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The Beautiful Benefits of African Black Soap

Benefits of African Black Soap

Ever wondered what the fuss is about African black soap? Why is the soap so black? How does a black soap lighten the skin? What makes African black soap so special? In this article, you will know the origins of African black soap, how it is made, where to get it and why everyone is making a fuss about it.

Origins of African Black Soap

African black soap is a plant based soap that originates from West Africa, particularly Ghana. The soap is commonly made by women who have mastered traditional and family recipes that are usually kept secret to protect the trade.

Ingredients in African Black Soap

African black soap is organic and plant based. The major ingredients include a soap base made from plantain leaves, cocoa pods, shea tree barks and palm fronds. These leaves and barks are slowly burnt to form wood ash. Usually these leaves and barks are used as fire wood to cook. After cooking, the ash is collected into a bucket and mixed with water.

A second major ingredient is plant based oil which include palm oil, coconut oil and shea butter.

Palm oil is usually mixed with ash gotten from palm fronds, banana leaves and cocoa pods, heated slowly on an open fire and left to solidify for at least 24 hours.  The soap is then left to cure for at least 2 weeks.

Other ingredients include: cam wood, which is commonly used by the Yorubas to make a unique  black soap called Ose-dudu. Lime juice, aloes, honey are other ingredients added to the soap base.

Interestingly, African black soap is 100% organic with no added artifical ingredients.

Benefits of African Black Soap

So what makes the African soap so popular? Here are a just a few reasons to use African black soap.

  1. Natural Moisturizer – African black soap is rich in natural moisturizers like coconut oil, aloes and honey that retain and lock in moisture into skin cells. A moisturized skin is firm, elastic and smooth. African black soap is commonly used to treat dry skin and relieve discomfort that comes from having a dry skin and scalp, such as itchiness, rashes and cracked skin.
  2. Natural Cleanser – African black soap lathers richly and mildly strips way dirt, grease and grime from the skin surface. African black soap is rich in lauric acid, a superb surfactant with antimicrobial properties.
  3. Natural Exfoliant – African black soap has more than enough fibre from cocoa pods, banana leaves and skin. The rough texture of unprocessed black soap makes it a mild exfoliant that works to remove dead clumped cells from the skin’s surface.
    Also, black soap contains lime juice which is rich in citric acid, a powerful alpha hydroxyl acid that stimulates removal of dead cells from the skin and inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme that stimulates production of melanin.
    Cocoa pods are rich in vitamin E and C, powerful antioxidants that activate removal of dead cells, formation of new skin cells, and inhibition of excessive pigmentation.
  4. Antimicrobial Properties – black soap contains potent anti microbial properties that fight major skin microbes that cause acne, break out, rashes, eczema and fungal skin infection. African black soap is used to treat major fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm and candida overgrowth.
  5. Fight Acne – black soap contains coconut oil which is rich in anti oxidants, and essential oils that balances the skin pH, soothe irritated skin and destroys the negative effects of excessive exposure to free radicals gotten from dust and wind.
  6. Minimise Wrinkles – black soap is very rich in anti oxidants that is gotten from cocoa pods, coconut oil, palm oil, banana leaves and peels. These antioxidants work to destroy the ageing effects of excessive exposure to free radicals caused by exposure to wind, sun and smoke.
  7. Dandruff Treatment – black soap is also a potent treatment for dandruff. Black soap cleanses the scalp from residue, build up, stimulates increased turn over of cells, cleanses scalp from fungal and bacterial infections and moisturizes a dry scalp.

Where to get African Black Soap

Authentic African black soaps  are readily available in local stores in West Africa. These soaps are also available in most organic, vegan and animal friendly stores. Authentic black soap is crumbly, rough and darkish  brown with an earthy scent.

How to use African Black Soap

African black soap is unprocessed and unrefined soap that may be a bit harsh for sensitive skin.

Some users have complained of a burning sensation when they apply the soap directly to their face. To avoid this, create a lather on your hands before applying on your face.

Always remember to use a cream moisturizer after using the soap.

African black soaps are also lightening agents. Remember to use adequate sun screen and sun coverage these soaps increase sensitivity to the sun.

The benefits of African black soap are worth experiencing. You could try making  one for yourself, or better yet get some from an organic store closest to you.

If you have a relative currently in West Africa, you can tell them to buy some bars for you. The experience is worth having!