Have you ever wondered how African women have kept their flawless-looking skin throughout the temperate conditions of their continent? Despite the year-round warm weather and heat that could easily inflict damage, their skin still looks healthy as ever and this could all be down to how they care for their skin with traditional methods and treatments. Some of these traditional methods of skincare are those that have been inherited from generation to generation and are heavily guarded secrets that are believed should only be kept within the family. Even if you have bags of money to offer, it doesn’t guarantee that you would get a sniff of these traditional secrets to their beautiful skin.
One of which we have been lucky to have gotten wind of is African black soap. This black soap has been a century-old secret and once the rest of the world has discovered its mystical skincare benefits, they are an instant hit.
What Is African Black Soap?
African black soap has been discovered in the depths of West Africa and in countries like Ghana, you would find many men and women harvesting and utilising it in the home. Depending on the region it is produced in, black soap has different recipes but at the essence of it is a few common ingredients like palm oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa pods, plantain skin and honey. How it is produced is usually by gathering these plant parts before sun-drying and roasted them till they wind up as ash. With this powder form on hand, the liquids like coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter can then be added and stirred for a day till it hardens. The best part about African black soap is that it is great for all skin types — even if you have dry, oily or even a combination of both skin types, black soap would be comfortable on your skin.
Benefits of African Black Soap
Most Africans know of African black soap as a remedy to solve their blotchy or pigmented skin but there is so much more to this black soap made out of plant ash. Read on to find out about its many benefits to your skin.
Soothes Irritated Skin
Due to the ingredients in black soap like palm kernel oil and shea butter, you can be sure that applying black soap to your skin would definitely make your irritated skin a touch better. Even if you have dry skin or suffer from eczema, black soap has the potential to help you get your skin back in order by clearing and giving your rash a soothing send-off. As a moisturiser, you can be sure that black soap would lock in all the moisture in your skin to keep it feeling and looking plump, hydrated and bright.
Wards Away Bacteria
You cannot disregard the many health benefits that each ingredient of African black soap brings. When it comes to being anti-inflammatory, the coconut oil and plantain skin are highly responsible for this. Due to the components in them that are big on flavonoids, alkaloids and bioactive compounds, you can effectively win the battle against bacterial infections and that uncomfortable inflammation on your skin.
Exfoliates The Skin Perfectly
Aside from its function as a solid moisturiser, black soap is perfect as an exfoliating cleanser as well. When used as a cleanser, you can guarantee a deep cleanse within despite it being gentle on your skin pH-wise. As it rids your skin of all the dirt, sweat and dead skin, it also works to balance the natural oil of your skin, ensuring any excess sebum does not block up your skin pores. This would be extremely effective as an acne controlling tool for those who need a back up to fight against acne.
Helps With Hyperpigmentation
With the sun beating down on us, our skin might be at the receiving end of excessive UV exposure. All these could lead to us getting dark and ugly spots on our skin that are called hyperpigmentation. Due to the active contents in shea butter, it would help with covering up these dark spots and ensuring new dark spots do not show up on your skin with its protective shield-like coverage against sun damage.
Will Black Soap Give You Fairer Skin?
There is no evidence to support the notion that the use of black soap leads to fairer skin. But black soap has been found to help our skin in many other ways. Most manufacturers have even gone a step further to include many nourishing ingredients like aloe vera into its make up to make it even more beneficial. In comparison with many synthetic soaps on the market, African black soap is known to triumph the rest due to the lack of chemicals and artificial fragrances. If you are thinking of going one better, you could purchase African black soap in its raw form and make your own moisturiser or facial cleanser. Just remember to keep your soap bar dry after use as black soap is known to wipe up moisture. A soap dish with slats would do just the trick!