In a world where many of the products people purchase are full of ingredients that are potentially harmful to them, the search for organic and healthier alternatives is on the rise. When it comes to skin care, consumers are particularly concerned about what they use to clean their delicate complexions.
Many cleansers and moisturizers on the market contain chemicals that ought to be avoided such as: synthetic fragrances that contain phthalates which can cause birth defects and liver damage, parabens which have hormone-disrupting affects, sulfates which can cause eye irritation and skin rashes, and ureas which has the potential to release small amounts of formaldehyde and can be the cause of dermatitis. Not to mention many companies still use animal testing for their products.
A new, all natural alternative has recently begun to gain favor among those looking for a healthy substitute for their old soaps and facial cleansers.
African black soap, handmade in Western Africa comes in over 100 varieties, all of them being made with natural products. Most are a blend of the skin of a plantain, cocoa pod powder, tropical honey, palm leaves, and virgin coconut or palm oil. It is soft and typically comes in an organic shape. African black soap has a pleasant, earthy sort of smell and does not have an oily feel to it, making it idea for cleansing of the face, body, hands and even hair. It is gentle enough that the African women who craft it use it to wash their babies’ sensitive skin.
The soap gets its color from the plantain skins which are roasted. The longer they are cooked for, the darker the color of the soap. Many might be concerned to find the lather that is created when using African Black soap is brown in color, but that comes from the cocoa pod power which contains natural healing properties.
There are many benefits to using African black soap:
• Works to help prevent premature facial lines and wrinkles
• Great for removing makeup
• Natural source of vitamins A and E in addition to iron
• Can be lathered and used as a shampoo. The shea butter softens hair and the vitamins help strengthen it
• The rare tropical honey is known for creating a smooth surface while softening the skin
• Due to high amounts of glycerin, moisture is deposited into the skin keeping it soft
• Safe for pregnant women to use to keep skin moist and help prevent stretch marks
• Perfect for shaving as the shea butter leaves skin soft and protected
• Contains no fragrances, preservatives, nor color enhancers. It also lacks in animal fats, commonly found in other soap products
• Compatible with most skin types including sensitive, rough, and dry skin
• Daily use will help clear and prevent acne
• Is a deep cleanser
Be warned, due to its recent popularity, many are now dying soap black in color and trying to pass it off as authentic African black soap. The genuine article will boast raw ingredients, have an earthy smell and a more delicate texture.
More Benefits of African Black Soap
Black Soap’s All Natural Ingredients
African Black Soap is a gentle cleanser made of all natural ingredients. The soap, which is black in color due to its ingredients and natural processing, is known to combat common skin ailments like acne and eczema. Continued use of the antioxidant rich soap is believed to have significant anti-aging benefits. However, it only takes one time to feel the difference between this luxuriant cleanser and the chemically ladened soaps filling today’s store shelves.
The original African Black Soap’s ingredients include dried plantain skins, cocoa pod powder, palm kernel oil, and palm leaves. So why does this combination work? To answer that question one must look at the known properties of the main ingredients.
#1 Plantain Skins. Like their cousins bananas, plantains contain an amazing amount of antioxidants in their outer peeling. The antioxidant of particular note is lutein which is so powerful that it helps protect the skin from sun damage. The West Africans who live relatively close to the equator discovered this skin saving property years ago. The peels also contain esterified fatty acids known as a remedy for eczema even by mainstream cosmeceutical companies.
#2 Cocoa Pod Powder. Cocoa pods are rich in natural skin soothing emollients that soften the skin and help it maintain its moisture balance. The famed cocoa butter, which is also noted for its wonderful healthy skin properties, is pressed from cocoa pods too.
#3 Palm Kernel Oil. Manufacturers use this vegetable oil in everything from baked goods to biofuels, but it is also a great skin product additive because of its intense concentration of antioxidants. The oil is replete in Vitamin A carotenoids and natural Vitamin E.
Black Soap’s Sustainable Processing
Everyone is becoming more environmentally aware, and with that awareness comes the desire to use products made in ways that do not deplete limited natural resources nor cause damage to the surrounding ecosystem during production. West Africans make authentic African Black Soap from time tested ancient methods that most importantly do not utilize chemicals. They allow the plantain skins to dry in the sun naturally, and then they bake them in a clay oven. The burnt plantain skins and cocoa pod powder combine with palm leaves and oil to form the African Black Soap. The concoction is then poured into moulds and later cut into marketable soap pieces.
Reputed Anti-Aging Benefits of African Black Soap
The ingredients of African Black Soap work synergistically to smooth away fine lines, eliminate dryness that tends to give skin an aged look, and fight the effects of sun damage. The best part about the African Black Soap is that it works without the need for harmful chemicals or harsh additives. Most versions of the soap are fragrance free as well which is perfect for those with chemical sensitivities.
Importance Of Identifying And Purchasing Authentic African Black Soap
The reported benefits of using African Black Soap by natural medical professionals and estheticians are overwhelming. As with all good products, counterfeit items surface that are of inferior quality. So when considering a purchase of African Black Soap, one should check the soap’s authenticity relating to its ingredients, source, and processing methods.