Tuesday, March 17, 2009

African Black Soap | Natural Cleaning Product Review

African Black Soap, an exotic, natural cleaning product, the only soap many African mom's will use on their babies, is rich and gentle and most importantly, all-natural. Black soap, more than 100 varieties, is an African tradition crafted with the same regional, cherished, and guarded recipes for thousands of years.

Hand-crafted Soap
Created in a slightly different manner than cold-processed soaps, familiar to natural-ingredient conscience consumers. African Black soap most often is made in a hot-processed form, where leaves and bark of local trees and plants are burned in a kettle. Emollient-rich plants oils like coconut, palm kernel, and Shea butter are added, along with water. The mixture is stirred for many hours (sometimes 24 hours straight!) over a hot fire until it congeals to the proper consistency, and then it is cured a couple of weeks.

The result is an all-natural, moisturizing, high-glycerin-content soap with a natural, light fragrance, that reminds me of the aroma after a fine moist rain in the Summer sun. The effect of Black soap is a wonderful, gentle clean with a rich lather. (As you can see, I am a big fan!)

Longstanding West African Tradition
"Ose Dudu (doudoun), which is derived from the Yoruba or Anago languages of Nigeria, Benin and Togo. Ose Dudu means literally Soap (ose) Black (dudu)," as defined on the website for Agbangakarite, a Fair Trade co-op in Togo, Africa.

African Black Soap can be used for face, body, and haircare. It is great for babies and hypoallergenic, sensitive skin care. Also, it is recommended as a natural cleaning product for skin problems, such as acne and rashes.

With hair care, just rub the soap ball of Black Soap on wet hair, like the "olden days" and then lather up with hands. There is no need to make a liquid shampoo, but if you wanted to you can crush up some pieces of African Black Soap, approximately 3 Tablespoons, and add to a recycled, rinsed-out shampoo bottle and fill with water.

For face care, Black soap is ideal. It is non-drying, and yet deep cleansing. It is deep moisturizing, and not oily! Also, the fine ash ingredients, which gives the African soap its mottled black and brown color varieties, adds a super-fine exfoliating quality, safe to use for every day cleansing.

The typical African-made Black soap in a 3 ounce soap bar or soap ball is around 3.95 to 5.95 .

If you are willing to go "bulk" and make your own soap balls or bars you can find great prices for handcrafted African Black soaps ranging from around .50 to 1.00 per ounce.

My Natural Cleaning Experience with African Black Soap
Obviously, I love it. I use it often on my hair and face, in particular. I like the richness of the lather; the natural, aromatic quality; and the moisturizing effects. I come from an Irish-English background and my hair tends to be dry; Black soap actually moisturizes so well that it enhances my natural curl!

Big Thumbs Up! Great soap. All-Natural. No synthetic colorants, preservatives, or chemicals. Can easily be bought Fair-Trade. Works Great! It is a fantastic natural cleaning product!

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