The Benefits of African Black Soap
African black soap is making an uprising! This black bar is going to be your next beauty secret. African black soap is traditionally made in West Africa from locally harvested plants. Cocoa pods, shea tree bark and plantain skins/leaves are used to make these soaps. These ingredients that are used to make the soap are then sun-dried. Ingredients like palm oil and shea butter are then added before it completely hardens. Once it hardens the soap is complete and full of antibacterial oils and antioxidants producing a beneficial treatment for just about all skin types.
Let’s dive deeper into What the African black soap is and how it can benefit you!
Ingredients of African black soap
Some of the ingredients were mentioned but let’s dive deeper into what they actually are and how they will help you!
For those that don’t know, plantains are a larger banana but they are used more for cooking, instead of just eating them plain. The skins of these plantains are generally delicious and nutritious. But the skins and leaves of this so called fruit contain a great amount of vitamins A and E. These vitamins assist in moisturizing the skin, assist in collagen production, and aid in improving skin texture! Plantains contain Allantoin which is a protective and conditioning ingredient that is in many personal care products today. What some may not know is that this compound has antibacterial and germicidal properties that help to serve and protect your skin
Cacao Pods, also known as the cacao bean or the cocoa bean, is the dried and completely fermented seed of the Theobroma cacao. Things like cocoa powder and cocoa butter can be derived from just one seed of Theobroma cacao. Cocoa powder defends the body from free radicals, increases elasticity of the skin, and repairs damaged skin. Cocoa butter is packed with vitamins and phytochemicals that produce a protective barrier over the skin in order to improve your blood flow, retain moisture, as well as protect yourself against damage from different types of UV rays. Overall the cacao pods will aid in hydration and nourishment in your body, so that your skin can glow and you can look younger.
Palm Kernel Oil
Palm kernel oil is a plant oil acquired from the kernel of the African oil palm tree. This oil is rich in antioxidants and contains a vast amount of vitamin E, which aids in the delay of signs of aging. Palm kernel oil is suitable for all skin types and is a universal oil, this means that not only is it great that it is in the African black soap but just this oil alone can do wonders for your skin and hair! Another bonus is that it is also high in lauric acid, which heals acne, has antifungal/ antibacterial properties, and it treats psoriasis.
Shea butter is a fat drawn out from the nut of the African shea tree. It is commonly used in the cosmetic world as a moisturizer. It has great concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins. To add on this butter helps repair damaged skin, strengthen your skin, and contains skin softening properties.
Though everyone knows what water is, let's understand why it is an ingredient in soap. Water is extremely essential to soap making for the fact that it holds everything together in order to complete the saponification process, one of the most important processes in soap making. By the time the soap is completely hard, most of the water would have evaporated.
Health Benefits of African black soap
As you can see by just the ingredients alone, African black soap has many benefits to you and your body. To start off, African black soap is an all natural cleanser. The natural ingredients that are listed above make African black soap a thorough facial cleanser and makeup remover. The oils and butters combined and delivered in one bar can aid in dissolving makeup, while efficiently removing dirt from your face and body. Overall it deep cleans your skin. Not only does this soap cleanse your body, but it contains antibacterial properties. The soap’s natural antibacterial ingredients like, plantain skins and palm kernel oil, work better than medicated cleansers to remove some harmful bacteria, dirt, and other impurities like such. Some studies have suggested that this soap may help control skin fungus and things like athlete’s foot.
African black soap contains Moisturizing and nourishing properties. Due to the ashes used to create this soap, it is far less smooth than other soaps, because of this it can function as a natural exfoliant. This means while this soap is giving you a deep clean it also removes dead skin cells before they clog your hair follicles and pores. As mentioned before, there is a high amount of vitamin A from the plantain skins and leaves which can lead to the brightening of your complexion. In addition to this, the shea butter in the soap adds moisture to your skin while the oil in the soap shuts out excess oiliness in your skin. This shows how the ingredients balance each other out, the fats and oils wash off well with water while locking in moisture to your body. So it'd be wise to get this soap especially if you have dry and itchy skin.
Speaking of dry and itchy skin, the African black soap can be used as a treatment for many skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Some people use this soap for the sake of improving rashes caused by eczema, psoriasis, and other types of skin allergies or conditions. The antioxidants in this soap aids in protecting your skin from these conditions in addition to dark spots caused by UV radiation from the sun, meaning it should slowly fade away any discoloration in your skin. . Another benefit is helps soothe the skin because of razor bumps after shaving. The oil and butter in this soap does all the work to make sure there is less irritation.
To top it off the African black soap has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Though it isn’t 100% proven and more research needs to be conducted, some of these ingredients in the soap help agitate wrinkles in order to clear them up as well as the fine lines. The exfoliation that the soap causes can also aid in making fine lines less visible. On the anti-inflammatory side of things, the ingredients like all the ones in the section before all contain Vitamins A and E. This means that the soap is rich in vitamins A and E, which help shield your skin against inflammation and free radicals that damage your skin.
