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ABOUT AFRICAN BLACK SOAP

INTRODUCTION

Black soap hails from West Africa and is quite popular due to its powerful effects on the skin.           

It is known by many names, including “ose dudu,” a name used by the Yoruba people of western Nigeria that literally means “black soap.” 
The colour of black soap can range from light brown to deep black, depending on the method of production.                    

 Black soap contains ingredients that are beneficial for the skin.


 HOW BLACK SOAP IS MADE FROM SCRATCH          

Black soap is generally made from locally harvested African plants such as plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and Shea bark.                               

The ingredients are sun-dried and roasted, which is how it gets its deep colour.                                   

Water and oils such as coconut, palm and Shea butter are then added. The soap is then left to sit and “cure.”

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BLACK SOAP COMMON INGREDIENTS INCLUDES:- 

 PALM OIL

Palm oil is an ingredient in black soap that is rich in antioxidants. It contains both tocopherols and tocotrienol, both forms of vitamin E, which is used in the treatment of acne and eczema.
 Palm oil also contains carotene. 
Carotene, tocopherols and tocotrienol all help reduce cell damage caused by toxic substances and environmental pollution.                             

 PALM KERNEL OIL

Palm kernel oil is another ingredient in black soap and is extracted from the fruit seeds of the African palm tree.   It is used to increase the lather and hardness of soap and is high in la-uric acid, which helps to destroy organisms like fungus, bacteria and viruses. 
Palm kernel oil is similar in nature and properties to coconut oil.


COCOA BUTTER

Black soap also contains cocoa butter, a natural fat extracted from the cacao bean.
Vitamin stuff, notes that cocoa butter is a very good moisturiser and readily absorbed by the skin.
It is often recommended for the treatment of eczema and dermatitis.


SHEA BUTTER

Shea butter, also known as karite butter because it is made from the nuts of the karite tree, is another ingredient in black soap. 
Shea butter is used to heal burns, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis and sores, as well as dandruff and stretch marks.                     

It can diminish wrinkles by moisturising the skin while increasing circulation and promoting cell renewal. It contains cinnamic acid, which helps to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.         

The active ingredients of African Black soap come from the ash of local plants including:
Cocoa pods ,Palm kernels,Shea bark,Palm leaves,Coconut,Plantain leaves,Potash produced from plantain leaves,Virgin olive oil,Naturally-occurring glycerine.
The plantain skin and potash are excellent sources of Vitamin A and E, while glycerine helps the skin retain moisture throughout the day. Palm kernel oil has lubricating properties, which makes it suitable as a moisturiser.             Palm oil and Shea butter also serve as the base oils.               

All the ingredients combined give the soap its light to black colour.               Traditional African black soap has a rough, earthy texture and smell.                 Despite the ingredients, the soap is not oily.    The grainy texture helps exfoliate dead skin cells off your skin to reveal healthier and smoother skin.

            Apparatus needed includes ;

Mortar and pestle ,Big bowl, Pot ,Small bowl or bucket ,Hand glove ,Double boiler.               

STORAGE

Now that you have you bars of African black soap ready, the next step is storage.                  

They dissolves easily when exposed to water make sure that you store the soap in a dry place.                      

You can cut the bar up into smaller cubes that you can use for each shower to avoid exposing the entire bar to water.

What is African  black soap

Black soap is generally made from locally harvested African plants such asplantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leavesand shea tree bark. The ingredients are sun-dried and roasted, which is how it gets its deep color. Water and oils such as coconut, palm and shea butter are then added.

Due to the abundance of antioxidants and vitamins A and E in African black soap, there are many skin nourishing benefits. It helps to heal skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, fades skin discolorations, relieves dry and irritated skin, and evens skin texture and tone. When used as a shaving cream on the face or legs it alleviates razor burn. It can be used on the entire body including the hair.

14 amazing  benefits  of African black soap


This benefits can not be over emphasised ,

1. It’s antibacterial
Natural antibacterial properties make African black soap an excellent alternative to chemical-laden cleansers. In fact, it may actually remove more bacteria than chemical cleansers do. Despite its strength, black soap is gentle enough to use on your face, hands, and body.


