African black soap has tons of ultra-healing properties that are so worth it to spread the word. And it works for all types of skins. Let’s see what are the main characteristics and benefits of it.
What is African Black Soap?
This natural, hand-made soap is ideal for oily, dry, and acne-prone skins. "African black soap is handmade and used as a shampoo, face soap, and body bar. Its black color is due to the ash in the product," notes board-certified dermatologist Purvisha Pate. Unlike regular soap, this one has a rough texture, which makes it excellent for exfoliation.
This soap is a mixture of water and the ashes of plantain skins or palm leaves, cocoa pod powder, palm oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and honey. As plants don't grow the same every time, batches can vary, even if they're from the same brand. It may happen that one could have more of one ingredient and cause a skin reaction. Black soap can not only have varying proportions and ingredients but depending on where you're getting your products, they can vary.
What are the benefits?
Antibacterial. This soap has great antibacterial properties that make it an effective cleanser and a natural alternative to others that aren’t natural.
Anti-inflammatory. "The active ingredient in the ashes of the soap is sulfur, a potent antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory agent. The rough nature of the soap exfoliates the skin, and the sulfur kills bacteria and fungus on the skin. This works not only on the face but on the body as well, thus helping with shave bumps," says Patel.
Moisturizing. This makes this soap great for soothing irritation caused by eczema or psoriasis."The oils in the soap stop excessive water loss caused by bathing so the water stays trapped in the skin, locking in moisture," says Patel.
Improves skin tone and texture. "The rough nature of the soap helps exfoliate the skin. Over time, it can help with exfoliating dead, hyperpigmented skin," says Patel.
Helps with dandruff. "The antifungal and anti-inflammatory activity of the ash helps kill dandruff-causing yeast," explains Patel.
Are there any side effects?
Many suffer from allergic reactions to natural skincare products because they are not regulated on the amount, purity, and lifespan of their ingredients. "No one bar of soap has the same exact ingredient concentration as another," explains Patel. If any reaction appears, stop using the product and see a board-certified dermatologist.