Back to library

African Black Soap

| [ˈA-fri-kən, ˈBlak, ˈSōp] |

Categories:
Plant Extracts

African Black Soap Benefits:
Astringent
Purifying

African black soap is generally made from harvested African plants such as cocoa-pods, plantains, and palm tree leaves. Unlike conventional soaps, black soap is produced from oils and agro-wastes ashes, which contain various amounts of potassium and sodium compounds, the most popular being potassium carbonate. The plants are first sun-dried and then burned, giving black soap its iconic color. Afterwards, a wide variety of oil-based moisturizing ingredients can be implemented for enhanced skin care benefits, such as shea butter and Vitamin E. Overall, black soap has proven to have excellent solubility, cleansing, and lathering abilities. 1

The primary constituents found in African black soap are alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, saponins, and tannins. These plant metabolites are believed to be responsible for black soap’s astringent properties. Furthermore, saponins and phenols play a distinctive role in the foaming and soaping characteristics of black soap. Combining black soap’s lathering effect and astringent properties, black soap proves to be useful in purifying the skin’s surface. 2 Common black soap based skin care products include masks and facial cleansers, which can help to rid the skin of impurities that may lead to clogged pores and problematic skin.

  1. Taiwo, O. E. and Osinowo, F. Evaluation of various agro-wastes for traditional black soap production. Bioresource technology 79.1, 95-97 (2001)
  2. Okechukwu, R. I. et al. Inhibition of pathogenic microorganisms by ethnobotanical extracts of fruit peels of musa paradisiaca (2012)