Cosmetic soap made in Portugal

In northern Portugal an organisation of artisans specialises in the production of naturally blended soaps.

Created with as much care as a work of art, the soaps’ textures and fragrances are an extraordinary mixture.

Using the gentle cleansing properties of milk, which has a similar pH value to human skin, extracts of herbs, flowers and fruit are then introduced. Operating more like a country kitchen than a cosmetics factory, subtle fragrances are infused into the milk. Triglycerides, vitamins, minerals and fats contained in the milk are easily absorbed into the skin keeping it moist. Lactic acid acts as a gentle exfoliating treatment.

Since 1887 Portugal has gained a high degree of expertise making soap on a commercial basis. Today it is supplied worldwide to prestige stores such as Liberty of London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris and SAKS Fifth Avenue, New York. Many of these well respected brands are mass produced with much attention being placed on packaging and marketing.

In contrast, smaller organisations that are reintroducing traditional recipes for making soap rely upon the content of the product. Minimising the use of chemicals, the purity of each batch of milk – be it from a cow, sheep, goat or donkey – is vital. Likewise all plant materials must be organically grown or collected from the wild.

At Galeria Côrte-Real in Paderne there is a variety of these unusual soaps, all of them wrapped in quirky packaging that reflect their authentic origins and natural ingredients. Highly recommended: Sheep’s milk with a breath of jasmine.
Galeria Côrte-Real is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne. It is open Thursday to Sunday, from 11am to 5pm.

912 737 762 |


Photo: Soaps made from traditional recipes