“We believe that a truly successful business only comes through honesty and integrity. We are obliged to be transparent to our customers because they deserve it!”
Handcrafted soaps are everywhere but not everyone has the prestige of a timeless past such as these ones from Saaf- the artisan soaps made with ancient techniques inherited from 2800 BC Levantine.
The fascination for handmade soaps started when Deemah and Sinan came across a soap boutique while on a trip to Turkey. They were instantly captivated by the scents, the ingredients and its history, which prompted them to start the brand.
“ The functionality of a simple soap bar was what intrigued us the most. When we got back home, we used the soaps for some time and noticed a significant difference on our skin. We knew then and there that we needed to introduce this product to the rest of the world. As a skincare enthusiast, you rarely come across a skin care product that is not riddled with artificial ingredients but actually works. To know these soaps were made with high quality and natural ingredients and were actually effective, there was no turning back! That’s how Saaf was born!”
Soapmaking is an integral part of the Anatolian culture for thousands of years even before the rise of the Ottoman Empire who later popularized the “hammam” or public sauna from within and across their neighbouring countries. Perhaps it was the invention of the soaps that determines what type of civilization our ancestors had. The concept of hygiene was, perhaps, first introduced by the Babylonians as they were known to be the first group to manufacture and use soap. Then it reached Egypt who later revolutionized the ingredients that can be used for cleaning the body as well. The first soap was made for household sanitation purposes but as soap making became popular and handy, the craft traveled across the Levantine regions which includes Palestine, Syria and present-day Turkey. Other countries like Rome and China, only discovered soap hundreds of years later when trade expeditions and conquests began. During the Islamic Golden Age, soap making became an established industry as new techniques was discovered by a Muslim scientist Al- Razi named with the use of glycerine which was extracted from olive oil. Before that, lime and other fats are mixed together to make soap.
Finding a hand- crafted soap with technology that dates back to the ancient in our age and time is like unearthing a fossil from the ground. It’s rare and it’s luxury. Who would have thought that those items still exist! But yes, they do! And Saaf is bringing it to the world.
Deemah, the brand’s owner attest;
“Let’s be honest, whenever you read the ingredients on any product you have a list of ingredients you can’t even pronounce. You are not quite sure what’s harmful to your body and what’s not. It wasn’t until we started this business that we realized we are using toxic, carcinogenic products all the time. Unfortunately, there is very little regulation in skin care products and because of this, companies are encouraged to be ambiguous with their ingredients irrespective of its level of toxicity to our bodies. We, at Saaf, pride ourselves in being transparent. We list all the ingredients and yes, there is actual camel milk and donkey milk in our soaps! Our soaps don’t contain palm oil which is not only a cheaper quality fat, but more importantly, is a leading cause of deforestation. This was paramount! Although there are quite a few brands that use sustainable palm oil, we really wanted to use higher-quality ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil. While these more expensive oils bite into our margins, it’s worth it. We believe that a truly successful business only comes through honesty and integrity. We are obliged to be transparent to our customers because they deserve it!”
With the virtuoso of Turkish craftmanship, surely these products are in its superior quality. The soaps that Saaf are re-introducing to the market are made with the only quality ingredients; with variants such as turmeric, kefir, tea tree and their best- selling donkey and camel milk.
“Camel milk and donkey milk are incredibly beneficial for the body whether it’s consumed or used on our skin. The use of these milks may be a novelty for some, but in Levantine culture it’s been used for centuries. The milk content in our soaps creates a beautiful lather and leaves the skin feeling moisturized. That can’t be said for a lot of soaps or cleansing bars we use today.”
Taking care of one’s self is one part of modesty. And using only the naturally-processed ingredients is not only good for the skin but it also lessens carbon footprints.
“We want our customers to love the product and want to spread the message far and wide! We believe in our product and positive reviews and testimonials give us the validation that we need to keep moving forward.
If you love your skin, use only Saaf. It’s the soap for you!