Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alaffia Liquid African Black Soap- Review

Alaffia suggests that their Liquid African Black Soap is, "perhaps the simplest liquid soap available," and that it is made from purified water and their genuine African Black Soap. "In Togo, black soap is the only soap used by mothers to wash their newborn babies, as its purity makes it gentle and non-drying for their sensitive skin." Their black soap is handmade, and they use age-old traditional techniques and pure virgin oils. The ingredients in their African black soap are virgin palm kernel oil, pure Certified Fair Trade unrefined Shea Butter, and potash produced from the ashes of plantain leaves and bark from a local Agow tree. The high percentage of Shea Butter is one of the unique features of their soap, and it is unscented making it suitable for people with sensitive skin. *Please note that Alaffia has disclosed that there has been a report of this product staining white wash cloths.
I am a huge proponent of supporting companies with an altruistic social vision, particularly companies that are compelled to give back. I also love it when products are Certified Fair Trade, Paraben Free, Cruelty Free, and Fragrance Free. I am pleased to say that Alaffia has all of these attributes and so much more. In fact, I have used Alaffia products for years: from their soaps, Shea Butters, shampoos, conditioners, and now this lovely multi-purpose Liquid African Black Soap. I have yet to find a product that I haven't loved from their line. Their products are earthy, comforting, and effective.

The Liquid African Black Soap is a thick and very concentrated soap that is dark brown in color, and it lacks any sort of discernible or distinctive smell. It has a nice thick lather that is rich and creamy because of the unrefined Palm Kernel Oil and Shea Butter, but the black soap is also very deep cleaning. I tend to prefer using this soap on my body because I find that it leaves my face a little too squeaky clean for my liking, but it is not in the least bit drying on my combination skin. Those who have oily and very oily skin may find this soap to be perfect for their facial skin. My husband, who has thicker combination skin, uses it on his face and thinks that it is a really effective daily cleanser because it leaves his skin feeling good, clean, and not in the least bit dried out.  If you go to Alaffia's website you will see that this soap is in the Body Care category, rather than in the Face Care category- so I think that it is safe to say that they have facial cleansers that are better suited to the particular needs of the face. However, I have several friends who use this as a daily facial cleanser, and they both swear by it, and now my husband has joined their ranks.
Key Ingredients: Shea Butter, Virgin Palm Kernel Oil. No essential oils added for scent.

Full Ingredients: Distilled water; African Black Soap (Saponified Unrefined Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) Butter and Unrefined Palm Kernel (Elaeis guineensis) Oil).

Overall assessment: I love this soap for my body, but less so for my face. I have never tried an Alaffia product that I didn't like, and I will definitely continue to buy more of their products.

8 oz. $8.95 I purchased mine at Whole Foods Market.


  1. Vегy good ρoѕt! We will be lіnking to this pаrtіculаrlу great artісlе οn our sіte.

  2. Very interesting! Never heard of any of this before and it is fascinating.

    1. Alaffia has some very lovely products, and it's convenient that you can purchase them at Whole Foods Market here-- it's always nice to be able to pick up a few high quality skincare and haircare products at the grocery store. It's a line well worth looking into, but I would think that you would want to see the products in person and check them out before buying to see if they resonate with you.

  3. Interesting! I have always been curious about African black soap but it has often been used to help acne which I don't have a problem with so I ignored this. Now, that you did a review, I do want something to get clean feeling that some body washes don't especially after a hot and sweaty day. I will have to check it out next time since Whole Foods is practically my second home! LOL

    1. I right there with you-- Whole Foods definitely feels like a home away from home to me as well! I really like this as a body wash-- especially with a loofa or sponge. It's a bit too squeaky clean for my face-- even though I have combination skin, but it's great on my body. I also shaved with it the other day, and it did a great job! :-)


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