What Is Saponified Black Soap?

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Saponified black soap is traditionally made in Ghana, Africa from ash made from plants and bark and saponified palm, palm kernel or coconut oil. Black soap is excellent for treating a variety of skin problems and also can be used on the hair.

Definition

  • Sapo is the Latin word for soap, and to saponify means to make soap. Saponification is the result of the chemical reaction between a vegetable oil or animal fat and an alkalizing agent such as potassium hydroxide (to make a liquid soap) or sodium hydroxide (to make a bar soap).

Plant Material

  • The ash that is used to make black soap comes from plants and plantain skins, leaves from a banana or palm tree, shea tree bark and cocoa pods. Traditionally, the plant materials are dried in the sun then roasted in a clay oven. The ash is filtered through water before used in soap making.

Fats

  • Coconut oil and shea butter are the traditional fats that are saponified for use in black soap.

Benefits

  • Plantain leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin E and iron to nourish the skin. Shea butter acts as a natural UV protector. It also exfoliates and smoothes the skin, lightens dark spots, prevents acne and gently removes makeup.

Considerations

  • Black soap can be used on sensitive, normal, dry or oily skin. It can help with dandruff when used as a shampoo and has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties while moisturizing and protecting the skin.

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