Health and Beauty

The benefits of Black Soap (Savon Noir)

I talk about the wonders of oil, in particular olive oil, in a previous post, in particular about their health and beauty benefits. Well Black Soap, produced in North Africa, is like a condensed version: it is made out of oil, often using the famous Moroccan Argan oil, and macerated olives, and it is thus packed with therapeutic qualities. Black soap is particularly rich in vitamin E and is known for deeply purificating the skin, as well as preparing the skin for exfoliation. In Morocco, women often use it in the hammam (public baths) before peeling their skin with a loofah. It should be applied on wet skin and left a couple of minutes to rehydrate and purify the body, before being rinsed off.

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Black Soap or Savon noir from Morocco

Don’t be fooled by its aspect: its texture is more like butter than regular soap, but it is all natural, works with all types of skin and has a light scent. The damage of chemical perfumes added to soaps, shower gels and shampoos on the skin and hair is well documented:  Black soap is a great, 100% natural and organic alternative, usually made the old fashioned way by small producers. If you want to try making your own black soap, try my basic black soap recipe.

Black soap can also be diluted with water and used as a cleaner and detergent. It has tons off properties: it can be used to clean floors and tiles, windows and leather furniture, it removes grease from ovens, baking trays or plates, and it is also used as a stain remover.

Furthermore, it can also be used in the garden to help get rid of parasite. Just spray diluted black soap on affected plants and leaves. It is a great product before it acts as a natural repellent without destroying the environment as would do traditional pesticides. In fact, black soap has so many different uses that I can’t list them all! Stay blessed!

Health and Beauty

How to make simple, cheap, organic sprays for the skin

Rosewater and Orange blossom water are very popular throughout the Middle East for cooking and pastries. Their cosmetic qualities are less known, but both have been used for centures as cleansers, moisturizers and astringents. I use a rosewater spray every morning to tighten and refresh my skin: I only mixed half a cup of rosewater (you can make your own by decanting rose petals if you have the time!) and half a cup of purified water, added a few drops of rose essential oil (a natural remedy for wrinkles) , and popped the result into a spray bottle. You will find many recipes on the net of different sort of masks to make with rosewater and other ingredients such as cucumber; but I find that it works well as a simple spray. It can also be used on the hair to make it softer.

Orange blossoms

Orange blossom water has a variety of benefits. I absolutely adore its smell: I add some to cakes, to tea and coffee, to fruit salads. I even have a sweet tajine recipe that uses it (I might share it if you ask!). As a cosmetic product, it can be used as a toner: apply it on the face and neck with wool to revive dull skins, or make a spray. I also add a few drops to ghassoul when I wash my hair or make a face mask. Voilà! Two simple ways of making your own natural sprays, just make sure you get good quality, organic bottles of rosewater and orange blossom water rather than the synthetic ones.