Lately people have been asking me about African Black Soap. What is it? Why is some of it black and some brown? What do I use it for? How is it made?
Most Soap Maker's don't "make" true African Black Soap because the ingredients are usually difficult to find and recipes very. African Black Soap is made in West Africa mainly in Ghana by various tribes and villages. The soap recipes are well guarded by each community as each have formulated their own variations of the soap. African Black soap is produced by the women of the tribes and usually fair traded, but not always.
So back to the real question; what is African Black Soap?
African Black Soap is made from the ash of local plantain, cocoa pods, shea tree bark and palm tree leaves. These botanicals are dried in the sun and then combined with various oils - usually palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and shea butter. The mixture is then allowed to cure for several weeks before being used or sold.
African Black Soap has been used to heal skin problems, blemishes, razor bumps and various other skin issues. It can be used for all skin types and hair as well. The plantain skins give the soap Vitamin A & E, and iron. Black African Soap has the highest shea butter content of any soap and offers UV protection. The soap is also good for sensitive skin, thus can be used for babies and the elderly. Black African Soap is a softish bar due to the high content of Shea Butter. Some people with caffeine sensitivities may need to test out soap that contains cocoa pods as there is some evidence that the caffeine can be transmitted through contact with the skin. There are numerous claims to the benefits of African black soap that have not been proven or disproven.
The ash of the plantain leaves, cocoa pods and palm leaves has been used for centuries to heal various skin conditions and the variations in "secret" recipes can be seen in the variety in the color of African Black Soap. Color may range from a very light tan brown to a dark brown. African Black Soap is rarely "black". Usually if you find "black" African Black Soap, colorants have been added to enhance the appearance of the bar.
I began working with African Black Soap to provide Holistic Blends Soap Company's customers with it's healing benefits. All of our African Black Soap is fair trade. We also add various essential oils or additional oils to provide fragrance or additional therapeutic properties. So, we don't make African Black Soap, we purchase the bulk soap and add additional ingredients and form the soap bars for our customers.
So, that's African Black Soap.
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Join me in my quest for natural alternatives in beauty and healthy living. I am passionate about my craft and strive to continuously educate myself and others on natural ways to care for ourselves and our families. I am thankful for the ability to educate others and formulate bath and body products to enhance one's overall well being.