2. It’s safe for all skin types
If you have dry or sensitive skin, you know that scented soaps and lotions are off-limits. African black soap is naturally fragrance-free — just make sure your chosen product is labelled “unscented.”People with oily or combination skin are also in the clear! Black soap can help balance your skin’s natural oil production without stripping necessary oils or adding excess oil to your skin.


3. It’s moisturising
Shea butter is a crucial ingredient in black soap. While Shea can help relieve itchiness and soothe dry skin, cocoa and coconut oil add moisture.


4. It won’t make your skin oily
If you have combination skin, this makes choosing the right soap that much easier. Shea may add moisture, but coconut oil may help prevent overactive oil glands.


5. It helps soothe irritation
African black soap may also soothe itchiness and irritation caused by eczema, contact dermatitis, and skin allergies. It may even help clear rashes related to eczema and psoriasis. To maximise these benefits, find a soap with oatmeal added.


6. It’s anti-inflammatory
Black soap is rich in vitamins A and E. These vitamins are both antioxidants, which help combat free radicals and attacks on otherwise healthy skin tissues. This may be helpful for people who have inflammatory conditions like rosacea.


7. It helps fight acne
On that note, black soap may also help fight acne. In addition to balancing your skin’s natural oils, the soap’s Shea content may help repair damaged cells. Its antimicrobial properties may even clear severe acne caused by Propioni bacterium acne bacteria.


8. It may help reduce fine lines
Shea butter and coconut oil may help reduce collagen loss and encourage new development. In turn, this can help plump up fine lines and wrinkles. The rough texture of the soap can also exfoliate dead skin cells that make fine lines more noticeable.


9. It helps protect against photoaging
Antioxidants found in shea butter can help protect your skin from photoaging. Over time, sun exposure can cause sun spots (age spots), but black soap may offer another barrier.


10. It helps improve skin texture
African black soap is chock-full of natural ingredients, but part of its benefits come from its form. When left unprocessed, the raw ingredients that make up black soap leave the product far less smooth than the average drugstore soap bar. This makes it a natural exfoliate, which may help improve skin texture.


11. It helps prevent razor burn and related rashes

Exfoliation is another key factor in keeping your skin smooth after shaving, waxing, or other methods of hair removal. Exfoliating will help remove dead skin cells before they can clog your hair follicles. The moisture in African black soap may also help prevent the lumps and bumps that result from razor burn.


12. It may help reduce hyper pigmentation
Hyper-pigmentation is often caused by acne scarring and sun damage — two things that African black soap may help soothe or prevent.


13. It may help minimise the appearance of scars and stretch marks
Thanks to its Shea butter and vitamin E content, black soap may help reduce the redness and overall appearance of 

14. It’s anti fungal
One study on the effects of African black soap found the product effective for seven types of fungus — this includes the common Candida albicans yeast. You can safely use African black soap to help treat conditions like toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.
Where do all these benefits come from?
The benefits of African black soap lie in its ingredients. This includes a combination of:
cocoa pods
coconut oil
palm tree leaf derivatives, including palm kernel oil and palm oil
plantain bark, which contains iron, as well as vitamins A and E
Shea butter.
Keep in mind that the ingredient makeup of black soap largely varies based on the region of Africa it’s made from. For example, plantains are found in Central and Western Africa, but not in eastern regions.You may also find black soap with added essential oils, such as eucalyptus, to promote relaxation. Some African black soap bars contain added oatmeal or aloe Vera.

Benefits of African black soap on skin

History of Black Soap 

Native to Africa, black soap is found in almost every city, town or village across west Africa. It has different names such as ose dudu, alata samina, anago samina, ncha nkota, sabulun salo etc 
It is made from the ashes of locally harvested plant parts. The common plants include cocoa, plantain, pawpaw, palm tree and Shea tree 
These parts are burned to ashes, soaked in water to produce the local lye and then cooked with a mixture of oils till soap is formed, cured, packaged and sold
In African homes, black soap trade is usually a family affair. This means that you find out that the trade has been practised for ages and is still being practised in that family with the trade and production secrets being passed on to their generations who would in turn continue this production and sales of black soap.
Black soap is readily adapted into the fanciest of skincare product selections because of its ability to heal the skin and make it glow. Another reason the black soap is widely accepted is the fact that it serves as a ready carrier for various herbs which are also good for the skin .

