Have you ever used African black soap? Well if you haven't you don't know what you are missing. African black soap is one of the most gentle, deep cleansing, and non-drying natural soaps out there. Traditionally made in Africa, black soap has been shown to smooth skin, relieve acne, and treat skin irritations. It works for all skin types, from oily to dry, but because of its gentle nature, black soap is an excellent cleanser for sensitive skin, you can even use it on your face.
I was first introduced to black soap by a vendor at Chicago's African and Caribbean International Festival of Life and, I have to admit, when I saw it I was a bit skeptical, and totally against using any bar soap on my face. However, when I finally tried it, I loved it. The soap felt so gentle! I have combination skin, so the black soap turned out to be perfect for me by cleaning the oily spots and not over drying the dry areas. I never thought I'd be able to use a bar soap on my face, but with African black soap it is possible. Anyone looking for a mild cleanser with skin clearing benefits look no further, because black soap is definitely for you.
Varying by region, traditional African black soap can be made from a variety of natural oils in Africa such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and the ashes from plantain leaves, agow tree bark, and cocoa pods. When the plantain or cocoa pod ashes are combined with water they form a natural lye. Then the oils are added to the water and stirred to form soap. The black soap I sell contains unrefined shea butter, virgin palm kernel oil, plantain leaves and cocoa pod ashes.
African black soap is naturally a soft soap. It also has a high glycerin content. Because of this, black soap will readily absorb moisture from the air, and if it is left sitting in water, black soap will dissolve into it completely. On the bright side, you could bottle the watery leftovers and use it as a shampoo, or liquid face wash. That is, of course, up to you. To keep black soap a bar, store it in a dry place between uses.
Traditional African black soap is available at Astrida Naturals. It's available unscented and scented with all natural essential oils.