African Black Soap for Cleansing

African Black Soap is usually a mixture of plantain skin which is high in vitamins A & E as well as iron, cocoa pods (the shell of the cocoa fruit) or shea tree bark, and natural oils.  The skin of the plantain and the cocoa pod is dried in the hot sun, then roasted in a clay oven. Afterwords, the plantain skin is mixed with palm oil to make the soap. The darkness of black soap is directly related to how long the plantain is roasted. Black soap comes in all shades of brown, as well as black, and is unscented with a crumby texture. Black Soap originates from West Africa, and is especially abundant and popular in Ghana (my paternal homeland!).  Similarly to how I always pick up castor oil when I'm in Haiti and never run out, I am able to buy black soap whenever I'm in Ghana by the masses. It is 100% natural and organic.  Black soap is soothing and serves as a natural exfoliant. It is known to cure conditions such as acne, eczema, scars and blemishes. Black soap can also be used as an alternative to shampoo. 
Image Source: Adonni Naturals
I've been using African Black Soap for a while and it definitely lives up to its reputation of being useful in multiples ways.  When I first started using it long ago, I almost threw it away. It left my skin SO cleansed that my skin had this awkward dry waxy feel to it.  But, after a few days, this stopped. All the dark spots I had started to fade and I fell in love with it. I haven't had any acne since using this soap.   I have read that black soap can be used as a shampoo alternative which is true BUT I do not use it as such and would never ONLY because it has an extremely high pH of 10 and higher, which means it is very basic/alkaline. This isn't the best for hair, which has an acidic pH between 4-5.  It's important to use products which have a pH that is as similar to the hair's pH.  Yet, I must say, that West African peoples have been using it as such for hundreds of years, so truly the proof is in the pudding! 

Image source: Google Images
All in all, I would certainly buy this again....I mean, I always do.  Black soap can be purchased in West Africa, local beauty supply stores and Amazon.  Nubian Heritage also makes black soap, but it is more on the processed side, which is evident by its square shape and jet black color. It's organic and natural, but not as raw and handmade as true African Black Soap. Similarly, many companies also liquify black soap to create their own versions of shampoos, conditioners, and body washes such as Shea Moisture's popular "Black Soap" line. I personally recommend buying the raw form as pictured above!

Here are some black soap options!

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Medical Disclaimer: Naika, the writer of this blog, is Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist. Please do not take this as medical advice, without consulting your health care practitioner. Also remember, knowledge is power and your health is your wealth!