Back when I was a wee lass I used native black soap because I had to. Even then I used to tinker with it because I wanted a soap bar that I could use directly on my skin. Fast forward a few decades and I’ve finally done it…well, sorta.
Where I’m from, black soap is made with Palm (/Kernel) Oil and Shea Butter, in addition to burnt plantain skin and cocoa pods. The resulting brown and black crumbly soap is always surprisingly gentle on the skin.
Personally I’ve never been interested in making black soap from scratch so that’s not what this is about (sorry!)
My inner TinkerNini led me in 2 directions: cold/hot process and a clay blend.
For cold and hot process, I used a recipe with PKO, Palm Oil, Shea and Cocoa butter (90%) and softened black soap and camwood at 10% of the recipe. My PKO had been infusing orange peel for a couple of weeks and I also added orange peel powder into the soap batter. My great grandma would have protested but I added kaolin clay and honey also.
Here it is, a gently exfoliating black soap I can hold 😀 This soap is not fragranced and leaves a warm bathroom smelling smoky (in a good way 😀 ) As much as soap can, it leaves touchably smooth skin behind. Which got me thinking of a baby (or super sensitive skin) soap like Castile with 10% ABS instead of just a swirl like I made a while ago…
The second route needed a little more elbow grease and I will blog about that another day.