African black soap has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past few years and it’s no surprise why it’s a go to product for many, both in Africa where it’s made and outside of Africa. If you’re wondering what the benefits of black soap are and why you should care, let me enlighten you on the twenty healing benefits of Black soap.
But before I do that, let me first share a quick story and my personal experiences with Black soap with you.
Based on its name, you can probably guess that Black soap is from Africa. This soap is native to Ghana and Nigeria, where they are made by a small group of women in villages. Apparently, Black soap actually originated in Nigeria and it somehow made its way to Ghana. This is why this soap is very popular in these two countries.
Black Soap is very popular amongst low-income earners in west Africa.
In Nigeria, the Yoruba tribe call black soap “Ose Dudu“, which simply means black soap. It is mainly used by village women and people from a lower class, because of its vast availability and economical prices. These group of people are usually connected to ancient practices and so no matter how “developed” the country might be moving, these group of people still maintain ancient traditions, recipes and believes from the past.
Instead of going to the hospital or pharmacist, these people would rather whip something up from nature by using local herbs to treat themselves. So it’s no wonder why this soap is still very popular in Nigeria and Ghana despite the vast availability of modern soaps.
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My Personal Experience with Black Soap
My first encounter with black soap was when I went to go live with my auntie in Osun state in southwest Nigeria. Back home in Lagos, we used modern soaps and beauty products, so even though I’ve heard about black soap, I never saw one until I moved to my auntie’s place.
My auntie is one of those people who would rather drink an awful tasting herb, rather than a nicer tasting medicine that will work faster. My auntie preferred to bathe with black soap because she believed it was better for her skin than modern products that did nothing for her skin. Infact, when I had Roscea (an itchy skin irritation), my auntie gave me some of her black soap to use.
These days, black soap is still seen as a local soap, used by local people. The only time the rich and more exposed people would use black soap is after they’ve tried every other western method and nothing worked. And so, they have no choice but to use a soap their grandmother used on them when they were younger.
Infact, my mom still uses black soap and shea butter today, because she believes they are natural and free of harmful chemicals.
This is also one thing I absolutely admire about black soap. Despite the heavy presence and influence of the British on West Africa, we still manage to keep some of our ancient traditions and resources. So much that the west are now coming to Africa to capitalize on our beauty secrets.
They usually go to eastern countries like India and China, but the fact that an ancient recipe, preserved by uneducated local village women is now a sought after product, is a HUGE deal!
Three types of black soaps on the market
There are three main types of black soap varieties.
- Black soap bar is the most common version of black soap that you’ve probably seen or used.
- Black soap paste comes in a plastic container and is much easier to use than the bar soap, because you just take whatever amount you need and apply it on your sponge. This is the type my mom uses and is also very common in Nigeria.
- Liquid black soap is a more recent development that was created by the west to make it easier to use. This is the type that I prefer to use.
RELATED POST: How to make liquid black soap
What’s the true color of black soap?
True organic and natural black soap is actually brown in color.
Texture of Black soap: If you will be buying the block or paste version of black soap, make sure it’s rough and crumble like, like the picture below.
Major ingredients in Black Soap and their benefits
Every black soap includes these five major ingredients as a base ingredient.
Plantain Skin Ash – Contains allantoin which has germicidal and antibacterial properties. So when applied to wounds topically, it helps to kill germs and induce quicker healing.
Unrefined Shea Butter – It’s a multi-purpose ingredient that has been used for centuries to treat many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, burns, scars, acne, dermatitis, itchy patch, stretch marks. e.t.c.
RELATED POST: 5 Major Benefits of Shea Butter
Cocoa Butter / Cocoa Pods – Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are healing for the skin
Virgin Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for the skin
Palm Kernel Oil – Contains many fatty acids that keeps the skin rich and supple
Depending on the manufacturer, they might add other hair and skin benefiting ingredients to their soap for extra moisturizing properties and easier usability.
Therefore, we’ve added the following ingredients into our black soap so that it won’t burn your skin or leave it dry like many black soaps on the market.
Vegetable Glycerin: A natural humectant that seals in moisture deep in the skin to provide a long-lasting moisture retention.
Castor Oil: The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil makes it useful in reducing acne. Ricinoleic acid can inhibit growth in the bacteria that cause acne. Castor oil enhance smoothness and softness when applied to the skin
Aloe: It relieves itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your skin
Purified Water: This is what we used to liquefy our black soap
Natural Vitamin E Oil: An antioxidant that helps to rejuvenate your skin
RELATED POST: 10 BENEFITS OF CASTOR OIL
20 HEALING BENEFITS OF BLACK SOAP
Now that I’ve schooled you on the origin of Black soap, let’s now get into its amazing benefits and why you should care.
