Throughout history, the women from West Africa have used a soap made from vegetable to clean their hair and skin. Today this soap is known as African black soap.
While there are many formulations used to make the soap, the primary traditionally ingredients in the soap include cocoa pods, plantain skins, Shea tree bark, and palm tree leaves. Shea butter, cocoa butter, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil are also added as part of the critical ingredients.
This mixture of components provides the soap with numerous nutrients and vitamins that are good for enhancing the health of an individual’s hair and skin. The soap is also filled with healing properties for various skin and hair conditions.
5 Health Benefits of African Black Soap
Here is a list of the conditions African black soap can treat.
1. Soothes Eczema and Psoriasis
African black soap does not have any artificial chemicals, which means it is highly unlikely to irritate sensitive skin. Instead, the soap is filled with many properties that work together to reduce the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.
Eczema symptoms include itchy, red, sensitive, and dry skin. These are the same symptoms associated with psoriasis, inclusive of flaky dry patches on the skin.
African black soap soothes eczema and psoriasis by reducing skin inflammation and dryness. This is because it is made using ingredients filled with anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. The soap also contains antibacterial properties that moderate eczema and psoriasis.
The main ingredients in African black soap that provide hydration, soothing, and pain relief include shea butter, coconut oil, and red palm oil.
Therefore instead of using soaps filled with harsh chemicals, individuals should lather their body with African black soap and enjoy the feeling of a soothed skin.
2. Fights Acne
Many nutrients contained in African black soap gives it the ability to fight acne. The soap has lauric acid, which cleanses the skin, and fatty acids, which fight against acne.
Coconut oil, one of its ingredients, is also known to treat acne. This is because it is filled with caprylic acid, vitamin E, and capric acid that work together to balance the pH levels in the skin. These properties also reduce skin inflammation and irritation.
Palm oil, another ingredient in the soap, can heal as well as prevent any acne breakouts because of its linoleic acid, oleic acid, and beta carotene components.
These components also provide anti-inflammatory properties that help retain moisture in the skin. Another compound found in the soap and fights acne by giving the skin a healthy look is vitamin A.
3. Prevents Razor Burn
African black soap has a graininess to it that can only be felt once the soap is broken in half. This feeling comes from its exfoliating properties. Exfoliation is essential for the skin because it keeps it smooth. It also removes any dead skin cells from the skin before they clog the hair follicles.
Often after shaving or waxing, individuals might experience razor burn, bumps, or swelling caused by ingrown hairs. Using African black soap prevents razor burn by removing these ingrown hairs.
Also, its moisturizing properties help prevent the occurrence of razor bumps on the skin, leaving the skin feeling smooth and glowing in appearance.
4. Minimizes Scarring
The many ingredients found in African black soap combine to make an excellent solution for reducing the appearance of the scars caused by acne.
The soap also minimizes scarring from stretch marks and other wounds. This is because it contains shea butter, red palm oil, and essential fatty acids. Shea butter is an ointment widely used to repair skin tissue as well as boost the production of collagen.
The red palm oil is responsible for producing vitamin E, which in turn maintains skin health. The essential fatty acids are found in the coconut, red palm, and palm kernel oil in African black soap. These acids work towards regenerating skin cells. As a result, most old scars fade away.
5. Alleviates Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation occurs when the melanin in the body is produced in excess. Many things can lead to hyperpigmentation, including sun damage, inflammation, acne, and other skin injuries.
Tyrosinase is the enzyme responsible for regulating melanin production. Thus, if tyrosinase is not working correctly, the amount of melanin produced will increase. As a result, the skin would be filled with patches of discoloration, liver spots, and dark circles under the eyes.
African black soap alleviates hyperpigmentation because it contains cocoa pods that hinder the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme. Thus, the skin becomes lighter and free from hyperpigmentation.
Cocoa pods also absorb ultraviolet light naturally. This ensures the skin is protected from sun damage that could otherwise leave dark spots.