Alright. So I’ve been struggling to figure out how to depict my miracle product here for a few reasons…
1) I never thought it would work well enough to be worth before/after photos and doh!, I didn’t take any.
2) Even if I had taken makeup-less photos, this blog is no Proactiv commercial, and you probably wouldn’t be seeing them.
3) Like some of the better beauty products in life, the actual product looks like shit – no literally, poop of some variation – and who wants that on their fashion blog?
4) I wanted to make sure it worked. And as evinced by the state of my skin when I stopped using it for a couple weeks: it works!
Minor setbacks and a lack of photos aside (this random photo and google will have to suffice), you should trust me enough to believe I wouldn’t tell you to buy a product that looks like crap, let alone recommend you put it on your face, if I hadn’t done so with incredible results first. This one is Jazzi-tested right here.
Now what is it? My miracle wash is Raw African Black Soap from Ghana via the internet. This isn’t that “black soap” you’ve tried from Target or the health food store – there are a lot of faux Black Soaps out there. Despite the name, this soap isn’t really black at all. More like African Brown Soap. The good stuff will always contain plantain ash, cocoa pod ash, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, palm oil and often shea butter. Apparently this soap is totally commonplace in many parts of Africa, so apologies if I’ve kept you waiting to read about a product you’ve used since birth. If so, I’m totally not your friend anymore since you never shared it with me!
It usually comes wadded up with no pretense in a ziplock baggy for a very fair price. Just lather in your hands and wash (or use as a mask). It’s a little gross looking and your reaction will be “WTF did I just pay for” at first glance. But it’s all-natural, even vegan I believe (hence the uh, natural color) and has a nice earthy smell. Nothing offensive nor lingering.
I have combination to very oily skin with a teenage history of acne that left me with dark scars, spots and hyper-pigmentation (should’ve listened to mom’s advice not to pick, but I didn’t). My skin is overall tolerable, but never even and my pores could use some help.
Well, about two months since starting to use this soap, my skin is pretty bangin’. Not “Oh, I never wear makeup” bangin’, but (if I didn’t love painting my face so much) I bet I could finally be one of those “Oh, I only use a little tinted moisturizer” people! My skin it matte, my spots have noticeably faded, as have my pores and my skin has never been smoother. I think the shea butter adds some extra magic, too.
I forced numerous friends & family to try it (male, female, Asian, Russian, White, Black to name a few) and they’ve all had good results. A few found it drying but said a little moisturizer afterward fixed that up.
Another plus (then I’ll stop ranting) is that you can use this soap all over with similar results. It lathers beautifully, easily (and gently) removes my eye makeup and makes a fantastic shampoo and body wash. This is all I have in my shower at the moment and I couldn’t be more satisfied. ETA: Forgot to note the incredible improvement the soap made with the eczema on my inner arms – no joke, it’s gone.
A little goes a very long way and you can buy a pound for under $15 on Amazon (would easily last you months). Keep it fresh by storing in Tupperware between uses. I’ve also tried African Black Soap variations I found on Etsy and eBay and they’ve all been equally good. Just look for the vomit/dried poop looking stuff and you’ll know it’s worth a try! If you want Black Soap in prettier packaging, those exist too.
Next up, I’ll have an updated list of all the other products I swear by (you know, the kind you can get at Sephora and the drugstore).