Hair Benefits of African black soap
It was mentioned before that African black soap is a deep cleanser, but did you know it can also be used as a shampoo? No matter how straight, coily, or curly your hair is, the antioxidants from this soap will be perfect for your natural hair! You can use this soap as a clarifying cleanser, something to remove the dandruff, dirt and other debris in your hair. Because of this it causes your hair to create a healthy space to grow. Some may say that African black soap promotes hair growth. As you now know it exfoliates causing an increase of blood flow to your scalp. This increase in circulation is important for the transportation of nutrients that stimulate the hair follicles to produce strong and healthy hair! It can not be stressed enough how big of a role the vitamins, in African black soap, play in helping you. If you really like having your hair healthy and hydrated, this soap helps seal in the moisture. Because of these vitamins it protects your scalp from unhealthy things, and strengthens / repairs the dry and brittle parts of your hair. To add on, your dandruff or psoriasis that is in your scalp could lessen because of this soap which would be great for you because of its exfoliant ways and it soothes irritation in regards to scalp psoriasis.
Other Benefits of African black soap
The African black soap has some other benefits along with it such as it is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The palm oil usually comes from sustainable and eco-friendly farms in West Africa. To add on all of the ingredients used to make the soap is biodegradable, meaning that this soap is biodegradable too! You will not find any animal fats or chemicals in this soap, if made right meaning that this soap is very environmentally friendly. This soap can cost anywhere from 5 - 20 dollars depending on the size or how much you get. That is very small for a soap so versatile, I mean 20 dollars for a soap that can deep cleanse your body, cleanse you hair, seal moisture, and also is an exfoliant; does that say a great deal or what!?
How to Use African black soap
Though it was discussed how this wonderful soap works, it is very important to know how to use it.
It must be understood that real African black soap has a rough texture. So generally you would want to smooth it out before using it. You can do this by cutting smaller pieces for yourself and rubbing it in between your hands. If you don't want to have to do this or even if you prefer to have a liquid cleanser you can cut the soap in small pieces and dissolve those pieces in water before using it. But if you are looking for exfoliation, you should apply the bar to your skin, just make sure not to scrub because the soap does the scrubbing for you. Or you can get the soap and rub it in on a washcloth before, just in case of different types of irritation on skin. After you get out of the shower, it would be a great choice to apply your favorite lotion or moisturizer to your skin while it's damp, so that you can use the soap's hydrating effects as well.
For Cleansing Face
For this process it is pretty much the same as the bathing process, the only difference is what you do after. After cutting the African black soap you will want to take a small piece. With this small piece you will place it in your hands and rub it back and forth under warm water to create a light and foamy lather (too much lather can dry your skin). After this apply the lather created to your face and massage with your fingertips. Then you will want to rinse thoroughly with cool water, dry off your skin and apply a toner with a cotton ball or a cotton pad. We do this because the soap can throw off pH balances and a toner can counteract this action. After you put your moisturizer, you can put the soap in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag.
When it comes to making this product your shampoo that is where things become a little different. First you will want to either cut or grate about 1 ounce into very tiny pieces. Place these tiny pieces into a container with a lid that has an airtight lid. After that you want to get 1 cup of hot water and pour it onto the pile of tiny soap pieces in the container. Depending on what type of consistency you want your shampoo, you can use more (looser shampoo) or less (thicker shampoo) water. Mix well then let the mixture sit for 2 hrs with occasional stirring. After this you can add 2-3 of your favorite hair oils to the mixture but only use 1.5 tablespoons. After this you will want to pour this into a dispenser bottle if you would like, and then you just wash your hair as usual!
The greatest part about it becoming a cleanser and a shampoo is that there is no expiry date. But, it must be known that you should use the black soap once every 2 days just to become acquainted with it and see how your body responds to it. But if you have used this product before and have not seen any bad effects you can use it 3-4 times a week.
Things to Look Out For
Previously stated African black soap is rough and if you are not cautious with how you use it, you could cause irritation to your skin instead of helping it. It should not be used daily for the sake of sensitive and dry skin because you are over using the soap. 3-4 times is a limit and with that make sure to apply a good moisturizer afterward.
Can African black soap lighten my skin?
African black soap can not lighten the skin per say. This means that the soap will not change your original skin tone. What this product can do is brighten your skin and remove dark spots, because it is a natural exfoliant.
Can I Use African black soap to wash my private area?
Of course you can! You can use the soap all over your body, what you want to understand is that some people are more sensitive than others. So depending on your sensitivity, you can determine how often you use it there and if it is good for you.
Does African black soap help with acne?
African black soap does help with acne. It improves acne by balancing the natural oils in your skin. But it should be understood that it improves the acne by fighting it back and it does not just magically clear it up.
Can you make homemade African black soap?
Yes you can make homemade African black soap, but it might take a couple tries to nail it down. You will probably want to look up many different types on how to make it just to see the common ingredients used in all of them. But why not try it!
Where can you buy African black soap?
You can buy African black soap from places like Walmart, Beauty supply stores, and amazon. Which are all good options. If you want a great option choose Gentle Oasis’s African black bar soap. Gentle Oasis’s African black bar soap is so much more authentic and it has all the ingredients listed above and more! To add on the company is black owned so they know what they are doing.
To recap, African black soap is a deep cleanser that you can use because of its nourishing and moisturizing properties. It is a multi-purpose product and can be used for your body, face, and hair. It is wise to put this soap in your shopping cart next time you plan to get a new type of cleanser. Make sure to consider things like how often you are supposed to use the soap and the sensitivity of your skin. As long as you watch how your skin responds and use this product carefully, you are bound to have a great experience!