Friday, July 15, 2011

Beautifying with Black Soap

What is Black Soap Made Of?
Black Soap or African Black Soap comes from plantain skin. The process includes Ash (from burning the skins of plantain), Oil palm and/or palm kernel oil which determines the amount of lather you get from the soap. In some recipes, Cocoa Pod is used instead of plantain skins. In some recipes they use both the Cocoa Pod and plantain skins. Cocoa Pod is the shell of the Cocoa fruit. Shea tree bark is especially popular and can be found in many recipes. These items are burned until they turn to ash. This is what gives the soap its unique color. Black soaps vary in darkness, based on the types of bark used. The ash will be combined with water and brought to a boil until the ash dissolves. Once heated, the oil will slowly be poured into the ash. Palm oil is one example, but there are others such as coconut or Shea butter. Water and the temperature are turned down. The mix is stirred constantly as foam is formed on top. The foam is then scooped off the top until no more forms. This can take a long time, and may take an entire day. However, the smaller the batch made, the less time will be needed. Any residue left in the pot after all the water has evaporated will also be black soap. Once the soap is out of the pot, it needs to cool on a non-stick surface. When it can be handled, it can be molded into whatever shape is desired. It needs to cure for a few weeks before it's used.

Black Soap does not go bad. It can be used at any time if stored properly.
Through my journey I've changed so many ways of caring for my hair.  I went from shampooing with expensive products, full of potentially damaging sulfates, to co-washing.  Co-washing using product all over my scalp and hair to now only co-washing my hair without using any on my scalp or the hair near to it.  A few months ago I posted review on African Black Soap distributed by Naturalista Cosmetics. It was the first time in almost 6 months I washed my hair with a sudsy cleanser and I fell in love with it.  A great product to me, can be used for multiple purposes and this is one of them.  I've been using the black soap since my review on Naturalista Cosmetics [Read Review Here] mid May 2011.  
Benefits of Black Soap:
- Natural black soaps help deep clean skin.
- Black Soap works on most skin types including rough and dry or sensitive skin.
- Help clear skin bumps and spots by using black soap daily.
- Helps relieve acne, oily skin & other skin problems.
- Black soap is also great for removing makeup.
- Black soap benefits against premature facial lines and wrinkles.
- Black soap can also be lathered and used as an effective shampoo
    I used empty product bottles to store the black soap liquid.  The bottle on the right has been used for a week and look at the amount left.  This includes my 2 sons using it as well as body wash.  [Watch Here]*  to view the YouTube video on how turn your black soap bar into liquid.

    *When liquefying your black soap be sure to add an antimicrobial agent. Water added to products can be a breeding ground for bacteria.  It is best to use distilled water and Grapefruit Seed or Grape Seed Extract (at 15-.5%)to prolong the shelf life and to help prevent bacteria from contaminating your DIY Black Soap shampoo/Body Wash.  Store in the refrigerator, using opaque or dark amber colored bottles to store your liquefied soap.
    I just learned how to liquefy my Black soap from an FB friend named Tiffany who was kind enough to send me videos on the process.  I had a little over half bar of the soap and made 2-8oz bottles of the liquid black soap.  It lathers with very little being put into my hair.  It only takes 5 or 6 drops to have suds in my hair from front to gets no better.  That means for a little over $5 I have 2 bottles of shampoo/facial cleanser/body wash to last probably the next 3 months.  Since my boys use it for their showers as well I will reduce it to lasting 2 months.  That comes to 2.50 per month for 3 people to use on their hair, face, and body.  Like I said it gets no better.  I luv a bargain.

    Do-It-Yourself (DIY)....

    Things You'll Need:
    Coconut husks, Plantain skins, Cocoa pods, Shea tree bark, Hand press, Bowl, Strainer, Double boiler, Lighter, and Soap mold.
    1.      Press the coconut husks in a hand press to extract palm oil.
    2.      Burn the plantain skins, cocoa pods and Shea bark to ash.
    3.      Mix the ash with water in the bowl, and pour through the strainer into the double boiler.
    4.      Add the palm oil to the double boiler and cook over low heat.
    5.      Stir the mixture until smooth.
    6.      Scoop hot soap off the surface of mixture when it begins to rise to the surface, and leave it to cool.
    7.      Pour the cooled wax into the mold of your choice and leave to sit until hard.
    8.      Leave the hardened soap to cure for two weeks.



    1 comment:

    1. Thanks for the post on soaps. I have read your whole post and I really liked it. Great Work!!