Old-fashioned soap used to make your skin feel dry, so we started using the liquid version. But wrongly so, says Margot Ruttens, as good-quality natural soap actually does your skin a world of good.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
“Before I had children, I was studying at the art academy. I am a designer. I also love to cook. When making soap, those two worlds come together. I think about the design of the website, the photographs, the packaging…and I am also stirring in my pans of soap in my soap laboratory. I started making soap when we lived in Spain. I was talking to my Spanish teacher about the Spaniards and how they used to make soap from recycled, filtered olive oil. And by chance I came across a little old-fashioned make-your-own-soap booklet in the Netherlands. It all combined to tickle my fancy until I did something about it. I was living among the olive trees, after all, and could pick rosemary in my own garden, lemons, almonds, lavender: I could use it all!”

And then you noticed your own children’s eczema was getting better thanks to your soap.
“Yes! This happened quite naturally when we started using my soap blocks instead of the factory bottles of liquid soap. Those are usually based on petroleum, animal fats and synthetic additives that improve the foaming properties and keep the product stable, but also damage the skin to some degree. My soaps are made from premium ingredients: each ingredient adds something good to your skin. Delicious natural oils, rice water, green tea and pink clay. The aromas come from real plants, you can feel that it is natural. My hands used to have cracked skin; after washing my hands with my own soap for a while I was able to screw the top off a bottle without any problems again.”

What are your hopes and dreams for Soap7?
“Of course I would love to run a small factory, where soap is still made according to centuries-old procedures, with delicious ingredients almost good enough to eat… tables lined with cheerful old women bagging the soaps while they sing.”