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African Black Soap: How It's Made and Benefits

By , Managing Editor
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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We tend to expect more from our soap these days. Like every other product in our bath and beauty regimen, we expect results like anti-aging, skin tone improvement and blemish obliteration.

For anyone looking to get more from their soap than just clean, try out African black soap.

History of African Black Soap
Originating in West African countries like Ghana, African black soap has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for skin that's either oily or too dry and for the treatment of skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. Also referred to as "Anago Soap," "Ose Dudu" or "Alata Simena,"  this soap can reduce the inflammation and irritation of these conditions. Traditionally made by women in these countries, the process of making this unscented soap can take several days and has to be done just right for the maximum benefit.

What's it made of?
When you think of feeling fresh and clean, a brown or black bar of soap probably doesn't come to mind. Traditionally, African black soap gets its distinct color from the roasted skins of plantains as well as palm ashes. The ashes of cocoa pods and shea tree bark may also be used. These main ingredients are dried in the sun and then roasted in clay ovens. Additional ingredients include water, palm, palm kernel or coconut oil or shea butter to act as an emollient as well as herbs like rosemary and, more recently, salicylic acid to combat acne (found in versions produced in the United States and Europe). 

When shopping for African black soap, try to find the most authentic version possible. A good rule of thumb: The fewer ingredients the better. Some soaps have been known to have added chemical and/artificial ingredients. If you can find one labeled as "raw," that's a safe bet for authenticity, quality and potency.

What Makes This Soap So Great
African black soap is a natural source of vitamins A and E. Vitamin A is particularly known to benefit skin by supporting collagen production and helping to keep skin firm and smooth. Vitamin A is also a common ingredient in acne treatments. Vitamin E also supports the tissue structure and helps to moisturize and improve texture and tone. The natural fats found in this soap help to nourish dry skin and allow it to better retain moisture. As a result, skin is more supple and glowing. The antioxidants from the vitamins help to prevent free radical damage which can lead to visible signs of aging. 

This soap is great to use all over the body without clogging pores for a more healthful appearance. It's beneficial for all skin types, even sensitive skin. On the June 12 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," a guest remarked that she wanted the dewy skin of her youth back. Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended using African black soap every few days on her entire body to help soften the skin for a more youthful glow.

Try swapping out your standard bar for African black soap for a month or so and see what happens. This uniquely colored cleanser could be your ticket to amazing skin.

Products you may like:

Nubian Heritage African Black Soap  Nubian Heritage African Black Soap 
Why you may like this product? Here it is -- the African black soap hailed on Dr. Oz and praised for years for its ability to smooth and clear skin for a radiant complexion. Don't let the color throw you off, this bar of soap is packed with vitamins from plantains as well as shea butter to soothe the skin.
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