African Black Soap

African black soap, also called black soap, is a kind of soap originating in West Africa. It is made from the ash of locally harvested African plants, which gives the soap its characteristic dark color.

In West Africa, and especially Ghana, black soap is often made by women and fair-traded. The women use secret family or community recipes that have been handed down for generations. First they sun-dry the plant matter, such as plantain skins, palm tree leaves, cocoa pods, and shea tree bark, and burn it to ash. Next they add water and various oils and fats, such as coconut oil, palm oil, and shea butter, cook the mixture until it solidifies, and hand-stir it for at least 24 hours. They then scoop out the soap and let it “cure”.

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Uses of African Black Soap

African black soap contains shea butter, which moisturizes skin but doesn’t clog pores. Shea butter gives the soap some UV-protection properties, but not enough to replace your usual sunscreen. According to Organic Spa Magazine, the soap may fade skin discoloration and dark spots. The soap cleanses gently, so it’s ideal for people with rosacea, rashes, dryness and other skin conditions. African black soap contains plantain extract, which has antibacterial properties that may help treat acne breakouts. Some people use the soap as a shampoo or mild makeup remover.

Precautions

African Black Soap is know to be dehydrating. Once used on the skin, one is advised to follow up with a proper moisturizer.

 

Peach Foams distributes black soap from Ghana

For more information on how to use African Black Soap, check here

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