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Everything You Need To Know Before Using African Black Soap
Find out how African Black Soap is made, why it's recognised as a miracle product, and what precautions you need to take before using African Black Soap
African Black Soap has become a household name among beauty influencers and health bloggers - and for good reason. For many, African Black Soap has become the one-size-fits-all approach to almost every skin condition; acne, psoriasis, oily skin, hyperpigmentation, stretchmarks, you name it! While the list of benefits of African Black Soap is impressive, there are a few things one needs to know before using this highly-esteemed product, which we will cover further down below!
Read on to discover the wonderful healing properties of African Black Soap, where to get authentic African Black Soap from, and certain precautions you may want to take before using African Black Soap for the first time.
What is African Black Soap
African Black Soap, also known as Anago Soap, Alata Simena, and Dudu-Osun, is an authentic soap made from plant-based ingredients in Africa, typically Ghana or other West African countries. Traditionally, African Black Soap is made from the ash of locally-harvested African plants (which gives the soap its characteristic dark colour) and is usually mixed with a moisturising ingredient such as Shea Butter.
Oftentimes the soap is made by local women in these African countries and is fair-traded, though not always. Fair-trade purchases support and benefit sustainable production and community-upliftment in these African countries. In most cases, African Black Soap produced in African communities is handmade, pure and authentic, while replicas made in European countries tend to contain synthetic additives!
Here are the most common ingredients used in authentic African Black Soap:
- Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants called flavonols. The powerful antioxidant properties of flavonols help fight free radicals, hence making skin youthful and radiant for longer.
- Cocoa butter is a natural fat extracted from the cacao bean and is rich in natural plant compounds called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals may improve blood flow to the skin and slow skin aging by protecting against damage. It also contains vitamins A and E to fight against the signs of aging and helps the skin retain moisture and improves elasticity. Cocoa butter is also said to improve skin conditions like rashes, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Shea butter is made from the nuts of the karite tree, and also has vitamins A and E. It has been used to soothe and heal burns, sores, scars, acne, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis! It helps promote cell renewal and diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
Benefits of African Black Soap
Oily skin treatment
African Black Soap is recognised for its oil-balancing properties, making it a wonderful skin treatment for those with oily skin types. Not only does it work by balancing the sebum (oil) content of the skin, it prevents any excess sebum from clogging your pores, thus preventing breakouts and skin blemishes. If you're looking for a deep cleanser for oily skin, African Black Soap is your answer!
Heals skin blemishes and acne
African Black soap has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and is great for deep skin cleansing. It also is effective at removing makeup because of the oils and butters! As we mentioned in the paragraph above, African Black Soap is fantastic for oily skin types, and helps remove sebum (oil) and dirt build-up in the pores. Due to this deep-cleansing action, African Black Soap helps to heal any existing skin blemishes and acne, and also helps to prevent any future breakouts!
Because African Black Soap controls oily skin types, people who have dry or dehydrated skin will benefit from black soaps that include shea butter or other moisturizing ingredients.
As previously mentioned, African Black Soap contains plant-based ash granules and other debris. Gently rubbing your skin (face and body) in circular motions with African Black Soap will have an effective exfoliating action on your skin. It's good to exfoliate at least twice a week for smooth, healthy and vibrant skin!
Reduces symptoms of eczema and psoriasis
African Black Soap, especially those which contain moisturising and soothing ingredients (such as Shea Butter), promotes healing of skin affected by symptoms of eczema, skin allergies and psoriasis. It has shown to soothe skin itchiness and irritations, and may even help clear rashes related to skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis!
Prevents signs of ageing skin
The ashes in black soap provide exfoliating properties to remove dead skin cells, improve circulation, speed up cell renewal and thereby improve fine lines, soften and rejuvenate skin! The plant-based ingredients in African Black Soap also contain antioxidants and vitamins A and E which help fight off free radicals that are responsible for signs of ageing and skin damage. Using authentic African Black Soap will help prevent the onset of ageing, fine lines and wrinkles!
Cautions for using African Black Soap
While African Black Soap has wonderful healing benefits for various skin types and conditions discussed above, it's important to mention that some people have reported skin reactions which may be undesirable! Yes, African Black Soap has proven to be a miracle product for so many people but just like anything in life, some things are not meant for everybody!
Here are some things to be cautious of when using African Black Soap for the first time:
Drying out skin
While some people find African Black Soap to have moisturising effects, others find it quite drying on their skin, even to the point of experiencing burning and irritation. Upon first use, it may be 'normal', even for those with oily skin, to notice that their skin feels dry and tight. This can last up to a week but should usually subside thereafter.
The drying out of skin is caused by the African Black Soap drawing out impurities and excess sebum (oil) from the skin which may take some time for your skin to acclimatise to. It's best to first do a patch test in the crease of your elbow (every day for a week) to determine whether your skin eventually balances out and resolves the burning, tingling and drying out. If not, African Black Soap may not be the best option for you!
If your skin feels very tight and "squeaky clean" afterward, it means the soap may have dried out your skin too much! In such cases, be sure to use an organic moisturizer or a hydrating serum or oil afterwards. Always remember that you only need to use a little amount of African Black Soap - a little goes a long way!
Burning and tingling
In general, you can expect to experience tingling or burning in acne areas, open sores, and cuts. This is because the African Black Soap is working hard on your problem areas. If you experience these sensations on your problem areas, remember to not leave the African Black Soap on your skin for a long period of time. Wash and rinse the soap off with cool water to help reduce the possibility of burning and irritations.
Don't let this scare you as some people use African Black Soap for years and never experience these side effects! Remember, everybody is different and you won't know unless you try - it could be the solution you've been searching for!
If you break out in a rash or contact dermatitis, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist. A rash will usually only occur in people who suffer from chocolate allergies, caffeine sensitivity or who have latex-fruit syndrome. If you are prone to any of these allergies, you may want to do a patch test first, or perhaps avoid African Black Soap altogether!
Soap bar may become mushy
Because African Black Soap is so absorbing, your bar of soap will draw in any water that it's exposed to, and slowly dissolve. Keep your bar of soap off wet surfaces by keeping the bar on a wooden soap dish with slats to allow the soap to drain. Another point to make is that when African Black Soap is exposed to the air, it sometimes develops a thin white-coloured film. This is nothing to worry about, the African Black Soap is still usable!
If you have any questions, please contact our team or leave a comment below for FREE health advice. We always love hearing from you!