AFRICAN BLACK SOAP is made in WEST AFRICA from palm oil , palm kernel oil and water . The aroma and deep rich colour result from the centuries old extractor process that blends the two ingredients together resulting in the finest skin cleanser available.
To make the soap, you only need any vegetable oil, tallow or lard, potash and water. It is not likely that any African black soap contains so much shea butter as the price of shea butter is really high, also when you use shea butter in soap making, not all of it completely saponifies so most soap makers will not use more than 50% shea butter in a soap recipe. Most brands actually only add the shea butter after the soap has been made to make it more moisturising. They would also add other things such as cocoa butter and fragrance after purchasing it. This is how African black soap is made,
All regular soap is made from caustic soda(lye or also called sodium hydroxide). You can not make soap without lye. Even surfactant is made with lye and then its pH is reduced that is why you will see on the labels of some natural shower gels surfactant from plant source or surfactant from coconut oil.True African black soap is made from water, oils and potash.
I have been making African black soap now for a few years and I also teach it to students from all over the world. I was inspired to research the soap as there are many inaccuracies about it online. I learnt both at home with my 86 year old grandmother and by visiting other women who make it. After talking extensively to all the women who make African black soap, I have learnt a lot about it and also have come up with a method to make the manufacturing process less laborious.
How African black soap is made differs from country to country even though different versions are made in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mali, Ethiopia, Northern Africa and some parts of the Mediterranean. Not all potash is made from the same source, in Ghana for instance the local potash is made from cocoa pods husk, the shell that covers cocoa seeds. Cocoa husk is similar to the outer shell of a melon. Once the seeds are taken out of the pod to be processed for chocolate making etc, the husk are dried and burnt into ashes. This ash is highly caustic and it is what is used as the organic potash in making the soap.
WHY USE BLACK SOAPS
- Relieves acne and removes blemishes
- Prevents rashes, itching, dry and scaly skin from developing.
- Cleans pores and rejuvenates the skin, leaving your body fresh