In honor of black history month, we felt it only right we pay homage to the motherland. Africa is filled with so many resources we use in our everyday beauty rituals like; argan oil and shea butter. These are two of the more popular ingredients we find in our body butters and deep conditioners, but there are so many more beneficial ingredients that African women have been using for years. Here’s a look at several African resources that remedy a lot of skin and hair issues naturally.
African Black soap – Traditionally made in West Africa. Black soap is great for skin conditions such as; rosacea, acne, eczema, and rashes. Black soap is a gentle cleanser and contains plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea tree bark.
Sesame seed oil – This oil is great for dry skin and is non-greasy.
Ghee (clarified butter) – This butter is used by Ethiopian communities to moisturize/ seal in moisture in their hair.
Argan oil – It is used to hydrate skin and hair, treat blemishes, and prevent signs of aging.
Kigelia – In most of sub-Saharan Africa, locals boil this tree’s fruit into a pulp to treat dark spots.
Mongogo shampoo – This is made with mongongo, khalari, and baobab oil, and when used as a shampoo it will protect color treated hair.
Alum stone – Composed of potassium alum mineral salt and has soothing, calming, and analgesic properties. Alum stone works as a natural deodorant by leaving a fine salty, slightly alkaline film on the skin, inhibiting the growth of bacteria. It also relieves insect bites. Simply wet the alum stone with water and apply to the desired area.
Neem Oil – Used in West Africa. The neem tree is a natural insect repellant for mosquitos, so using neem oil mixed into shea butter and applied directly on the skin can keep away mosquitos. Traditionally, neem oil is used directly on ringworm, skin fungus and other skin issues.
Sugar cane – The alpha hydroxy acids found in sugar cane fights acne, reduces blemishes, prevents aging and helps in keeping the skin hydrated.
Coffee grinds and honey– When applied to the face is an east African homemade facial exfoliator.
There are so many natural beauty remedies that we are grateful for, give these motherland beauty remedies a try during your next beauty ritual.
By: Shannon Lockhart