By Kali Kushner
Why is African Black Soap becoming popular all of a sudden? What makes it become every beauty blogger’s favorite? What are its benefits on hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions?
This soap has been used as both facial and body soap in Africa for centuries. The African black soap has been slowly becoming popular globally. The African Black Soap is made with extremely beneficial and natural ingredients which helps heal anyone’s skin and is great for problematic skin conditions like acne, eczema and even hyperpigmentation.
This African Black Soap contains shea butter, coconut/palm oil and ash plants (particularly from palm trees and plantain). Also included in the ingredients are aloe vera, oats and/or cocoa pods that help deep clean and exfoliate your skin to remove dirt, excess oil and unclogging pores, revealing a smoother, brighter skin. (Note: Be sure to purchase the natural kind as there are processed soaps which can possibly irritate your skin and make you lose the beneficial effects of these ingredients). If there’s one way to determine if your soap is processed, aside from the name, is that it should be black or medium dark brown.
The African Black Soap has been traditionally made in West Africa, typically Ghana, from their secret recipes.
Now some of us may be a bit hesitant to give this soap a try for different reasons. But, this African black soap may be just the solution for our skin tone, blemishes or other nuances we find in our skin. Another thing is that this soap is great for removing makeup (the cocoa pods lightly exfoliate the first traces of makeup).
The African black soap may also be used to exfoliate your body while you’re taking a shower (most especially if you’re feeling lazy). You can melt a chunk of this soap then combine it with some oil (e.g. coconut or almond oil) then apply it before washing your hair for the extra moisture.
HOW THE AFRICAN BLACK SOAP IS MADE
The recipe of this soap is made specific to each African tribe or community starting from the ingredients that is being used to the cooking techniques being implemented, as seen in the soap’s color variation. The soap is the main source for the African people or community’s income and being relied on for revenue. The recipe of the African black soap has been traded fairly and respected as secret (for most of them).
This soap also goes through a two-week process before achieving the finished product and making it ready to use. Ingredients such as local leaves and bark are being gathered, sun dried then cooked at an even temperature, making sure that they achieve the correct color and smell. They also crush the cocoa pods, burn it then sprinkle the ashes into the mixture. The water, coconut oil or shea butter are then stirred gently into the soap mixture for one full day and left alone to form for two full weeks.
Now there are superstitions or spiritual beliefs which are interestingly believed in making this African black soap. It is said that for the women to be able to create this soap, they must be reconciled or on good terms with their spouses, family or with each other. They are to be careful not to speak profane or abusive language while making this soap, as the soap itself will be compromised. These superstitions or spiritual beliefs have been part of the ancient African tradition and an aspect that is considered to be highly important for the soap manufacturers.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER INGREDIENTS OF THIS AFRICAN BLACK SOAP?
Aside from the ingredients mentioned above, the African Black Soap (or ABS) , also contains Vitamins A and E that come from a combination of plantain skins, cocoa pod powder, and palm leaves, making this soap a good one for sensitive skin (as well as for babies) and effective for helping acne and other skin blemishes like hyperpigmentation due to its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties as well as soothing the skin and reducing swelling.
There are at least two benefits of African black soap that will be discussed here: Does African black soap help hyperpigmentation? and Does African Black Soap Heal Eczema?
DOES AFRICAN BLACK SOAP HELP HYPERPIGMENTATION?
Some say that African black soap for hyperpigmentation is not as effective as it is for any other skin conditions, based on their personal experiences. They say that the black soap only helps keep your acne at bay or under control but it does nothing for dark marks or hyperpigmentation. Another claim that it only helps keep their skin clean and clear.
Despite of this, there are still some who say that African black soap does work for hyperpigmentation in a sense that this wonder soap reduces any dark marks or discoloration of skin when it is used regularly.
The African black soap helps hyperpigmentation by soothing and preventing acne scars and sun damage that causes skin to have discoloration. The shea butter contained in African Black Soap is the one responsible for protecting your skin from sun damage and minimizing dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
DOES AFRICAN BLACK SOAP HELP ECZEMA?
Aside from the fact that African black soap is helpful for minimizing hyperpigmentation, this soap is also good for treating eczema by soothing itchiness and irritation caused by this skin condition and other problems like contact dermatitis and skin allergies. It also helps to clear rashes related to eczema and psoriasis and reduces discomfort.
HOW TO USE THE AFRICAN BLACK SOAP
A real, unprocessed African black soap typically has a rough texture. You may want to smooth this soap out before using it as a regular cleanser as its natural texture is good for removing dead skin cells by exfoliating it.
To use the African Black Soap:
* Simply pull a small chunk of soap off the bar then rub it in between your hands. For a liquid cleanser, dissolve a piece of this soap in water before use.
* Apply directly to your skin (if you want your skin to be exfoliated, but go easy). Consider rubbing the soap bar on a soft washcloth first for gentle cleansing or use on rashes.
* Make sure to thoroughly rinse off the soap with lukewarm water after use, regardless of the method.
*Apply favorite moisturizer on damp skin to lock in the black soap’s natural hydrating effects.
RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF AFRICAN BLACK SOAP
Despite the benefits of this black soap for all skin types, it is important to use the product correctly to prevent any unnecessary side effects. For some people, the African black soap may give drying effect on their skin. You can avert this risk by adding a teaspoon of raw honey to your soap mixture.
Here are some possible risks and side effects:
* Dryness of skin
* allergic reactions
* skin irritation or rashes
* can cut your skin
* stinging and burning sensation
* flaking and peeling
HOW THE INGREDIENTS WORK TO HELP HEAL SKIN
African black soap works in to help nurture the skin; It contains vitamin A to help increase collagen production, vitamin E to restore and protect the skin, Shea butter to soothe and soften the skin, and cocoa pod powder which acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Not to mention African black soap helps to even out skin tone by fading discolorations and improving skin texture for more even glowing skin.
It's gentler than most store-bought cleansers so it doesn't strip the skin of its essential oils, but rather gently removes dead skin cells and excess debris. Plus, it is 100% all natural and organic with no added chemicals, fragrances, sulfates, mineral oils, or dyes. It is considered so pure that in some parts of West Africa black soap is used to wash off newborn babies straight out of their mother's womb! Sold on it yet? I am, 'causeee I'm pretty sure that if it's gentle enough for a newborn, its gentle enough for me.
TOP AFRICAN BLACK SOAP BRANDS
* Incredible By Nature African Black Soap
* Alaffia authentic African Black Soap
* Nubian Heritage African Black Soap
* Shea Moisture African Black Soap with Shea Butter
* Sky Organics 100% Pure African Black Soap
* Wonderfully Natural Organic African Black Soap
Basically, the African black soap is suitable for all skin types and has a lot of benefits, from having antibacterial properties to treat skin conditions like acne, eczema and hyperpigmentation. This soap is jam packed with essential nutrients designed to enhance the skin’s natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out.
Share your thoughts about African black soap below the comments section.