Authentic African Black Soap, from Ghana
Used for cleansing and in Orisha ceremonies. This soap has many uses and a rich history.
AFRICAN BLACK SOAP is an excellent gentle skin conditioner that is traditionally used to treat all manner of skin problems from acne to eczema. It is high in vitamines A & E and iron. Unlike other so-called "black soap" on the market, this one is made from a few ingredients - plantain skins, cocoa pods, water and palm oil - and no dyes, scents, preservatives or detergents are added. You can form the soap into balls, press into molds or containers, or create a liquid soap with water, as you like.
My friend buys this soap directly from Thomas Amoah aka The Shea Butter Man, contacted me in January for ideas on how to package the authentic black soap his village of Aburi (25kms outside of Accra, Ghana) makes. We are working on packaging this black soap into clear topped canisters for use in the shower and for travel. Thomas has bought a 1.5 acre compound and plans to hire people who live on the streets of Accra to make shea butter and black soap for the international market and with my help, lotions and creams for African markets.
Black Soap, Ose Dudu or Alata Samina is a true West African Soap. Black soap has its origins among the Yoruba in Nigeria, but receives more widespread use and production among the Ghanians.
Legend has it that the black soap was introduced to Ghana many years ago, by Yoruba traders doing business in Ghana. These traders were women and many were in the business of selling tomatoes and peppers. They were called the Alatas (Pepper Sellers). Samina is an Akan word for soap. The word Alata Samina, coined by Ghanians, means 'The Pepper Traders Soap'.
In Africa, black soap is the only homemade soap used by mothers to wash their newborn babies as its purity makes it gentle and non-drying for their sensitive skin. This African Black Soap is produced in small batches by hand, using age-old traditional techniques. The authentic African Black Soap is handmade in Ghana from pure virgin oils following fair trade and organic guidelines.
Storage of African Black Soap African Black Soap is a soft milled soap and has a very high natural glycerine content. As a result, it readily absorbs moisture from the air. It must be stored in a dry location or in a sealed container or it will become soft as it absorbs moisture. Black soap exposed to the air will have a thin white colored film. This film is not mold - it is caused by absorption of water from the air. This can be avoided by keeping the soap in a dry location away from moisture until ready for use.
***When using bath bars - DO NOT allow them to sit in water or they will dissolve into a mushy mess. Keep them on a soap dish with sufficient drainage.
How African Black Soap is Made: All of the ingredients are simple and natural. The soap is made in the traditional way from charred plantain skins and cocoa pods soaked in water to form the lye, which is then added to palm oil. The soap-making process is highly sophisticated, and requires hand-stirring for at least a day. The mixture is cooked, and then the semi liquid soap is scooped out and left to set. After the soap has crystallized, it is allowed to cure for two weeks.
Uses of African Black Soap: African Black Soap is an excellent all purpose soap. It is recommend especially for individuals with sensitive skin. In Africa, it is known for making smooth skin and is also used to treat skin irritations and other skin conditions. African Black soap can be formed into bars or balls with pressure. As soon as you begin using the soap, the contact with water will make it keep its shape. Also, you can make a liquid soap, shampoo or body wash by filling a container loosely with the black soap and adding water to fill (see below instructions). The soap pieces will dissolve into the water and form a versatile soap.
Aroma The scent of the African Black Soap is mild and pleasant.
Ingredients: virgin palm kernel oil Elaeis guineensis, water aqua, potash produced from the ashes of plantain Musa spp. and cocoa Theobroma cacao. Black soap is naturally rich in vegetable glycerine, vitamines A & E, plus iron. There are no chemicals added as preservatives, colour enhancers, or fragrances.