African black soap or better still black soap (known as sabulun salo in Hausa, Ose dudu in Yoruba and ncha nkota in Igbo language), is a kind of soap originating in West Africa and made from the ash of locally harvested African plants – plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea tree bark – which gives the soap its dark colour.
It is well loved and used as a most natural beauty care item as it has skin nourishing benefits due to an abundance of antioxidants. Some additional ingredients, depending on the makers of the soap, could be honey to soften skin and shea butter or cocoa butter for extra moisturizing properties (some black soap is more potent than others and can be drying).
The benefits of African black soap lie in its ingredients, i.e. the combination of cocoa pods, coconut oil, palm tree leaf derivatives, including palm kernel oil and palm oil, plantain bark, which contains iron, as well as vitamins A and E, shea butter. Let’s look at them one after the other. Plantain skins and leaves have a high concentration of iron and vitamins A and E. Vitamin E helps with tissue structure, is healing, and helps moisturize the skin, improving texture and tone. Vitamin A benefits collagen production. Allantoin in the leaves of plantain stimulates the growth of new skin cells. Cocoa powder softens and firms the skin, contains antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties to fight against free radicals, repair damaged skin, and renew skin cells. Cocoa butter is a natural fat extracted from the cacao bean. It’s been used for years as a moisturizer. It has vitamins A and E to fight against environmental damage and therefore fight the signs of aging. It helps the skin retain moisture and improves elasticity. Cocoa butter is also said to improve the appearance of stretch marks. It has also been used to ease skin conditions like rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. Shea butter (karite butter) made from the nuts of the karite tree, also has vitamins A and E to strengthen skin and repair damage. It has been used to heal burns, sores and scars, and to treat psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. It helps promote cell renewal and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. It is also a good for treatment of acne scars because it is non-comedogenic and has anti-microbial properties.
Palm oil is rich in antioxidants and two forms of vitamin E—tocopherol and tocotrienol—which is useful in the treatment of acne and eczema, and reduces cell damage caused by environmental toxins and free radicals. Palm kernel oil is extracted from the fruit seeds of the African palm tree. It is high in lauric acid, giving it anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Lastly, Coconut oil has fatty acids that work to reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier and lock in moisture. Coconut oil is also helpful for repairing skin damage, dry skin and eczema, and to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It has cleansing and antibacterial properties, which makes it useful for removing grime and makeup, and, when combined with other ingredients, it works as a natural deodorant.
Up here, we have reviewed some of the numerous benefits of the black soap from its individual ingredients and so, here are some more specific things the black soap can do for you and 4 recipes for home made beauty items you can make with the soap. 1. It’s antibacterial: Natural antibacterial properties make African black soap an excellent alternative to chemical-laden cleansers. In fact, it may actually remove more bacteria than chemical cleansers do. Despite its strength, black soap is gentle enough to use on your face, hands, and body. 2. It’s safe for all skin types: If you have dry or sensitive skin, you know that scented soaps and lotions are off-limits. African black soap is naturally fragrance-free — just make sure your chosen product is labeled “unscented.” People with oily or combination skin are also in the clear! Black soap can help balance your skin’s natural oil production without stripping necessary oils or adding excess oil to your skin. 3. Moisturizing: Shea butter is a crucial ingredient in black soap. While shea can help relieve itchiness and soothe dry skin, cocoa and coconut oil add moisture. 4. It soothes irritation: African black soap may also soothe itchiness and irritation caused by eczema, contact dermatitis, and skin allergies. It may even help clear rashes related to eczema and psoriasis. To maximize these benefits, find a soap with oatmeal added. 5. Anti-inflammatory: Black soap is rich in vitamins A and E. These vitamins are both antioxidants, which help combat free radicals and attacks on otherwise healthy skin tissues. This may be helpful for people who have inflammatory conditions like rosacea. 6. It helps fight acne: On that note, black soap may also help fight acne. In addition to balancing your skin’s natural oils, the soap’s shea content may help repair damaged cells. Its antimicrobial properties may even clear severe acne caused by Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. 7. It helps reduce fine lines: Shea butter and coconut oil may help reduce collagen loss and encourage new development. In turn, this can help plump up fine lines and wrinkles. The rough texture of the soap can also exfoliate dead skin cells that make fine lines more noticeable. 