Nothing Basic About
’s Black Soap
We’ve all been there before; you walk into a department store and head for the
health and beauty section. You examine a wide variety of ‘cleansing bars’
and you choose one that seems to match your needs. It usually takes a few tries
before you find that one soap that really works for you.
you ever stopped to look at the ingredients of this soap?
You are likely to find triclosan,
which can disrupt the thyroid hormone and increased exposure can contribute to
the development of breast cancer. You will find fragrance,
which is usually a safe word for pthalates, a chemical which can cause
birth defects and liver damage.
are so many chemicals that are used in nearly all ‘cleansing bars’ sold in
stores today. One rule of thumb is that anything you put on your face you
should be able to eat. If you wouldn’t
eat it, don’t put it on your skin! Whatever soap you use will be absorbed
into your bloodstream through your skin. This is why African black soap and
other natural soaps are suddenly getting more recognition today.
black soap is an all-natural soap hand-crafted in
. There are more than 100 different varieties of African black soap. The
production and recipe for the soap varies depending on the region of
that it is made. Most black soap is made with a blend of plantain skin, cocoa
pod powder, tropical honey, and virgin coconut oil. African black soap is most
commonly hand-crafted by village women in
who make the soap for themselves and to support their families.
same women who make black soap choose to use only black soap on their babies, as
its purity makes it gentle and non-drying for babies’ sensitive skin. In fact,
black soap is generally the only soap used in most Western African countries.
Makes Black Soap Different:
- Black soap is made with rare tropical honeys that are known for
softening the skin and creating a smooth surface.
Black soap is also a natural source of vitamins A & E and iron. This
helps to strengthen the skin and hair.
Black soap contains a high amount of glycerin, which absorbs moisture from
the air and literally deposits it into the skin, making the skin soft and
- For centuries, Ghanaians and Nigerians have used black soap to help
relieve acne, oily skin, clear blemishes and various other skin issues.
Many swear by it for skin irritations and conditions such as eczema and
will use black soap during pregnancy and afterwards to keep them from
getting stretch marks and to protect them from dry skin that is often
accompanied by pregnancy.
Black soap can also be used as a hair shampoo. The shea butter in the soap
softens the hair, while the vitamins give it strength.
Men can use black soap in shaving. The high shea butter content leaves the
skin smooth and protected.
- African black soap is unique in that it contains no preservatives, color
enhancers, or fragrances. African black soap creates a soft lather without
the animal fat additives that are commonly used in soaps made in the
Black Soap is Made:
1 - First, leaves and bark of various trees and plants are burned in a vat or
kettle. These may be leaves from banana trees, plantain skins, palm tree leaves,
shea tree bark, and/or cocoa pods.
2 - Secondly, water is added to ashes to be filtered. Oils such as coconut oil,
shea oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter are added to the water to
create the soap.
3 - The soap is then hand-stirred by local women for at least a day and then set
out to cure for two weeks.
have tried to re-create African black soap in the west, but it has never been
able to truly replicate the authentic product. This is because genuine black
soap is created using age-old traditions that are passed down from one
generation to the next in smaller villages in
most common form of black soap is called Ose Dudu (doudoun), which comes from
the Yoruba or Anago languages of
. Ose Dudu literally means Soap (ose) and Black (dudu).
Not all Black Soaps are Created Equal
As the popularity of black soap and natural soaps increases, some retailers are
using the label African black soap. Many are just dyeing soap black, but using
none of the key ingredients of true black soap. However, true black soap is from
. Genuine black soap has raw ingredients that give it an earthy smell, and a
more delicate texture than typical storebought soaps.
you are starting to feel differently about the softly scented white ‘cleansing
bar’ you have next to your bathroom sink, don’t despair. Natural soaps are
becoming more and more widely available and many can repair the damage your skin
has experienced over the years.
you try black soap, don’t be surprised; that muddy-looking water lathering on
your face is literally cleaning all the impurities out of your skin from
the inside out. The cocoa pod powder gives the soap a black color and hence it
will create a ‘muddy’ looking lather when you use it.
you are ready to see what benefits you can experience, then you can find black
soap in some whole food markets, as well as some stores specializing in products