the virtues from the hammam

Leila Gheiro

Black soap is an exceptional ally to take care of your skin. We tell you all about this product with ancient origins, made up of natural ingredients.

If you have ever had the chance to visit Morocco, you have most likely made a stop in one of its hammams. Known for their care of exceptional quality and the gentleness of their staff, these establishments are also famous for their flagship product: black soap (also called “beldi”), often associated with the virtues of argan oil and eucalyptus.

Endowed with numerous benefits (and particularly suitable for sensitive skin), this product, which has been used for several centuries, can be used on the face as well as on the body. We know less about it but it can also have a daily soap function as well as more punctually as a scrub. We tell you all about this incredible product whose thousand-year-old composition might surprise you as it is simple, natural and effective.

What is the composition of black soap?

Black soap is a very old product, whose origins are lost in the history of the first nomadic peoples of the Middle East and the Maghreb. To create it, desert dwellers pick branches of a variety of glasswort, a plant that likes arid, semi-desert, and salty environments. They burn them and then add ashes and a mixture of olive oil, olive flesh and salt. It is then the know-how of the women of the tribe that does the rest. Once ready, the black soap is used by all members of the group to wash and purify their faces and bodies from whatever the sand and dunes can throw at them.

Be careful not to confuse it with Aleppo soap, originating from Syria and composed of bay laurel oil and olive oil. A good black soap is first and foremost a soap whose color is very dark, somewhere on the spectrum from dark green to black. In addition, this natural product has the particularity of having a sweet smell. If you find one that smells very strong, the original formula has not been adhered to and chemicals have been added to it to create an artificial scent.

Of course, whether industrial or organic, modern black soap recipes have evolved a little but they remain generally close to the original black soap. This natural dimension explains the first of the many qualities of black knowledge: it does not damage your skin with harsh chemical compounds. It is not for nothing that it is found at the base of so many homemade products for the care of the face and the body. It is a must have for your bathroom.

What is the use for black soap?

Dark knowledge can be used in 1000 ways. The first and most famous is exfoliation. Ideal thanks to its exfoliating action, it removes imperfections, blackheads and dead skin from the body. To optimize the effectiveness of the scrub, at home, you can massage vigorously with a special glove, the “kessa”. With it, the skin will be soft, clean and radiant with health. Finally, at the end of the session, we continue to take care of our skin with argan oil to moisturize and protect it. And to sublimate it application after application.

Another possibility: use the black soap as a shower gel or as a shampoo. All you have to do is dilute two tablespoons in very hot water and mix to obtain a liquid form. The low pH of this fatty substance hydrates the epidermis as well as the scalp. Shampoo after shampoo, oily hair will be less greasy and dry hair will be better nourished. This treatment is an ideal product for the whole family, young and old, and whatever the particularities of each of its members.

Finally, you can use black soap in the form of a balm to fight against dryness and bring firmness to your skin. Apply a more or less thick layer of black soap with a few drops of argan oil, and let stand as for a traditional moisturizing mask. Rinse with clean water.

Why black soap is good for the skin

The vitamin E contained in large quantities in black soap is excellent for having soft and healthy-looking skin. This is indeed a natural exfoliant that cleanses the epidermis of all its toxins, dead skin and imperfections, leaving it as new. This is why black soap exfoliation addicts experience this ritual as a “rebirth” of the epidermis and the body. In addition, this ash-based soap is a very powerful moisturizer, capable of deeply nourishing the skin with each application. Finally, black soap has a formidable anti-wrinkle action. All you have to do is apply it in a small layer for five minutes before rinsing with clear water. In short, it is a complete cosmetic treatment with numerous virtues.

How to wash with black soap?

Washing the body and/or the face with black knowledge is not very complicated. In case you use it as a simple soap, just mix it with hot water and then rub your whole body with it as you would with your shower gel or your traditional soap.

If you want to use Moroccan soap as an exfoliator, things are a little different. The best is to use a kessa. If you don’t have one, a loofah or a simple washcloth will do. In any case, on the face, be careful not to rub too intense and rough material. Eye contour, nose wings and lips are fragile areas. And it would be a shame to spoil the benefits of black soap by irritating your skin.

The ideal? Treat yourself to a real beauty ritual worthy of a traditional Moroccan hammam, at home. Diffuse soothing eucalyptus essential oils, exfoliate with black soap, and finish with a self-massage with argan oil for soft skin. Change of scenery guaranteed.

How to use black soap against pimples?

The antibacterial power of black soap is a significant weapon in preventing the appearance of pimples, whether on the face or on the body: it is an excellent natural home remedy. If you are targeting the face, use this product with a soft, warm washcloth. If it is your body that is prone to pimples or blackheads, you can help yourself with an exfoliating sponge or a rougher glove such as a kessa. Particularly practical in the shower, this beauty method should not be used daily, otherwise you end up damaging your skin. So be content with one or two weekly uses.

Where to find black soap?

In the absence of being able to make a short round trip to Morocco to stock up on black soap, know that there are many specialized stores, organic or not, which will allow you to replenish your stock. This product is also available for delivery via major platforms such as Amazon as well as via small producers. Finally, you can of course find treatments based on black soap in hammams and in many beauty salons, in its pure form, in liquid form, or combined with other beauty products. Be careful, if you receive a large quantity of black soap after an order, take care to keep your stock in a cool place, so that it does not dry out.

Leila Gheiro

Multi-section editor.

Very focused on pyscho and sexo subjects, Leila Gheiro is a jack-of-all-trades journalist who loves to vary the themes and dig into subjects to approach it in all its …

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