How African Black Soap Can Help With Acne

Acne is a common problem for many of us. It is easy to assume all acne is the same, but there can be many factors involved. It’s even possible that you may have multiple types of acne at one time. Identifying the type of acne you have is the best place to start, from there you will be able to figure out the best course of treatment. Lets have a look at the different kinds of acne, causes, treatments and how using a soap may help.[7] 

DIFFERENT KINDS OF ACNE

 Not all types of acne spread across the face, clogged pores can be a cause. This means you may be suffering from acne without “breaking out”. Excess oil, bacteria, hormones, dead skin cells and ingrown hairs can be triggers. Acne may be inflammatory or noninflammatory, within these categories subtypes of acne include:

  • blackheads- characteristically black in colour visible on the surface
  • whiteheads- looks like a small bump protruding from the skin
  • papules- hard, clogged pore that feels tender with pink surrounding skin
  • nodules- swollen pores endure irritation and grow larger
  • pustules- usually red in colour with a yellow/ white head on top
  • cysts-the largest form of acne, they clog deeper in the skin. They are the most likely to scar[7]

Severe acne would be classified as a large number of spots on your chest and back, as well as your face, painful nodules and cysts, scarring, or are at risk of scarring.

THE POSSIBLE CAUSES OF ACNE

Acne is caused when the hair follicle becomes blocked. This happens when sebum and dead skin cells mix to block the follicle. Risk factors for acne may include:

  • Hormones- Teenage acne can be triggered by increased levels of hormones.
  • Genetics -if both your parents had acne, you're more likely to get acne.
  • Oily substances and products that clog pores
  • Pressure on the skin such as tight clothing [8] 

Medications, stress and smoking can also cause some cases of acne. [6]

 ACNE MYTHS 

Although acne is very common there is still a lot we don’t understand and there are many myths surrounding it-

  • Poor diet- there is no evidence to suggest certain foods cause acne. 
  • Acne isn't caused by poor hygiene, and excessive washing may even aggravate skin. 
  • Squeezing spots or blackheads isn't the best way to get rid of acne, this can make things worse.[6]

TREATING ACNE

To treat acne you need a product that works to control oil production, speeds up cell regeneration, fights bacteria and reduces inflammation. Reducing inflammation will also help to prevent scaring. Depending on the severity of the acne will determine the appropriate treatment.[8]

Noninflammatory acnes which includes; blackheads and whiteheads, can often be treated with over the counter treatments. Products that naturally exfoliate the skin work most effectively, by removing dead skin cells.

Dead skin cells and oils can cause inflammatory acne. However, the most likely cause is usually bacteria. Because this type of acne can be hard to get rid of you want to use products that can reduce swelling and kill bacteria deep under the skin surface.[7]

Severe to moderate acne that isn't responding to home remedies may require medications. These include; topical antibiotics and retinoids, hormonal treatment, antibiotic tablets or azelaic acid. You can get these from your GP. [6] 

HOW AFRICAN BLACK SOAP FIGHTS ACNE

African black soap has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that deeply and gently cleanse the skin. The ash in the soap helps to exfoliate clearing clogged pores and balancing the skin's natural oils. Over drying the skin can trigger oil and sebum production. The soap works to keep skin hydrated with out any over production of oils. [4] 

Its antimicrobial properties may even clear severe acne caused by Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. [1] A study also found black soap was more effective in stopping and removing certain bacteria than some medicated alternatives. [5] 

IT CAN EVEN HELP WITH ACNE SCARRING 

African black soap's shea butter content may help in the repair of damaged cells.[1] The shea butter also calms inflammation and irritation, smoothing and hydrating the skin. Over time, regular use of the soap helps to tone, improve skin texture, clear acne spots and even skin tone.[4]

USING AFRICAN BLACK SOAP ON ACNE PRONE SKIN 

Step1 - Work a small piece of the soap into a lather using clean hands and apply onto damp skin. (Don’t apply the bar directly onto the face as this can irritation.)

 Step 2-  To prevent damage and irritation, be gentle while washing the skin and avoid excessive scrubbing or rubbing.

Step 3- Wash and rinse the skin with cold water to help skin retain more moisture. 

Step 4- Apply a lightweight moisturiser after cleansing. [3]

 Remember to be patient with any treatment you take. While some treatments can see immediate effects, other may take months for more wide spread acne. 

 

[1]https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/african-black-soap-benefits#acne

[2]https://www.byrdie.com/how-to-safely-use-african-black-soap-2442530

[3]https://www.mdacne.com/article/what-is-african-black-soap-can-it-help-treat-acne

[4]https://shearadiance.com/blogs/news/break-the-acne-cycle-clear-your-skin-naturally-with-black-soap

[5]https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/african-black-soap-benefits#possible-benefits

[6]https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/

[7]https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/types-of-acne

[8]https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20368048