Thursday, March 8, 2012

Black African Soap

 I'm taking a bit of a break from nail polish to bring you one of my new favorite things. I have a few friends from Africa who have dry skin and swear by this stuff for controlling acne and softer skin. Guys. When guys are raving about skin care, I take notice. I went online to figure out how to buy this stuff and found that not only is it pretty cheap, it's pretty easy to find. At the guys' advice, I opted for a more raw version of the soap, not the processed bars that were all smooth and rounded. This stuff comes in a big 1 lb. chunk.
 My first impression was that it looks like a big chunk of poo. It does. It's rough and the edges are a little jagged, but what the heck? It's worth a shot, right?

According to, here are the ingredients for Black soap:

Black soap contains water and the bark of the shea butter tree, the leaves of palm trees, the bark and leaves of the banana tree bark and leaves, plantain plant and the pods of the coco plant. The soap also contains a number of oils including shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil and kernel oil. The actual content depends on the brand of soap as well as any additional scents, herbs and fruits that are added to the base ingredients.

Here is the Product Description from

Some of the Benefits of black soap - Helps deep clean skin. - Works on most skin types including rough and dry or sensitive skin - Helps clear skin bumps and spots - Helps relieve acne, oily skin & other skin problems. - Great for removing makeup - Works against premature facial lines and wrinkles - Can be lathered and used as a shampoo. Usage of the Black African Soap Break off a bar-size piece from the bulk, then press it to shape with your hands, or use it as is. Rub the bar between your hands (or on a washcloth would also work), then rub your soapy hands on your skin and hair. (If you rub the bar on your hair, it will get hair stuck to the bar.) Black soap absorbs water easily, so keep it from sitting in water or it will dissolve away. The soap holders covered with little vertical fingers work well. Because this soap is softer than commercial soap, it comes off the bar more easily, so less rubbing of the bar is needed to release enough soap. When you start another bar, just push the old soap sliver onto the new piece and the two will easily unite; leaving no waste. How to Store the Black African Soap Pure traditional African black soap is a soft milled soap and has very high natural glycerin content. As a result, it readily absorbs moisture from the air. It must be stored in a dry location or in a sealed plastic bag or it will become soft as it absorbs moisture. Black soap exposed to the air will have a thin white colored film. This film is not mold it is caused by absorption of water from the air. This can be avoided by keeping the soap in a dry location away from moisture until ready for use. Ingredients: Traditional Black Soap contains mainly cocoa pod ashes, plantain skins ashes, and palm oil, processed together.
 I've been using the soap for a few months now, and here are my thoughts:

The soap has an interesting smell. It actually smells like soap. No dyes. No perfumes. No color or fruity-smelling goodness like we're used to from any other company. I've found that I like it. It smells clean. You smell clean after you use it.

I got the boyfriend using the soap as well. His skin is more oily and mine is on the dry side. We both like it. I still need to use a moisturizer, but I need that with about every soap on the market.

My skin feels really soft after using it. It lathers really well, so it doesn't take a lot. Your bathtub may develop rings if you take a bath. It clears up a lot of shaving bumps, and can be used to shave. I haven't had razor burn in my armpits since I started using it, which is rare for me.

It also does a great job clearing acne. I'm breakout prone, as I've mentioned before. It also seems to fade scars. I even found I could dab a little on blemishes and the swelling diminishes a lot by morning. It's even discreet if used during the day under foundation.
There are a few things you do need to be careful of. If you get the raw variety, the soap is not consistent in texture, and there are a few chunks with jagged edges in the soap. If you rub it directly on your skin, you could get some scratches. Nothing too serious, but not exactly attractive if you're showing some skin this summer.

The soap also gets softer as it's exposed to moisture. You want to make sure you break off little chunks for use in the bath, then store the rest in a dry place. A white film develops when it gets humid, so don't freak if it looks fuzzy.

I've been really happy with the soap so far. I alternate this and The Body Shop Shea or Cocoa Butter body washes and my skin does pretty well. The stuff I buy can be found on for about $10-12. It is recommended to make sure you're getting the soap imported from Africa, not grown in a lab in the US for authenticity.

1 comment:

  1. This stuff looks so cool! I definitely wanna try it now!