8. Improves skin tone: Black soap firms and tones skin and improves skin texture, for more supple and glowing skin. 9. It helps protect against aging: Antioxidants found in shea butter can help protect your skin from photoaging. Over time, sun exposure can cause sun spots (age spots), but black soap may offer another barrier. 10. It helps improve skin texture: African black soap is chock-full of natural ingredients, but part of its benefits come from its form. When left unprocessed, the raw ingredients that make up black soap leave the product far less smooth than the average drugstore soap bar. This makes it a natural exfoliant, which may help improve skin texture. 11. It prevents razor burn and related rashes: Exfoliation is another key factor in keeping your skin smooth after shaving, waxing, or other methods of hair removal. Exfoliating will help remove dead skin cells before they can clog your hair follicles. The moisture in African black soap may also help prevent the lumps and bumps that result from razor burn. 12. It reduce hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation is often caused by acne scarring and sun damage — two things that African black soap may help soothe or prevent. 13. It minimizes scars and stretch marks: Thanks to its shea butter and vitamin E content, black soap may help reduce the redness and overall appearance of stretch marks and other scars. It may also help minimize related itchiness. DIY Beauty Items To Make With The Black Soap
Glowing Skin Soap
Ingredients: Shea butter Banana peels or cocoa pods Whatever dried herbs or essential oils you like Distilled water. You need two heatproof bowls of different sizes, spatula and molds skimmer spoon. How To Make: First turn the banana peels or the cocoa pods to ashes. When done, grind the ashes thoroughly so that they are like a fine powder. Then carefully heat up the water, not to boiling point and dissolve the ash powder in the water. The more you add, the darker and the more concentrated the soap will be, so feel free to add as much as you desire. Melt shea butter slowly and gently. It’s very important not to overheat it because too high temperatures will ruin all the healing powers the butter has. Mix the liquefied butter with the water with ashes. Stir gently and continue heating the mixture up using either a double boiler or heatproof bowls and the temperature of steam. In the meanwhile, add essential oils or dried herbs or both, whatever option you choose. For instance, tea tree oil can cure inflammations on skin while dried herbs are perfect exfoliates. Eventually, you will start to see a kind of soapy film on the surface. Use your skimmer spoon to carefully gather the film as it appears on the surface and pour into the prepared molds. When all the soap is collected accurately, leave the molds in a cool dry place for a couple of weeks. The soap will become solid within this time and you will be able to start using it. Lightening soap Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder, 2 tablespoons of powdered milk, 2 tablespoons of shea butter, 2 tablespoons of powdered oatmeal, 5 tablespoons of powdered orange peel, 4 tablespoons of raw honey, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of powdered sandalwood, ½ tablespoons of sulfur (powdered), 50ml of fresh lemon juice, 500g of African black soap (factory-made) and lukewarm rice water. How To Make: Pound the black soap in a mortar with the rice water thoroughly and when the soap is mashed into a more or less even mass, add in the powdered turmeric, orange peel, sulfur, sandalwood, and milk and pound together carefully and thoroughly. Now, melt the shea butter and when it’s completely liquid, pour it into the mortar to other ingredients. After this, add the lemon juice and whatever else remains and stir the mixture so that it’s completely smooth and even. When done, check whether the mixture is too thick and, if needed, add some rice water. Then, pour the mixture into the container and leave to get solid. The black soap made with this recipe is able to remove blemishes, add your skin a healthy youthful glow, and even slightly lighten your skin. Read also: How To Make Black Soap For Glowing Skin Black Soap Face Mask Ingredients: 1 teaspoon of honey, 2 teaspoons baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil How To Make
Dissolve the soap in hot water and then add the honey, baking soda and essential oil (you may use tea tree oil for acne, chamomile for inflammation, or lavender for overall glow). Apply the mixture and let it sit on your skin until almost dry, and then rinse off with lukewarm water. Black Soap Shampoo
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons Water, 3/4 cup Aloe Vera juice, 1/4 cup Avocado oil, 2 teaspoons Peppermint essential oil How To Make
Grate or chop the soap, so it forms some kind of chips and dissolves easily. Put all ingredients in the applicator or sprayer with warm water and shake well until soap dissolves fully. Use this mixture just like you use regular shampoo. Aloe Vera used in this mix helps to lower the pH of soap and gives smoothness to hair. Avocado oil provides ceramides which help to soften dry hair. Also, peppermint oil not only provides a divine smell to this mixture but it also leaves a feeling of cleanliness and freshness on your scalp. Organic Body Wash
ingredients: purified water How To Make
Make an easy and simple cleansing organic body wash by soaking a chunk of the black soap in purified water until it dissolves. Just as simple as that!