What is Black Soap? What are the Benefits of African Black Soap?
The black soap which comes mainly from West Africa is a type of soap that is prepared from natural ingredients and herbal extracts. Some of the common ingredients used include shea butter, cocoa pod and palm ashes, plantain peel extract, rosemary extract, tamarind extract, papaya enzyme, aloe, honey and natural oil such as palm oil or virgin coconut oil.
Black soaps come in the shape of black bars, blocks and liquid black soap. Black soap is known for its effectiveness in treating problem or damaged skin and as a cleanser and moisturizer. The dudu osun black soap which contains pure honey and cam wood extract is regarded as the finest compared to the other black soaps available in the market.
The black soap is also helpful in treating razor bumps caused by ingrown hair, skin rashes, dry skin, blemishes and stretch marks. The Africans even use black soap to wash their hair.
Using natural black soap instead of topical steroid or immunomodulator may help treat the symptoms of dermatitis because of the presence of shea butter. Shea butter contains vegetable fats and they have the abilities to heal troubled skin and support cell circulation and regeneration. Shea butter may also prevent inflammation and is a natural emollient. Its humectant properties help in increasing water content in the epidermis, improving flexibility of the skin and preventing the skin from cracking. It also helps reduce skin irritation as well as protect against UV rays.
Washing with the wrong type of soap or facial cleanser can cause dry skin. The African black soap is ideal for deep cleansing as it loosens dirt and debris, get rid of them and also removes excess oil. This is because it contains natural vegetable oils such as palm oil or coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil for example may unclog pores. If you have sensitive skin, you can opt for the liquid African black soap instead of the bar soap because it is milder and more moisturizing.
The coconut oil used as an ingredient in black soap is beneficial as a remedy for dry skin and wrinkles. Virgin coconut oil contains a plant hormone called kinetin which has the ability to improve skin texture and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Another ingredient used in black soap is plantain extract. Plantain has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties and is a natural emollient. The black soap is helpful as a skin wash as plantain helps reduce itching caused by eczema, psoriasis and other skin problems.
Besides using as a face wash and shampoo, you can also use the black soap as body soap because it hydrates your skin.