Can African Black Soap Cure My Acne?
African black soap has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and for good reason! It tends to be a $5 miracle cure for acne, eczema, reducing fine lines, and even speeding up the healing process of cuts; but how much do we actually know about the product? Sure, we are totally aware it smells amazing and that it comes highly recommended by moms, aunts, brothers, sisters, and cousins alike but- it turns out African black soap is more than just a trendy name. It is actually made by women in the foothills of West Africa (most commonly Ghana)! This was shocking to find out because like most people, I never thought twice about the name. I mistakenly assumed it was just like any other beauty product, but its heritage lies much, much deeper than that (a few centuries deep to be precise).
The Process of Making the Soap
The African black soap recipe is specific to each tribe or community from the ingredients used to the cooking techniques implemented; which can be seen in the variation of color within the soap. The soap itself is the main source of income for these communities and they rely on it for their revenue, therefor the recipe is fair traded and respected as a secret (mostly). Luckily due to packaging labels and the exchange of information on the internet, there is some information that we do know about how it's made.
African black soap goes through before the final product is officially ready for use. To start, local leaves and bark are gathered, sundried, and then cooked at an even temperature to ensure the correct color and smell is fully achieved. Cocoa pods are crushed, burned, and the ashes are sprinkled into the mixture. Then water, Coconut oil, or Shea Butter is gently stirred into the soap for one full day, and the soap is left alone to form for two full weeks.
Interestingly enough, go into the soap making as well. When the women all come together to create the soap they must be in good terms with their husbands, family, and each other or they cannot proceed to move forward. They're not permitted to use wrongful or abusive language while making the soap; in belief that if they speak bad, the soap itself will be compromised. They also believe if bad news is given to them or their community while they are making the soap, that the batch has been tainted as well. Although it may seem superstitious to some, this is a part of an ancient tradition and an aspect that is seen as highly important to the soap makers.
How the Ingredients Work to Help Heal Skin
African black soap works in to help nurture the skin; It contains vitamin A to help increase collagen production, vitamin E to restore and protect the skin, Shea butter to soothe and soften the skin, and cocoa pod powder which acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Not to mention African black soap helps to even out skin tone by fading discolorations and improving skin texture for more even glowing skin.
It's gentler than most store-bought cleansers so it doesn't strip the skin of its essential oils, but rather gently removes dead skin cells and excess debris. Plus, it is 100% all natural and organic with no added chemicals, fragrances, sulfates, mineral oils, or dyes. It is considered so pure that in some parts of West Africa black soap is used to wash off newborn babies straight out of their mother's womb! Sold on it yet? I am, 'causeee I'm pretty sure that if it's gentle enough for a newborn, its gentle enough for me.
My Personal Experience with African Black Soap
Perhaps one of the closest things I've found to a cure for acne is...(*cue drum roll*) Trust me when I say I've tried everything from the caveman regimen and antibiotics to a full course of Accutane and nothing has worked at permanently keeping my acne away until I found this little $5 bar of soap. I wish I would've known this before the thousands of dollars I spent on useless products but hey you live and you learn I guess! I simply use it twice a day, morning and night. All you need to do is wet your hands a little with cool water, rub the soap between your palms, lather your face, rinse, and repeat!
For some weird reason whenever I use it on active acne it tends to tingle a little bit at first, but the sensation quickly fades away along with the spots. Of course, I still get spots sometimes, but I've come to accept as someone who struggles with acne that occasional spots are inevitable, maybe I will grow out of it eventually but for now this little bar of soap is the beez kneez at keeping my skin at bay. So, if you haven't tried it yet, I urge you too! Plus, if it just so happens not to work on your skin type, you're only out five buckaroos, so what do you really have to lose?
Giveaway: To kick off our new blog relaunch - We'll be hosting giveaways in each of our featured blog posts! Articles that were written by Brigid or Kali will be open for a giveaway to win a Banish Kit! To enter: Just comment below something that you learned from reading this post or what your thoughts were! We'll pick a winner at the end of the day! Spam comments will be disqualified.
Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.