Like I said earlier, black soap is an ancient soap that has been used in west Africa for many centuries. It is hand-made by local women in small villages. It’s also made from plant-based and all-natural ingredients that are locally and purposefully sourced by these women. These soaps provided a source of income for these women and a livelihood that allows them to support their families, irrespective of their husbands financial contribution.
Because these soaps were made by local women for other local women, these women had to ensure that the soaps were of the highest quality.
Now let’s take a look at what makes our liquid black soap such a super star.
1. Ready to use our of the bottle, no DIY required.
Our liquid black soap is ready to use, so you don’t need to look up a complicated recipe about how to make liquid black soap. Because the soap is already contained in a bottle, you don’t have to worry about your soap bar melting away and making a mess in the shower like a bar soap will.
2. Moisturizing and won’t burn your skin or leave it dry.
Unlike most black soaps out there, my liquid black soap has been infused with skin softening and moisturizing ingredients that won’t leave your skin dry or burn your face.
3. Scalp Exfoliation
My liquid black soap’s anti-bacterial and cleansing properties makes it a great scalp exfoliation to give you a clean scalp. As someone with a flaky scalp, I have come to love black soap shampoos because it gives me a clean start every time.
4. Clarifies Your Hair
If you’re looking for a clarifier that won’t dry out your hair, my liquid black soap will do just that. I often use black soap to clarify my hair on days when I don’t want to use a clarifying shampoo that might leave my hair feeling dry.
5. Soothes Itchy Scalp
Remember the plantain skin ash in black soap? This is actually what helps to soothe skin irritation. So if you tend to have an itchy scalp, I recommend cleansing your scalp on a weekly basis with Black soap.
6. Clears Dandruff
Our black soap consists of aloe, castor oil, shea butter and many other ingredients that have been successfully used to clear dandruff. It’s anti-fungal properties kills any dandruff causing bacteria that might cause your scalp to flake up and itch.
7. Clears facial and body Acne
This is what black soap is commonly known for. The shea butter and coconut oil in black soap contains fatty acids that fights acne causing microbial on the skin. Unlike many other acne treatments, Black soap remains the most effective and economical acne treatment on the market. Black soap is a miracle skin care treatment that has been proven to transform the skin within a matter of a few days.
8. Treats blemishes, Dark Spots and scars
The natural enzymes in the plantain skin provides anti-inflammatory benefits that serves to treat scars and blemishes left by acne and other breakouts.
9. Control PSORIASIS, dermatitis and roscea
Black soap is known to reduce itchiness, redness and other skin irritations caused by eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
10. All natural skin cleanser
Black soap’s cleansing properties removes odour causing bacteria to reduce body odour, thanks to the plantain skin ash in the soap.
11. Soothes Itchy Skin and other skin irritation
Black soap’s anti-bacterial properties soothes skin irritation caused by eczema, dermatitis and other skin problems that causes itchiness. The aloe, vitamin e oil, glycerin and castor oil in our black soap will calm your skin and leave it moisturized.
12. Make Up Remover & Face Cleanser
The plantain skin ash in black soap acts to exfoliate your skin to remove make up, grease and other dirt that might have settled on your skin through out the day.
13. Clears skin discoloration
When used consistently, black soap has been known to clear skin discoloration to give you a balanced skin tone. Black soap’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties repairs the skin to clear scars to give you an even skin tone.
14. Balances your skin’s oil production
Black soap is great for all skin types. Whether you have an oily skin, dry skin or combination skin, black soap will regulate your skin’s oil production and pH level so that it doesn’t feel greasy or dry after use.
15. Clears uneven skin tone
Shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil in our liquid black are excellent skin care ingredients that helps to even out your skin tone and keep it balanced.
16. Minimizes the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy
Cocoa butter and shea butter have been proven to reduce stretch marks. This is why black soap is such a great option for pregnant and postpartum women. When used throughout pregnancy, black soap can help to minimize stretch marks.
17. Treats athlete’s foot & toenail fungus
The palm kernel oil and cocoa butter in black soap provides the anti-bacterial properties in black soap to kill germs and bacterial skin infection such as athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.
18. Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Shea butter and coconut oil help reduce collagen loss and encourage new development. In turn, this can help plump up fine lines to reduce wrinkles.
Also, the antioxidants in black soap protects the skin from free radical damage, which is a cause of premature skin aging, wrinkles and facial lines.
19. Soothes Razor Bumps
The shea butter in black soap moisturizes your skin to reduce after shave bumps. To reduce irritation and bumps, apply some black soap on your skin while shaving.
20. Clears trouble skin and boosts confidence
Black soap heals your skin, so that you don’t have to be ashamed of your skin or cover up your natural beauty. Black soaps healing benefit has restored confidence to many men and women who used to be conscious of their face or skin.
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What are your personal experiences with black soap?