For some reason, my mom’s family likes having reunions in July in Florida. But it’s okay, because I love St. Augustine. The beach, Rita’s custard, and the shops downtown, it’s a lovely town. If only it was far enough north for me not to melt.
Anyway, while we were there, a large group of my family went into the Old Drug Store. I just wanted to live there. It was filled with herbs and teas and natural soaps. They also had a black soap and shea butter demonstration. We walked out with 8 oz (not sure if by volume or mass) of each. Let me tell you about these two magic products:
Raw African Black Soap: This is very simple. Add water to your jar of black soap. Use this water to wash whatever you want. Refill with water so the soap can dissolve into it (you wouldn’t want to use the soap straight; it’s very concentrated). I like to keep some of the soap water in a spray bottle. It lathers very well, so you only need a small amount. The soap itself is made from died plantain skins, palm leaves, cocoa pod powder, and kernel oil. This wonderful soap can be used on your body, hair, and even your face. In fact, it can help treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The woman at the shop (who had very clear skin) said it works better than Proactive for her. It is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and is rich in vitamins A and E and iron. I am currently only using it on my face (washing twice a day), hoping it will finally clear my acne. The woman warned me that I will break out as the soap initially pulls the toxins out of my face. I’ve been using the soap for a week and am in the break out phase. I will update my face’s progress.
Natural Shea Butter: After washing, you need a moisturizer. Take a small amount of shea butter and warm it between your fingers to soften before applying. It helps sooth and repair dry and damaged skin, and it is good for cuts, sunburns, eczema, rashes, and wrinkles. It can even be used as a leave in conditioner to help repair dry, damaged and split ends. It has a high content of vitamins A, E, and F. What is great is I first tried this shea butter is high temperatures and high humidity, but my hands did not feel oily or greasy at all. Even better, it doesn’t clog pores! Unfortunately it does not have sunscreen (I will have to explore that later), but I still love it. I use it after washing my face before bed and as a lip balm, and it works great for that. In the winter I plan on using it on my chapped hands. If it works as well (or better, hopefully) as the creams I usually use and I don’t have to wear gloves to bed, I will be very happy.
Now, these products are looking to last me awhile, but I’m already thinking ahead to reordering. I don’t think we’ll go through Old City Remedies again because I think we can find it cheaper and I don’t like paying shipping. Amazon offers both products for pretty cheap, but I don’t know if I’m going to want to buy a pound at a time. If nothing else, I know I can get shea butter at my local co-op, but I will have to get the black soap online. I will update when I reorder to let you know the quality of what I choose. But I can assure the products from Old City Remedies are of very good quality.
Update 8/30/12: I’ve been using the black soap and shea butter on my face for about a month. While I am not completely blemish free, my skin looks better than it has in months. It has an even tone and the few blemishes don’t stick around for long. The shea butter heals up places where I’ve picked at my face (I know, I’m not suppose to) very quickly. I am very happy with how these two products work.