Today I’ll tell you about a new favorite product of mine: Nubian Heritage’s African Black Soap. Yes, you read that right, I will review a bar of soap. But this is kick-ass soap. So read on and learn why.
Starting out in Harlem, USA, in 1991, Nubian Heritage brought the healing properties of African black soap to the wider community. The company prides itself on using authentic cultural recipes and natural, fair trade ingredients.
For example, shea butter is a central key ingredient in their products. This substance can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was popular for hair and skin protection. The company gets its shea butter from women’s co-ops in Northern Ghana, effectively cutting out the big corporations and thus ensure fair wages for these enterprising women. An initiative which I can only applaud.
Throughout the years, Nubian Heritage expanded and designed a wide range of wellness, skin and hair care products and collections. But their African Black Soap remained a central component and best seller, and turned the company into an entrepreneurial success.
African Black Soap
African Black Soap originates from West Africa where it is known to reduce skin imperfections, irritations, and minor blemishes. Using natural ingredients, the African Black Soap provides good cleansing while still being gentle for the skin. The soap has been used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and other skin ailments in Africa for centuries.
I learned about African Black Soap when I found out it was the preferred soap of Bold & Determined‘s Victor Pride and Chris from Good Looking Loser. Victor even buys it in bulk. Both spoke so highly of this product, so I decided to give the soap a chance. It arrived on my doorstep a week after I placed the order on Amazon.
I opened the boxes and retrieved several bars of black soap, all containing small particles. I’ve always used the typical white soap bar, so this was quite a peculiar change for me.
These are the organic ingredients of the soap:
African black soap base, coconut oil and/or palm oil, shea butter, oat kernel meal, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, plantain extract, vitamin E, vegetable glycerin, mineral pigment or vegetable color, natural fragrance and/or essential oil.— Nubian Heritage.
I immediately jumped in the shower to give it a try. The soap lathers easy and is a joy to use in the shower for both your face and body. Be warned: the soapy residue turns your tub and washcloth black. This is a result of the palm ash ingredient. It is normal, but unusual for a first time user. Just rinse properly afterwards – which you should’ve been doing anyway.
However, true appreciation for this soap will come after a few weeks of continued use, when your skin will look and feel better.
It is pretty difficult to describe how this soap smells.
Chris from Good Looking Loser describes the scent of this African Black Soap as follows:
It’s hard to communicate how it smells, but I’d say that it is close to the just-got-off-the-beach smell. Not sweaty. Not completely like suntan lotion-just “beachy.”— Good Looking Loser
That is actually a fairly accurate description of the soap’s scent. I couldn’t have said it better. I like that it’s not an overpowering smell, contrary to those chemically enhanced soaps which make me smell like a typical perfume store. The scent is present but faint. And above all, it just smells clean. Just the way I like it. And so does my girlfriend.
Pros: Nice scent; all natural ingredients.
Cons: Steep price; not for sale locally in Belgium.
When something comes highly recommend by both Victor Pride and Chris, I just knew I had to try it for myself. And I haven’t regretted that decision for a single second. I like that this African Black Soap is made up of natural products instead of a bunch of potentially harming chemicals.
After a couple of weeks of use, any minor skin blemishes disappeared or became less noticeable. I also love that the soap’s scent is not overly strong, but still makes me feel and smell clean. You can use this soap on both your body and face without any issues. Shea butter also acts as a moisturizer and leaves my skin feeling supple and less dry.
The small oats flakes in the soap bar supposedly help to exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells. However, the African Black Soap did not give a true scrubbing effect like a dedicated body scrub would. Luckily, I use a loofah while washing, getting my body the proper exfoliating it needs. Although, using a loofah has its risks, according to some sources.
Using this soap has made my shower routine much more enjoyable. Nubian Heritage African Black Soap is now my favorite soap, and I would definitely encourage everyone to give it a try. And I’d like to thank Victor and Chris in the process for the excellent recommendation!
Sadly, I have not found this soap in local stores here in Belgium. So like Victor Pride, I have to order it online. And that’s where the negative point comes in. It’s pretty expensive, costing at around 4.00€ (approximately $4.99) for one bar of soap. I would still pay that, as it is that good. But there’s also the very steep shipping costs to take into consideration, and that often triples the total cost. I can get decent soap for a just couple of cents here in local stores, so as a minimalist, purchasing African Black Soap online makes no economic sense to me. It’s no problem for certain particular items, but it’s too idiotic for a simple bar of soap.
So Nubian Heritage, get your bloody soap into local Belgian stores, please. Thanks!
Take care and until next time.