The Herbarium
The various herbs used in preparing the black soap itself are very beneficial to the skin however, there is a common practice of adding even more herbs to the already made black soap for further effectiveness on the skin.
These herbs are added according to the function the black soap is being created to perform and this segment would showcase an array of popular herbs and oils and their properties just so you know when to add each herb to the soap and why they are being added.
 Neem– good for treating skin diseases, its oil has moisturising properties and also very good for hair and scalp issues
Moringa– anti ageing properties, soothing, calming Bitter leaf- treats skin diseases 
Papaya– exfoliates and brightens
Carrot– fades blemishes, repairs, brightens and lightens
Turmeric– fades blemishes, repairs, brightens and lightens
Avocado peel– moisturises, repairs 
Orange peel– exfoliates, brightens 
Hibiscus/zobo– anti ageing, calming, treats skin diseases
Coconut water– treats skin diseases, calming 
Coconut charcoal powder– cleansing/detoxification
Activated charcoal powder -cleansing/detoxification
Bentonite clay powder-cleansing/detoxification
Sandalwood powder-soothes the skin, fades scars and blemishes 
Green tea– anti ageing, soothing 
Sulphur-treats skin diseases
Cam wood– soothes the skin, fades scars and blemishes 
Lemon– brightening, exfoliating 
Lime– brightening, exfoliating 
Oatmeal powder– soothing, calming and smoothing 
Rice powder– exfoliating, brightening 
Tamarind/ tsamia– brightening, fades scars and blemishes
Cucumber-smoothing, soothing, brightening, fades blemishes 
Licorices powder– lightens 
Mulberry extracts– lightens
Kojic dipalmitate– lightens
Kojic acid powder– lightens
Scent leaf-treats skin diseases
Cinnamon– treats skin diseases 
Mint-treats skin diseases
Coffee grounds– anti ageing, treats skin diseases, anti-cellulite
Cocoa powder– anti ageing, repair 
Aloe Vera– soothing, moisturising 
Goat milk– soothing, lightening, exfoliating 
Honey– soothing, treats skin diseases, moisturising, preservative 
Coconut oil– good for infusions, moisturising, anti-bacterial effects
Palm oil– anti ageing, soothing
Black seed oil– treats skin diseases
Ginger- stimulant, good for scalp diseases 
Cloves- stimulant, good for hair
Hemp– hair growth
Henna– strengthens the hair


NB: all measurements are in grams, ml, tablespoons or teaspoons for easy understanding. You can use any black soap you wish, if using the solid/moulded version, grate or pound it to make it easy for mixing.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  
1. Buy all raw materials from trusted hands, ensure they do not sell expired items.

2. Know exactly what your client wants from their soap and pick your ingredients based on those needs.

3. Think, think and think again before you start mixing soap.

4. Never sell a recipe you have not tested before. Even if it is one new ingredient you are introducing to the soap, test before you sell.

5. Always ask client for feedback after one week of selling your soap.

6. You can recreate recipes from your recipe soap at any time, just be sure that you are selecting your ingredients based on the needs of the clients.

 7. Under promise but always over deliver.

8. Never be tempted to use shady ingredients in your soap, no shortcuts. People who want pure natural products are still very much in the world.

 9. Never lie about your products, if you do not have the right ingredients, don’t rush up anything politely ask the client to give you time, if they are yours, they will wait .

10. Try to specialise in one recipe first instead of selling many at once. Remember the Jack of all trades that ended up being the master of none 


NB: soaps alone are not enough treatment for the skin. They do a lot of good when used right but do not forget the place of other things involved in treating the skin

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