I've tried a couple different black soaps from brands like Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, and Dudu Osun. All of them were bar soaps. I was kind of surprised to see the liquid version pop up in my local TJ Maxx so when I saw it, I grabbed it. I paid $5.50 for it. I've also seen it in my local health food grocery store for around the same price. They don't have this particular scent though.
In West Africa, authentic black soap is known by its Yoruba name, Ossé Dudu. “Dudu” means the color black, which comes from extensive “cooking” of the soap to the point of charcoal. Many cultures in West Africa use charcoal to detoxify & purify the skin. This is an integral aspect of our true African black soap.
Alafﬁa’s Authentic Black Soap is made from a centuries-old recipe of handcrafted shea butter and West African palm kernel oil. Saponiﬁcation is provided by adding ashes to the hot oils, then cooking the soap for six hours. The last step is drying and curing the soap in the sun for three weeks, resulting in a gentle hand & body wash.
I really like the Alaffia Company. Per claims on the bottle they pay fair wages to the members of their Shea Butter Cooperative in Togo and funds from sales help with their empowerment projects. Alaffia has helped reduce maternal death rate in Togo by providing comprehensive pre- and postnatal care to 1000 women each year. They have distributed 6,300 biked for the education project, planted 42,625 trees for the reforestation project, supplied 11,700 students with school supplies, and donated 5,700 eyeglasses. That is quite amazing and I love purchasing from companies like that.
Like I said previously, I've tried quite a few different black soaps and I really like them. They can be quite a bit messy though so I wanted to try out the liquid version because I figured it would be neater to use. And it is. Especially on the face. You just pump some out, wash your face, and you are left with nice fresh, clean skin. My skin is a tiny bit dry but it's nothing a little Shea Butter can't take care of. It's nice to not have to worry about making a mess with the bar soap which seems to get everywhere. It's excellent for removing makeup too but I mostly keep this in the shower so it gets used as a morning face wash.
I've also been using it as a body soap. It seems kind of watered down. I feel like I have to use a lot to get my body clean. It doesn't lather much, unless you use a lot. The bar soaps definitely have the edge when it comes to lather. But on the positive side, it's not as drying as the bar soap. I can skip lotion for a couple days without feeling like my skin is dry.
I still can't pick out Ylang Ylang scent, but I can definitely tell the Lavender. It smells exactly like Lavender Essential oil, so if you love Lavender this is for you! The scent is really nice in the shower but it doesn't linger, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences.
It's multi-purpose, so you can use it as shampoo and for shaving. I haven't tried it as shampoo but I do plan on purchasing a bottle later on, specifically to wash my hair.
The packaging is nice. It's a sturdy plastic bottle with a pump. Be sure to recycle it when you are done!
The Ingredients are pretty good. There's only one ingredient I didn't recognize and I did a little googling and it's supposed to be pretty safe.
Azadirachta indica (Neem) Aqueous Extract, Saponified Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter* and Elaeis guineensis (Palm Kernel) Oil*, Lauryl Glucoside, Lavandula hybrida (Lavender) Oil, Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil.
It is made in the USA, contains no parabens, gluten free, vegan, not tested on animals, no synthetic fragrance, biodegradable, and fair trade.
Overall, it's a nice soap. I think it works better as a facial cleanser since it takes less to get the job done. I would still purchase these again but in different scents scene it comes in Eucalyptus Tea Tree, Unscented, Peppermint, Tangerine Citrus, and Vanilla Almond.