I love how we are re-discovering certain things the older generations used to use back in the day. While the use of natural products for skin and hair e.g. shea butter maybe new to us and we are only now discovering its benefits, the older generation are well versed in this area. I remember growing up in Ghana and the older ladies talking about how they use nkuto (shea butter) for everything: cracked heels, chapped lips, burns, relationship issues (lool) etc. I remember sitting there thinking why would anyone ever use that when you have *insert fancy brand product here* available to use. Fast forward 20 years later, and I can’t live without my shea butter mix. Infact the number of ladies who are now using shea butter as some form of cosmetic solution whether hair or skin have doubled in the last years. The number of stores/entrepreneurs who now stock and sell African shea butter have increased too.
Myself and other beautiful people out there are also re-discovering the great benefits of shea butter among other natural product and have now fully incorporated them in our hair/skin regimes. In this post, we will discover or should I say re-discover the great properties of African black soap, because I feel by now everyone and their sister’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s side chick knows about shea butter and its uses LOL. So I want to talk about the amazing benefits of African black soap and why you should think about incorporating in your regime.
African black soap aka alata samina is not new to me. My aunties back in Ghana used to use this religiously and now I do too. But why now? What’s so special about it? Let’s find out. Black soap is made from plantain skin, cocoa pod powder, honey, and Shea butter and/or virgin coconut oil. There are a lot of variations however each country/ tribe has its own secret recipe. Each ingredient has been carefully selected for its skin nourishing properties, let’s take a look at some of them individually:
Plantain skin- this is very rich in iron and vitamins A and E. Vitamin E is known for healing and helping to improve the skin’s texture and tone whilst vitamin A boots collagen production to help firm the skin. Plantain leaves contain allantoin which help stimulate new skin cells
Cocoa powder- softens skin. Rich in antioxidants that help protect against free radicals.
We all know shea butter, honey and coconut oil are known for their great moisturising properties.
Black soap also contains palm kernel oil which has anti-bacterial properties and palm oil- very useful in the treatment of acne and eczema
Great ingredients = great results. This is literally the only soap I use now for my skin. Since I started using black soap, I literally have no need for my face washes and masks but the product junkie in me still uses them, sparingly anyway LOL.. I have a lot of dark spots from acne/ chicken pox and a very active childhood lol which really bother me and hyperpigmentation. Using black soap has greatly improved my skin! My skin tone/complexion looks much better (I should add I drink water a lot too). I didn’t even notice this until I had a photoshoot for my friend and she sent me the pictures and I could not stop looking at my skin, I was glowing lool. This was way back in May and I had been using black soap for a month or two previously and using shea butter as my skin moisturiser but took a break, so imagine what I did next? Lool I went back to using black soap and shea butter lol and you should see me now lool. My skin tone has greatly improved and the dark marks are fading.
My pores yes PORES have dramatically reduced to almost disappeared! Like literally, of course I still have them but about 90% reduced. When I use minimal makeup, so let’s say just powder and concealer and I’m feeling real lazy, I use black soap to wash my face and it removes my makeup. Breakouts are less often too. I swear by this and it’s literally the only thing I use now. I am on a quest of just using natural products so my body moisturiser is now just a mix of shea butter, coconut oil and grapeseed oil. I have some lovely pure cocoa butter waiting for me too lol.
African black soap is an all-round great product that can be useful from head to toe. It’s a powerful cleanser yet very mild and gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin and even new born babies. Now let’s talk the suds of the soap! If you love your bubbles you will love this lol, it creates lots of dark brown suds (Yes dark brown) with little product. A lot goes a long way. You can get it in both solid and liquid form but I always just make liquid form myself. This is so easy: just grate some soap and add some hot water, the more or less water you use will determine how soapy it is. I add lemon juice as it naturally helps to fade dark spots.
Verdict: as people are becoming more health conscious, they are looking for more natural and cost effective products. African black soap is very cost effective too and will last very long. I usually get mine straight from the motherland Ghana. You know when your relatives or friends are going to Ghana and you give them a list of things to bring you lol, mine is always the same: shea butter, black soap, pebbles (Ghanaian version of M and M’s) and chocomilo (Chocolate cubes) and kingsbite chocolate lol (So if you’re going to Ghana soon or you’re in Ghana and coming back or you’re in Ghana and you feel like sending me stuff looool).
Here in the UK you can get some from the BSS, I can’t comment on its authenticity but I recommend you get it from either:
Shea butter cottage- I recently purchased some from there. She also has a variety of black soaps with different recipes. Link to the website> http://www.sheabuttercottage.com/NATURAL-SOAP/
You can also get some from Mon Shea shea butter >> http://monsheabutter.co.uk/products . I am currently using their shea oil and shea soap and I love it! You can check out the full review here >> http://wp.me/p1uQOd-AM
That’s all folks. Have you heard of black soap and what are your thoughts on it? If you already use it, how is that going for you? Hate it or love it?
P.S – you can also use it in or hair. If you want to try it in your hair but you’re not fully convinced, Shea moisture has a line with African black soap you can try. And been that I am very lovely lol, I have a post with the full collection and reviews AND where you can purchase in the UK. You can view it here>> http://wp.me/p1uQOd-Bs
I have event covers coming up next! Stay tuned
Until next time