Recipes

Plantain Leaf

AFRICAN BLACK SOAP, SHEA AND COCOA BUTTER

HOW IS AFRICAN BLACK SOAP MADE?  WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS USED IN THE MAKING OF THIS UNUSUAL EARTH BODY SOAP? WHAT MAKES AFRICAN BLACK SOAP DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SOAPS ON THE MARKET?
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS USED IN THE MAKING OF AFRICAN BLACK SOAP?
Cacaco
Black soap is made from the ash of harvested plants and barks of plantains, Cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and Shea tree bark. The leaves and bark are selected and sun-dried and then roasted in a pot at a constant temperature. Water and oils such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, Shea oil and butter are added and stirred for around twenty four hours. The “soap” is then left to set for a couple of weeks to cure. Women in West Africa make Black Soap for fair trade cooperatives and support their livelihood with the profits earned. Black soap originated from Nigeria West Africa and is now made extensively in Ghana. There are specific and unique blends of oils and cooking techniques adopted within the different parts and tribal communities in West Africa and this can be seen in the different color variations among the different black soap that exists.

WHAT MAKES AFRICAN BLACK SOAP DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SOAPS ON THE MARKET?

African Black Soap
Black soap made in Africa is considered to be pure and wholesome whilst soaps made in Europe or the US has added artificial ingredients. European recipes of the African Black Soap have synthetic substances and detergents added to the ingredient.  Genuine African Black Soap is made in West Africa using the old, traditional recipe and a cold processed method that originated from Yorubaland Nigeria where the making of Black Soap originated.

African Black Soap is beneficial soap due to the high content of important vitamins found in its ingredients.  For instance the plantain skins give the soap Vitamin A & E and iron. The addition of Shea butter to some black soap recipes offer UV protection to the skin. Black Soap is known to be excellent for sensitive skin.  It is traditionally used for new born babies in Africa because of its natural cleansing properties. African Black Soap also works exceptionally well on problematic skin.  It has been found to be effective on acne prone skin, eczema and psoriasis. It removes make up and helps remove bumps that appear after shaving.  In Africa the ash of plantain is used to heal cuts and wounds and also to reduce and prevent rash.

HOW IS COCOA BUTTER MADE AND WHAT ARE THE PREPARATION METHODS USED IN THE MAKING OF COCOA BUTTER?

Cacaco
Cocoa butter comes from Cocoa beans that are produced from the Theobroma cacao tree in West Africa.  The Cocoa beans grow in pods that are found on the Cacao tree.  The extraction process consists of opening the pods and removing the beans, and finally grinding and placing the beans in a heated room that enables the oil fat to melt out of the beans.  Another method used is to boil the crushed beans until the oil emerges to the surface.  It is then separated and dried in the open. The technique used for removing the oil is traditional and involves a manual method of extraction. Our Cocoa butter cream contains one hundred percent A grade virgin Cocoa butter and has not been mixed with petroleum and chemical preservatives.  Amori skincare Virgin Cocoa butter is extracted in the most natural and purest way without the use of harsh chemicals and overheating processes that reduce the natural healing potential of the butter.  It has not gone through any refining process and is a raw product of the highest quality.  Cocoa butter is a natural fatty acid that clears the skin and keeps it moist and smooth to a considerable degree.  It offers the skin a lovely glow, a soft texture and a fresh look that is translated into nothing less than exceptional beautiful skin.

HOW IS SHEA BUTTER MADE AND WHAT METHOD IS USED IN OBTAINING A GRADE SHEA?

Shea butter is famously derived from the Shea Tree in West, East and Central Africa.  This luxuriant vegetable butter is extracted from the fruit that grows from the Vitellaria tree. It is known to be revered as a sacred tree due to its powerful healing properties and the miraculous medicinal results attributed to it.  It is a traditional healing balm for rheumatism, muscle aches, burns and wounds.  It is excellent for clearing up wounds and it is a good softening and nourishing emollient.  It is especially effective on skin exposed to the sun and wind in harsh environmental climates.

HOW IS SHEA BUTTER MADE AND WHAT IS THE METHOD USED?

Shea Butter
The butter is removed from the dried kernel of the Shea tree.  There are two processing methods used to extract Shea butter from the Shea fruit.  Crushing and extraction by solvent are the two methods of extraction used.  The natural and traditional way of extracting Shea butter is through crushing however chemical solvents such as hexane are now being used to extract Shea butter. We at Amori Skincare are sticking to the original method of extraction used to obtain Shea oil for centuries in Africa.  The benefit of the solvent process is that the extraction process maximizes the fatty acids of the butter and it is cheap to extract the butter in this way.  This is the method used by the chocolate industry that seeks to replace Cocoa butter with a substitute.  In this case the active benefit of Shea butter is not what is sought out.  However in the beauty industry Shea butter is sought out for its healing and beauty benefits.  The alternate method is preferred as the mechanical crushing of the Shea nut allows for the production of an all natural and pure butter that has no chemicals and that is full of healing and nourishing properties.  The quantity produced is less than that from solvent extraction resulting in a higher pricing of the butter. Amori Skincare Shea butter is produced using the non-solvent method of extraction and thus retaining all the natural properties of Shea and butters.

Amori Skincare provides authentic, organic Shea body butter, Cocoa body butter, Kpangnan (Panya) body butter, African Black soap Paste and African Black Soap cleansing bar, as well as Unrefined grade A (organic) butters from cooperatives in West Africa.