African black soap has been used by the women in West Africa for hundreds of years. This soap is vegetable based, and known by many different names, most prominently alata simena, sabulun salo, ose dudu or anago soap.
Despite being made from a secret recipe which was handed down through the generations, there are many variations on the market today that may have added extra ingredients such as oats or honey.
What makes African black soap good?
Plantain Peels – Good source of antioxidants, protein, folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, potassium, and vitamin C, rutin, protocatechuic acid, and quercetin.
Cocoa Pods – Rich in antioxidants, gallic acid, tannins, and catechins
Coconut Oil – lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and vitamin E
Palm Kernel Oil – Fatty acids
Palm Oil – abundant in vitamin E, alpha and beta carotene and other antioxidants, as well as essential fatty acids.
Shea Butter – More fatty acids
So how does this translate into helping your skin?
1. Natural Skin Cleanser
African black soap cleanses your skin naturally, through antimicrobial properties of the lauric acid in the oils. Furthermore, as shea butter and other moisturizers are present in the soap, it will be able to clean your skin without stripping away the essential oils on your skin.
2. Good for All Skin Types
No matter what your skin type is, whether dry, oily or both, African black soap has no problems whatsoever on these skin types. The soap fights dry skin, as the coconut oil ingredient helps to deeply hydrate the skin, giving it moisture.
3. Fight Acne
Aside from being able to deeply clean your skin, African black soap has been known to help against acne. Coconut oil, especially, due to it comprising of caprylic acid, capric acid and vitamin E , which works together to balance the skin’s pH levels which soothes inflamed skin.
4. Reduce Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Anti-aging properties are also present in African black soap, due to the components of cocoa pods and plantain peels, which are rich in antioxidants. Filled with all sorts of beneficial phenolics and flanonoids that work in tandem, Afrian black soap helps prevent physical signs of aging.
5. Evens Skin Tone
African black soap also helps to prevent the darkening of certain areas of your skin, as the presence of cocoa pods regulates the enzymes in your body which control the production of melanin. This will lead to an overall lighter skin tone. Furthermore, cocoa pods can absorb UV light naturally, giving you extra protection against sun damage.
6. Treat Eczema
A lesser known remedy for eczema symptoms, using African black soap can help alleviate your dry, red, sensitive and itchy skin. As the soap is 100% made of natural ingredients, no artificial chemicals are present to irritate the skin. Additionally, the soap has components such as coconut oil, shea butter, and red palm oil, which provides skin hydration while fighting inflammation and pain.
7. Minimize Scars & Blemishes
The effect African black soap has on the skin is almost miraculous, and has a whole ton of benefits. The ingredients in the soap, such as shea butter, and red palm oil, helps boost collagen and provides much needed vitamin E for you to maintain your healthy skin. Fatty acid in the oils further increase the regeneration of your skin cells to visibly reduce scars.
8. Clarifying Scalp Treatment
The moisturising effect of the soap also works wonders on your scalp! The soap removes unnecessary oil build up, and also hydrates your scalp to prevent dandruff. Don’t keep it in your hair for too long as the soap is very strong, and you may want to rinse it off with apple cider vinegar to smoothed and untangle your hair.
9. Naturally Anti-Fungal
African black soap also has anti-fungal properties, which you can use to treat athlete’s foot, nail fungus, ‘jock itch’, ringworm, and candida overgrowth. It can be used against household mold too. Truly powerful stuff!