Type of soap with the name African black soap or simply black soap is the one that is originated in Africa or West Africa to be precise. Other names for it are anago soap, alata simena, and dudu-osun.
The soap is made from the ash of African plants. Those plants are locally harvested. Because of the ash in it, it has characteristic black color.
In Ghana, this kind of soap is usually made by women, and it is fair traded. Recipes that is used for making of this kind of soaps are handed down for generations of people in Africa. There are different types of recipes for a black soap depending on a tribe that is making it, and they usually keep it a secret. That result in different color variations in the soap itself.
The process of making traditional African black soap has a couple of phases. The first step is choosing the plant – usually cocoa pods or palm tree leaves, sometimes shea tree bark and plantain skins, which then sun-dried and burned to ash (which itself is used for curing cuts). To ensure color, smell and texture it is crucial to maintaining a constant temperature of burning. Next day the water is added into that ash along with the shea butter, palm oil, and coconut oil. That mixture is cooking after that until it becomes stable and hand stirred it for at least 24 hours. After that, they scooped it out and let it “cure” for two weeks. Those soaps that are made in Africa are pure, not like the ones that are made in Europe or in the United States which usually have some other, artificial ingredients.
Black soap is being used for many generations and many causes. Black soap has many benefits over commercially manufactured soaps. One of the most common usages is to cure skin conditions and problems such as eliminating blemishes, evening out dark spots, skin rashes, removing body odors, eczema, thinning fine lines and razor bumps. After usage of this soap, the skin is looking healthy. Another usage of a black soap is for removing the makeup. The black soap is also used for light exfoliation of the skin. It can be used on any skin, dry or oily. There are a lot of vitamin A and E in this kind of soap because of the plantain skins. It also has a lot of iron, and it gives an excellent UV protection because of the high level of shea butter. Even this soap has many benefits, it can, however, be dangerous for people who have caffeine sensitivities because there is evidence that caffeine can be transmitted while washing, through contact with the skin.
Some variations of black soap are in fact brown or dark brown. With the high glycerin content, it can absorb water quickly, and it should be stored in a plastic bag or some other dry area that are away from shower or tub.
Some unpleasant side effect of a black soap can be overdrying or tingling of skin depending on a production process that can vary. If any of those unpleasant side effects occur, soap usage should be reduced, and skin should be cleaned with water. Black soap with the size of a marble can be enough for face cleaning.
When the soap is used, it should be worked in hands to lose any of whole particles that can damage or scratch the skin. Soap also shouldn’t be held on a face for a long time.