The African black soap benefits are known to everyone who has at least once tried it. It’s quite different from the usual types of soap people are used to. It has completely different components and due to them is so effective. Now, let’s find out how to make such soap at home.
The specifics of the black soap
One of the main features of the African black soap is the absence of animal fats in it. The soap is helpful when fighting skin conditions like acne or excess oiliness. One of the key components is banana ashes, which is another revolutionary means that can regulate the sebum production and remove pigmentation.
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Well, you will not need anything special. Here’s the list of the main ingredients and tools:
- Cocoa oil, or shea butter, or palm tree oil
- Banana peel and/or cocoa pods
- Distilled water
- Essential oils
- A steamer
- Silicone molds for the soap bars
How to choose the oil, you will ask. Well, traditionally they used shea butter or palm tree oil. Your choice should depend on the available oils you can purchase. Sometimes, it’s even better to press the oil out of the palm pulp with the help of a special hand press but it’s a hard task and quite often you will have neither time nor palm pulp at hand to do it.
The amount of the oil to take depends on the amount of the soap you want. In any case, the amount of oil should not be more than a half of the container of your steamer. If you want more soap, you will have to produce it in portions.
Next is to burn the banana peel into ashes. Naturally, people used to take special green bananas (plantain), their skin and leaves, chopped them all together, dried and then burned. Sometimes, the shea tree crust was added, too.
Banana skin is normally used in the Western Africa where we have plenty of bananas but in other parts of the world or even other parts of Africa people not always have plenty of them. This is why they use cocoa pods and burn them to ashes as well. Sometimes, you can combine these two ingredients. Each of them will give you the useful elements they have. The amount of ashes depends on how much soap you are planning to make and how thick it will be.
Now, let’s get down to African black soap how it’s made.
- Start with mixing together some ashes and some distilled water. Add a little of either until you have the substance of the desired thickness and concentration. It’s up to you how much ash you will add because there’s no strict standard.
- Filter the ash substance if you want your soap to be extra smooth. Don’t filter if you don’t mind the slight and delicate peeling effect.
- Warm the basic oil in the steamer (if it’s shea butter, then warm it up until it melts and is evenly warm.
- Add the ash with water to the oil and keep on mixing it in order to prevent sticking and burning and to make the substance even and smooth. It will be dark brown or purely black, depending on the amount of ash you have added.
- Add, if you want, several drops of essential oils. The traditional African black soap contains no aromatic ingredients because it’s great as is. Yet, some manufacturers and those who make it at home prefer adding something for the fragrance and additional useful features.
- Keep on cooking the soap until it begins to thicken. As soon as you notice that the substance becomes firmer, accurately pour it into the prepared silicone molds.
- Now, leave the soap in the molds for about 14 days. Professionals say that it ripens with time. When the time is over, the soap will be solid but much softer than other types of soap.
Black African soap storage and usage ideas
Well, now you know African black soap how to make, and so on. It’s time to find out how to store the soap and use it properly. Due to the ingredients, the soap can be stored forever: it has no expiration date. Still, you need to remember the process of cooking and guess right that it can melt easily due to heat. It means that it’s better to store such soap in cool places where it cannot be affected by the sunlight or other sources of warmth.
Besides that, the African black soap is easily dissolved in water. If you have made quite big bars, it’s better to cut smaller lumps off the whole bar when taking a shower or so. It’s better not to keep the entire bar in water because it will melt very quickly. As well, you need to remember that it’s not the soap that gives a lot of foam. If you want the foam, use a shaving brush but remember that this is a way to waste a lot of the soap. It’s not meant to give a lot of foam. When the washing procedure is over, it’s necessary to rinse the skin with a lot of clean water.