Soap has been in existence since its initial use back in 2800 BC in Ancient Babylon and has been produced since the 12th century. Typically made of plant and animal products, such as vegetable oils or animal fat, modern soap is widely used as a cleanser.
Soap originally served medicinal functions, such as aiding in wound treatment. Even today, natural soap helps treat eczema, acne and other skin conditions. Originally, soap was made from goat's tallow and wood ash, but the soap available today for purchase in a store has evolved significantly since it was invented. Modern soap often contains artificial lathering agents and chemical detergents, and perfumes are also added to some soaps, which might irritate sensitive skin.
The often comical short plays or television episodes known as soap operas acquired their name because soap companies, such as Procter & Gamble and Colgate Palmolive, often sponsored the shows. The involvement of the soap companies became so notable that viewers began referring to this form of entertainment as a "soap opera."
Soap can be made as a hobby. Soap-makers often add extra oils to their soap recipes, in a method called ?superfatting," which creates an even more moisturizing soap. Hobby soap-makers can turn their favorite activity into a gift too, as soaps are popular presents for friends and family.