's easy to see the difference.

"Regular" soap tends to be mass-manufactured from tallow, palm, and coconut oils. It has no moisturizing superfats and no glycerin. Mass-manufactured bars often contain detergents to minimize the harshness of the soap itself and to enhance the lather.

At Ancient Roman, we make soap by delicately balancing the oils to achieve moisturizing, cleaning, and skin-feel properties. Instead of detergents synthesized in a lab, all our soaps are made from natural ingredients.

Essential oils are pure plant extracts used for scenting or aromatherapy, where fragrance oils are synthetically made substitutes
for essential oils. Because fragrance oils contain synthetic compounds, they can dry and irritate sensitive skin.

Always be sure to read a product's label. If the ingredient list includes the word "fragrance," "perfume," or "parfum," it's synthetic and not natural, even if its packaging may say it's a natural soap.

All Ancient Roman Soaps contain only true, plant-extract essential oils. Never fragrance.

All soap, including Ancient Roman's, is made using lye. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is used to make bars, and potassium hydroxide
(KOH) is used for liquid soap. Even transparent "glycerin" soap and "melt and pour" soaps are made using lye.

In soap-making, lye is a raw ingredient. All lye is consumed in the saponification process as molecules of oils and lye interact and reform to create molecules of soap and glycerin, Thus, while soap is made with lye, the finished product doesn't contain lye. Any company that claims their soap is not made with lye is either promoting false information or doesn't understand the chemistry behind soap.

Yes, Ancient Roman Soap has organic certification under the USDA's National Organic Program. We also have "Made with Organic" certification under the NSF / ANSI 305 standard. In both cases, organic certification is a rigorous professional standard that must be validated and re-issued annually. At Ancient Roman, official organic certification assures our
customers that our ingredients, our facility, and our procedures truly support our organic status.

Our bars of soap are wonderfully sized for your hand at 3 1/8"L x 1 1/8"W x 1 3/4" H. Their net weight is 3.65 ounces or 103 grams. Please keep in mind that these are approximate dimensions and no two bars of soap are exactly alike. Also, the more soap ages, the more it loses its weight by slight amounts due to the normal dryning out process.

Our soaps come in 100 percent recycled cardboard boxes, and each bar is boxed individually for easy storage. We figured you didn't buy our award winning soap for the box it came in, so we didn't spend a lot of time worrying about the packaging other than to ensure it was made from recycled material.

While our founder and our current leadership happen to be Italian and of Italian descent, our soaps are proudly made right here in the United States near Portland, Oregon. There are a number of reasons for this, but the major ones are that we are proud Americans and we believe in American manufacturing, American ingredients, and the highest of quality.

NO! Our soaps are never triple milled, which is actually NOT a beneficial process for soap making. Allow us to explain. 


The reason why Ancient Roman soaps lather so well and are so hard is that we make them in exclusive batches that take over 5 weeks to cure! Because the soap cures naturally, it becomes VERY hard. 


Triple milled soaps are made using machinery to grind up soap pellets and remove water so that the soap becomes harder, mainly because the soap maker has no time to allow the soap to cure naturally. Additionally, be sure to read the ingredient on anything that says “triple milled”. Sodium laurel sulfate and other additives may be added and they certainly are not friends of the skin. In that the bars are commercially made, the adherence to the best organic ingredients is rare.


You cannot make artisanal handmade soap that is triple milled. It's simply not possible, nor is triple milled soap the best for your skin.


But don't take our word for it, go ahead and try one of our bars, and if it doesn't meet your standards, it's FREE.