WHAT IS BLACK SOAP?
Alata Samina in the Twi or Akan kasa language from Ghana is Black Soap.
Raw/Unrefined black soap isn't black.
It seemed fitting to start with that and toss the myth out upfront.
If you bought yourself a smooth hard bar of black soap that is black -apologies.
You got duped.
Unadulterated black soap is brown.
When fresh, malleable and soft.
I tell you this because Black Soap seems to be a hot topic right now, but all are not created equal!
Largely a product of West Africa, my supply hails from Ghana.
This soap is produced in a traditional fashion, using the ash from locally harvested and roasted shea tree bark, plantain skin, and cocoa pods - the source of the lovely brown hue. It may be customised with herbs as well that may be visible in the final product.
This ash - which serves as the lye or sodium hydroxide component - is combined with oils and butters by way of the hot process method.
In soapmaking, 'HOT PROCESS' is a method which requires a 'cook'. The soap is essentially cooked until the lye (base ash component) has completely reacted with the oils.
This reaction is called saponification - the making of soap!
The soap usually cooks in large drums over a wood fire and after the cook, the soap is ready to use.
Alternatively, the COLD PROCESS method requires days for saponification and 4-6 weeks to cure (become harder and milder).
This is the method we use to create our Artisanal Bars.
Why do I like unrefined black soap?
It is a wonderfully thorough natural cleanser that carries with it the benefits of the plants it was made with 🌱
This special soap will always be a staple in personal storage!
Have you ever used black soap?