Hey everyone :)
Yes, I know… It's been a while since my last post - just when I said I'm going to get back into blogging eh? I've been in Leeds for the Easter weekend and bank holidays so cut me some slack!
Around the end of February this year, I've been searching for Organic skincare products for both my skin and my hair as mainstream beauty products contain harsh and nasty ingredients including fragrances and SLS. I decided to completely switch my skincare to completely organic products and since then, I've been trying out a ton of products! As you may already know (from a few of my YouTube videos) I have been using the African Black Soap - which I absolutely love! I've also been trying other organic soaps and also a lot of Neals Yard Remedies products as they are completely organic and natural too :) However, NYR products are quite pricey so I'm still on the search for budget friendly Organic products that work wonders for my skin!
After searching around on Google, I came across the African Black Soap by www.akomaskincare.co.uk. I've been reading a few reviews about other African Black Soaps and people warning others about purchasing the real deal! However, Akoma produce Vegan and Fairtrade products that are 100% real and natural and genuine :) Plus, they are based in the UK so shipping is based on standard delivery prices!
The soap comes in a cute package like this, and is wrapped in a light brown paper - like parchment. Immediately the first thing you notice is the colour and the scent. Despite it's name, this African Black Soap is not black at all, in fact, it's 50% Shea Butter so this is more of a light brown shade.
The addition of Shea Butter makes the soap less harsh on the skin and a tad moisturising. The scent of it is very earthy, which is probably expected as this soap doesn't contain any fragrances.
From the website:
"Receiving both Fairtrade certification (from the Fairtrade Foundation) and organic status (from the Soil Association) in 2009, our Akoma African Black Soap from
is prized for it's natural healing properties. This Fairtrade Organic Black Soap is full of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and has a mild, fresh, natural scent. Plus, it's wonderful creamy lather of fine bubbles leaves your skin clean and refreshed. Ghana
Traditionally made, this soap contains raw shea butter, organic virgin coconut oil and cocoa pods a perfect combination for treating all kinds of skin conditions. Its colour comes from the processing of its natural ingredients and like all Akoma products, it is free from dyes, charcoal, artificial perfumes, animal products and derivatives (which makes it a favorite for vegans)."
As you can see, I've used up this bar of soap pretty quickly, and it is quite a large soap too! The reason being I've been experimenting with how to actually use the soap. Despite the soap being cut with 50% Shea Butter, I find that it's quite drying and to use the soap directly on the skin will make my skin very very dry! So, I've been cutting up pieces and diluting it in water and using it in a liquid form. This method works so much better for me as my skin doesn't become dry or irritated.
When I first used this soap, I've got to admit this made my skin awfully dry and it made my existing acne come out. I've heard of the 'purging' time that the skin goes through when it's introduced to new products, but I hadn't experienced it before. But after around 2 weeks of using this, my skin wasn't as dry and stopped purging.
I've also been using this soap on my hair as a shampoo - as Organic products can be used anywhere - and this does a great job of cleaning my hair. Plus, paying £4.04 for at least a months worth of shampoo AND face wash AND body wash is pretty damn good!
I really like this soap and I've stocked up on it by purchasing two more soaps! They've given me a discount for the next time I decide to purchase any other products from them which is very kind of them :)
As you can see, this soap still foams up very well - even without the whole SLS ingredient :) This was from the liquified soap and a few drops of water.
I first came across Ravenscourt Apothecary on Etsy - which may I just add, is perfect for finding Organic and Vegan products! I wanted to expand my collection of soap (because at the time I had the African Black Soap and a few body wash products from Organic Surge) and I also wanted them to be budget friendly. Majority of the sellers on Etsy are from America and the shipping calculates to around £5 or sometimes £7, which is a bit too much for a £4 bar of soap.
Luckily I came across Ravenscourt Apothecary and each soap is £4 :) And each soap is a very reasonably sized slab that can last you a good month or two!
I purchased the Activated Charcoal Soap and the Kaolin White Clay Soap as those are more suited for sensitive and blemish prone skin. They also sell a Dead Sea Soap - unlucky for me, the soap was completely sold out however I will have to purchase it within the coming week! :)
When it comes to using the soaps, I have mainly used the Kaolin White Clay soap in the shower - as you can see from the picture below that I have cut off a huge chunk of it. Comparing the texture of this soap to the African Black Soap, this is a much more solid texture whereas the ABS is more softer and you're able to press it into another shape.
But this soap is more like your average soap in terms of texture.
I love the brown packaging of this soap, it looks quite vintage! It tells you the ingredients of the soap on the back of each soap. Each bar of soap is individually wrapped in long piece of crepe paper.
What the website says:
"Kaolin White Clay soap comes in a pretty off-white color and is based on one of the nature’s most versatile mineral-rich clays. As many other cosmetic clays, kaolin is known for its detoxifying effect on the skin – it’s been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties.
This soap is suitable for most skin types, but I made it with us combination-skin-type people in mind! It will gently restore the oil balance in the skin, detoxify and mineralize all in one go. Also no need to worry about any possible irritation: absolutely no fragrance or colorants were used. Sometimes even natural organic essential oils can cause the skin to react – so I left them out to make it a truly healing product."
I've mainly used this soap in the shower as it forms a very creamy lather and it feels quite moisturising, and this works well as a body wash and a face wash. Generally, I rub the soap on my shower loofah and this creates a thick foamy lather and then I use that rather than using the bar directly on my skin.
What the website says:
"Activated Charcoal may be good at filtering out the nasties in your water pitcher, but it works the same way when used in skincare: it is a special ingredient in this lovely pitch black soap. With an increased porous surface compared to regular charcoal, it draws out the toxins and deeply cleanses your skin. Makes for a nice gentle cleanser for people with problem, acne-prone and sensitive skin.
No fragrance or colorants were used – the soap is unscented (because even natural organic essential oils can cause irritation); and the only thing that renders the bars black is the activated charcoal itself. Rinses absolutely clean and does not leave any residue behind."
I tend to use this soap on my problem areas, so on my face, my chest area - where I sometimes get a pimple or two - and on my back. I don't actually get breakouts on my back but I get a pimple or two. It's not anything serious and I wouldn't call it acne. After using both of these soaps and simply switching to Organic products, I've found that I haven't had any spots or anything on my chest or back!
Plus I've not experienced any sort of skin irritation or redness after using these products compared to the mainstream brands I used to use. Also, this soap is a little bit gritty, so it's almost like a scrub - but not too harsh. The foam is quite grey but like the description states, there is no residue left behind and you're not left with a grey face :)
Since switching to Organic skincare, my skin is less irritated and less prone to acne. I remember before when I was using standard commercialised skincare products and I'd break out due to my skin being really sensitive. But now my skin doesn't react to these products, and my existing acne and scarring is really clearing up :) The only time I do get a breakout is if I eat something that isn't very healthy haha, so at least I know my skincare isn't causing any problems for my skin!
I hope you guys liked this review and I have a lot more organic products to review for you guys. Hopefully my next post will be very soon! :)