One of the organic chemical reactions known to ancient man was the preparation of soaps through a reaction called saponification. Natural soaps are sodium salts of fatty acids found in natural vegetable oils and butters such as avocado oil or shea butter.

Saponification literally means ""turning into soap"" from the root word, ""sapo"", which is Latin for soap. The by-products of the saponification reaction are glycerin and soap.

Saponified oils are oils that have gone through the process of saponification.