Recently Namibian business woman, Tuapewa Kadhikwa started with her ‘Mama Africa’ range. The range includes black soap, shea butter, lemon soap, palm oil as well as a lip balm.
Tuapewa says that lemon soap is ‘magic’ as it acts as an antispetic and cleanses while nourishing at the same time. For her, black soap is most effective when used in the evening for deep noursihment while lemon soap works best in the morning.
Increasingly we want to know precisely what is in the bottles and tubes of stuff we put on our skin and in our hair that are in our cabinets.
The list of chemicals used in mainstream cosmetic products is shocking, while the negative effects on health from long-term are very well documented. Yet somehow these products are still easy available and even legal.
Natural products though are breaking into the mainstream markets and are available in many places. The focus of natural cosmetics and hair products is on using ingredients with documented positive results therefore leading to cleaner, healthier and stronger hair and skin and that have no recorded negative medical impact for long term use.
Big brands are reacting to the increasing demand and a variety of skincare products are on offer and has soared in recent years, as have the companies jumping on the bandwagon. Of course this means that we now find in shops an array of products touting themselves as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ when they may in fact contain only 1 product that can be classified as such.
Generally you can distinguish through all the ‘green-ness’ by looking at the certification logos that prove whether a brand has proven its credentials.
Generally certified natural products are also free of genetically modified ingredients, ingredients are traceable and are not tested on animals.
Let’s look at a few of the more popular skin care products that are available readily.
Black soap or African Black Soap has for generations been used to heal problematic skin. It is used to thin out lines, even out dark spot, blemishes and even eczema. It is also a gentle exfoliator and gives a healthier looking skin. It is advised that the bar of soap not be used directly on the skin (especially face) but rather rubbed into the palms of your hands or onto a loofa and then applied.
According to Organic Spa Magazine, the soap may fade skin discoloration and dark spots. The soap is gentle on the skin so is ideal for people with dry or other skin conditions. Black soap contains plantain extracts which is a natural antibacterial.
Shea Butter has a high concentration of fatty acids and vitamins which makes it an ideal ingredient for skin softening. It also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties so when used on your body and especially your face it conditions, tones and soothes your skin. Shea butter is a fat extract from the Shea tree and is usually yellow in colour when raw. Shea butter is edible and is even used in food preparation is come countries.
Lemon Soap is an absolutely refreshing way to start the day and is surprisingly easy to make with lemon rind zest and glycerine. Lemon can be used as a skin astringent since it helps motivate your pores to close and skin to tighten giving you a smoother skin. They are a natural stimulant to the liver and adding the juice of a lemon to a glass of water in the morning is an excellent detoxifier.
You cannot go wrong with lemon soap and a glass of lemon water every morning. It also makes an amazing, easy and unique DIY gift idea for mother’s day. The zest in it gives a lovely yellow tint in the bars and is visually stimulating.