Thought I'd share some pictures of the last time I processed some African Black Soap, (ABS). I get the soap from a guy in upstate New York that gets it from Ghana. It looks like this when I get it -
then put in a bowl with a little water and microwave it to soften it. It looks a lot like chocolate chip cookie dough when I cut it. This particular batch was much harder than usual, but usually it is about the consistency of, well, chocolate chip cookie dough!
I do this in batches and stuff it into a PVC pipe -
it is pretty time consuming and difficult to work with, but what I end up with is a foot long log of soap. I cut it into 1 inch round slices and let it dry for a long time. The worst part is getting it out of the pipe.
The reason that I go to this effort is so that the soap will be in bars that are hard and so will last longer.
I've been using the ABS on my face for a very long time, and it has been the best thing I've found to keep occasional breakouts under control. My skin finds my glycerin soap a little too moisturizing.
Twice a day I use the soap in this manner - I wet my face and my hands, and simply swipe my hand across the soap - this gives me enough soap to wash my face with. There is really no need to do more. I do this for a couple of reasons: one, the soap tends to stick to the soap dish so it is easier to leave it there. Two, it helps keep the soap drier - this soap just loves water like a sponge. If you were to take in the shower, I would recommend cutting it and only taking a small piece in. One bar of soap lasts me for probably 6 months at least.
The soap is made from the leaves and shells of the Shea Butter Tree, along with Palm Oil, Palm kernel oil, Water, and Oatmeal. It is a very benign, natural soap with no fragrance. The leaves and shells are first burned, then water is added to the ashes and filtered. The oil is then added to the mixture to create the soap. The women in Ghana that make the soap stir the soap by hand and then it cures for two weeks.You can use this soap on your body, face, and hair. There are many claims on the benefits of using African Black Soap, that it helps relieve rashes, scalp irritations, softens rough skin, oily skin, and other skin problems. We do not make these claims, however, as that would make our soap a drug and subject to many other regulations.