I’ve had a bit of an obsession with soap lately… I think my 2 year old was a big influence on me on this subject. She loves soap and insists on holding a bar of soap for the duration of bathtime. Being the eco-conscious mom that I am, I didn’t want to just give her any bar of soap. Commercial soaps are loaded with Sodium Laureth Sulfate and other chemicals I wasn’t too crazy about my kid marinating in.
I started looking into homemade and organic soaps and was not real excited about the prices I was seeing. $6 or more for 1 bar of soap!
Coincidentally , a rep for Nubian Heritage just happened to email me to find out if I would like to review some products from their line. I couldn’t turn down the chance to try out some organic products, not to mention the soap!
The line was created using family recipes handed down from decade to decade and utilizes the wisdom of pharmacologists who’ve been healing skin conditions for over a century with natural remedies. The partners of the company were all living in Liberia and were displaced by civil war, and fled to the United States with nothing but the shirts on their backs. The two founding partners, Rich Dennis and Nyema Tubman, worked their way through business school by making soaps and lotions using family recipes, and selling the products on the streets of NYC as street vendors. They built their two person operation into a thriving company with two brands (Nubian Heritage in Whole Foods, and SheaMoisture in Target and Duane Reed) and also have two successful brick and mortar stores.
The company purchases ingredients directly from women cooperatives and indigenous farmers in Africa, paying above market prices to help improve the standard of living for those suppliers. They are working closely with local and international organizations, including ECOSERVE and AFRICARE, to protect the integrity of ingredients and improve production processes to ensure sustainable harvests. Partnering with organizations such as The Liberian Education Fund and Todee Mission, the company is working to build schools and provide access to education for impoverished girls in Africa, many of who are suppliers of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and other natural ingredients.
The company was named “Emerging Business of Year” by Black Enterprise last year.
I got to try several products from their line, but the African Black Soap was my favorite. Their traditional African Black Soap recipe contains palm ash, plantain peel extract, tamarind extract and papaya enzymes. This powerful combination has traditionally been used to treat eczema, acne, oily skin, psoriasis, and other skin ailments.
I love the little bits of oats in the soap that help exfoliate as you rub it over your skin. It’s very moisturizing and leaves skin squeaky clean without that yucky residue that some soaps leave behind. It has a spicy, woodsy smell that I love. I choose musk or patchouli over fruity perfumes any day…
The best part is that their bars of soap are pretty big and don’t dissolve quickly. I’ve been using the African Black Soap for a few weeks, and the bar still looks the same size and you can still read the writing on the top. Yes, it makes a nice rich lather and rinses off easily.