Ten Beauty Benefits Of Black Soap
For many years, West-African women have made and used a vegetable-based soap to gently cleanse their skin and hair. This soap is known as Black soap. Locally, it is also called alata simena, sabulun salo, ose dudu, and anago soap.
African black soap is made in different ways, using different ingredients. However, the core ingredients of black soap made traditionally include native plants such as shea tree bark, palm tree leaves, plantain skins or cocoa pods, and fats like palm oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and palm kernel oil.
African black soap is brown in colour, not black, somewhat crumbly, and has an earthy scent. Raw and unprocessed, it is sometimes packaged as a whole block.
Because it is unrefined, it is advisable not to apply it directly to your skin if it’s sensitive as it may cause a slight burning or stinging sensation, so work a little soap into a lather before rubbing on your skin.
Here are ten benefits of this wonderful soap:
1. Suits all types of skin
Whether your skin is dry, oily or a combination of the two, black soap works wonders for all skin types. It hydrates the skin deeply and helps correct and balance the gland in your skin that lets out too much oil.
2. Cleanses skin
Black soap is an effective natural cleanser. Palm kernel oil and coconut oil are naturally antimicrobial. Shea butter and other moisturisers will help clean your face and body without stripping oils from the skin.
The unrefined black soap comes with some fine particles of the natural ingredients used in making it, and this makes the soap an amazing gentle exfoliator. Goodbye dead skin cells!
4. Evens skin tone
Those dark areas in your skin can be caused by anything from acne to inflammation, to sun damage and other diseases. Cocoa pods in black soap can reduce the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase that helps regulate the production of melanin in the body thus making you lighter. It also helps absorb the UV light from the sun that can damage your skin.
5. Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Cocoa pods and plantain peels are rich sources of antioxidants. Cocoa pods are composed of gallic acid, tannins, and catechins while plantain peels contain rutin, protocatechuic acid, and quercetin. These two in black soap work together and can help fight free radical damage that contributes to the physical signs of ageing.
6. Minimises scars and blemishes
Black soap is made with ingredients that make it excellent for reducing the appearance of acne scars, past skin wounds, and stretch marks. Shea butter helps repair skin tissues and boosts collagen production. Red palm oil has vitamin E and helps maintain healthy skin. The essential fatty acids in palm kernel oil, red palm oil, and coconut oil bolster the regeneration of skin cells to help scars fade away.
7. Fights acne
Black soap has coconut and palm oils. It contains nutrients and fatty acids like beta carotene, lauric, caprylic, oleic, linoleic, capric acids and vitamins A and E, which balance the skin’s pH levels, calm inflamed and irritated skin, heals acne breakouts and moisturises, and leaves skin looking and feeling healthy.
8. Treats eczema
Eczema symptoms which include dry, red, itchy and sensitive skin, can be treated with black soap. Black soap doesn’t contain artificial chemicals that irritate the skin. It fights inflammation, provides deep hydration to the skin, soothes the swelling and pain that often accompanies an eczema flare-up.
9. Treats scalp
Black soap helps remove the build up of dandruff caused by dry skin, dermatitis and harsh styling products. You can dilute soap with water and leave on your scalp for ten minutes if you have oily hair. If your hair is normal or dry, dilute a little black soap with a conditioning oil (coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or shea butter), massage into your scalp and rinse off. Black soap is powerful, so finish by rinsing with apple cider vinegar to help detangle and soften your hair.
10. Naturally anti-fungal
Shown to be effective against several strains of fungus, you can use African black soap to treat athlete’s foot, nail fungus, ringworm, and candida overgrowth. It can be used against household mould too.