One of the best beauty tips I received in 2017 was to use African Black Soap. My brothers gave me some at Thanksgiving and talked about its benefits. It’s not everyday I get beauty tips from my brothers!
I heard about African Black Soap years ago. There were numerous reports on the soap and how great it is for the skin. I purchased several soaps from my local drugstore and Walmart, but found them to be drying. I recently learned that traditional African Black Soap is very different than most soaps sold in drugstores and department stores.
Traditional African Black Soap
West Africans have used black soap for hundreds of years. There are more than 100 varieties known by different names. The most popular name is Ose Dudu, and it comes from the Yoruba language.
Traditionally, soap makers roast dried plants and trees. The ash is then combined with water and natural oils. Afterwards, the mixture solidifies, and is left to cure.
The soap is soft and crumbly in comparison with the smooth soap sold in retail stores. Even though it is called African Black Soap, the soap is usually brown in color.
Because the soap’s texture includes pieces of the ingredients, users are warned not to rub the soap directly on their skin. However, the soap lathers easily into one’s hand, loofah or wash cloth. To keep the soap from melting away, users should store the soap in a soap dish or plastic bag.
Soap makers typically sell the soap in small or long bars (as pictured above). Users slice longer bars into smaller pieces.
Numerous articles and blog posts tout the benefits of African Black Soap. I’ve listed a few below.
African Black Soap is inexpensive. The bar pictured above cost $5. It should last for more than six months.
Amazon offers a series of African Black Soaps. A pound ranges from $8 to $14.
2. Made from natural ingredients
Most African Black Soaps include plantain skins, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea tree bark. Modern formulations also include aloe, honey and oats. These ingredients are added to coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil, cocoa butter, palm kernel oil and shea butter. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids.
3. Good for all skin types and various conditions
All people of all ethnicities can use African Black Soap. Users have reported that it works great for sensitive skin, normal, dry and oily skin. Scientific articles note that the soap moisturizes and protects skin. The soap is rumored to help with eczema, psoriasis, acne, blemishes and other skin conditions.
People with extremely sensitive skin should test the soap on a small patch of skin before using. Cocoa pods contain caffeine and may harm caffeine-sensitive individuals. Also, those with latex allergies may want to avoid shea butter which has naturally occurring latex.
4. Can be used to shampoo hair and helps with dandruff
Last week I decided to test the effectiveness of African Black Soap as a shampoo. I researched others’ experiences, and discovered simple recipes to transform the soap into a shampoo. (For example, one recipe combined pieces of black soap with water and olive oil.)
Despite the simple shampoo recipes, I used the soap directly on my hair. The soap lathered in my hand and I applied it to my hair. It didn’t lather like traditional shampoo, but my hair was clean and moisturized. Unlike a number of commercial shampoos, the soap didn’t strip my hair.
5. Antifungal and antiseptic
Scientists have confirmed the antifungal and antiseptic effects of African Black Soap. Because soaps are prepared differently, the antimicrobial effects vary. Studies show that most black soaps contain antimicrobial
phytochemicals that account for the antifungal effect.
As noted above, dried plants and trees are roasted into ash. The ash in African Black Soap provides a mild exfoliation.
Where Can You Buy It
My brothers purchased the bar pictured above at Cowtown, a local flea market in southern New Jersey. Cowtown is in the Philadelphia metro area (PA, NJ and DE).
As noted above, Amazon offers a number of soaps. Several bloggers recommend Incredible by Nature African Black Soap. It has a four star rating.
If you don’t want to try the traditional soap, my brother recommends Nubian Heritage African Black Soap. He says that it is close in quality to the soap he buys from Cowtown. It is available in retail stores.
Have you used African Black Soap? If so, what was your experience like?