Inspired By You!

I’ve been crafting naturally organic soap for over three years now. It started when I sought to use my 1-acre property to jump start an urban farming initiative for the youth and young mothers in my community. It was such a therapeutic and grounding experience; it started me thinking about how ‘whole body health‘ in a new light. I began to consider how much better our health would be if we only put clean ingredients on our skin and not just focus on eating clean.

As I began connecting with more and more people suffering from chronic skin challenges, I started researching everything related to skin, including gut health, medications, stress, ingredients & chemicals in cosmetics as well as diet and nutrition. I wanted to get a better understanding of the synergy between the body’s various systems and the skin. Thus, a business was born.

G.H. Soaps and BODYTRUTH brand soaps are truly inspired by the community of friends, family, and customers who have over the years come to me seeking advice about their health, their skin and their struggles.

Each product was designed with specific challenges and often, specific people in mind. Each ingredient was carefully selected for its healing and supportive, properties. All of our products work in synergy with one another to provide sulfate-free cleansing, alcohol-free toning and junk-free moisturizing.

Our products support:

  • Acne management & natural blemish control
  • Healthy skin detoxing, which works in conjunction with inner whole body detoxing
  • Fragrance-free needs as there are ZERO fragrance oils used
  • Skin toning without stripping away skin’s natural oils
  • Eczema management, as all soaps and Shea butters address target concerns related to eczema including: dry, itchy, scaly skin, cracked & blistered skin, and protection from further damage and moisture loss.

Thank you for your continued support. We are always researching and creating new products to help you feel good in your skin.

Please use the comment section to share your skin journey or connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!

Why Black Soap

What’s the Deal with Black Soap?

So often I’ve been asked, “what’s the deal on the black soap? I’ve heard it’s the best kind of soap to use for uneven and problematic skin!” 

G.H. Soaps discusses black soap

Authentic black soap is naturally organic, highly moisturizing soap and has its roots in African tradition.

Originally, the ingredients in authentic black soap provided for a pure & natural vegetable based bar.

Well, let me start by saying all black soap isn’t created equal so it’s easy to assume that all “black” soap is authentic African”black soap.” There is also a general lack of understanding as to why black soap works so well so I decided it was time to do a little digging wherefore, I could provide you with a little insight, to help you to make informed decisions about how and where you spend your beauty dollars…at least as it pertains to this matter at this moment.

Benefits of Black Soap

African black soap is familiar to many for its benefits to the skin. It has been known to soothe skin irritated by dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as fading skin discolorations and evening out the skin tone. People of African decent have used black soap for centuries for bathing and for shampooing the hair, not only to cleanse, but also to alleviate scalp itchiness and irritation. African black soap was also used to relieve oily skin and certain skin conditions, such as acne and eczema. Women also used black soap for skin care during and after pregnancy to keep from getting dry skin, stretch marks and other skin conditions caused by hormonal changes. The soap was too used on babies because of its purity and gentleness on sensitive skin.

Uses

Shea butter has many uses. It is generally widely used for the following applications:

  • Eczema Relief
  • Dry Skin Relief
  • Skin Protectant
  • Evens Skin Tone
  • Speeds healing of dry, cracked skin
  • Softens skin
  • Supports moisture retention for hair and skin

History

The handed down story…

African black soap or ose dudu originated with the Yoruban tribe in Nigeria and the Yoruba communities in Benin and Togo. The Yoruba words ose (“soap”) and dudu (“black”) literally translates to “the black soap.” It is believed that this tribe brought their herbal wisdom with them from their original Egyptian homeland. Yoruba women had an important and unique role in agriculture. They were responsible for processing raw farm produce into finished goods for trading; this included harvesting produce from trees and tending the gardens. Village women in western Africa are still handcrafting black soap today. According to Africa Imports there are more than 100 varieties of African black soaps produced and traded.

What is it?

Genuine African black soap is brownish-black in color. It is soft with an organic shape that can be molded in your hands. It has a delicate texture & a natural earthy smell. It is not oily or scented and it melts easily if left in water. Secret black soap formulas are carefully guarded as they are passed down through generation. The soap making technique is based on the ancient art of ash treatment whereby plantain peels are dried under the sun. The skins (and/or palm leaves and cocoa pods) are then roasted in a clay oven to produce ash. Water is added to the ashes and filtered. Then, ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil or cocoa butter are heated and added, and hand stirred by local women for 24 hours. The soap solidifies, is scooped out and the mixture is set out to cure for two weeks. The process is much like that which we call cold-processing soap. It’s how our soaps are made, without the long churning time but with a longer curing time.

Ingredients

TRUE BLACK SOAP originally consisted of roasted plantain skins, cocoa pod, palm oil and/or palm kernel oil, coconut oil and salt. Variations of the recipe include Shea butter and pure cocoa powder.

Cocoa Pod Ash is from the shell of the Cocoa fruit & Plantain Peel Ash is from the skins of the plantain fruit. Both serve as the alkali, lending the same function as sodium hydroxide in handmade bar soap.

Palm Fruit Oil comes from the palm fruit. Black Soap uses Red Palm oil. This oil is dark red in color and contains a high content of beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are the same ones that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors. Red palm fruit oil is also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols, a powerful form of vitamin E.

Shea butter and Cocoa Butter are excellent skin moisturizers & protectants. Both soften skin, minimize scars, prevent aging skin and stretch marks. Shea butter also speeds skin’s natural healing process, and evens skin tone.

It’s the combination of ingredients that makes black soap an all around beneficial soap. When compared to commercial soaps, its also the lack of synthetic ingredients that make black soap superior to other soaps. Authentic, traditional black soap does not contain dyes, artificial colorants, synthetic extracts nor fragrance oil (which is, by the way, a composition of synthetic constituents protected by trade secret laws and known to irritate skin). It is the omission of these unnecessary ingredients that make authentic black soap (and soap just like it) better for your skin.

How We Compare

BODYTRUTH brand soaps logo

While Black Soap is widely popular and has it’s place in the cosmetic industry, our soaps are made using a similar technique, only technology allows us to produce it faster. We also use much of the very same ingredients. In addition, our bars contain concentrated plant infusions that we create ourselves. Each bar is unique and its ingredients are chosen for the healing, softening and toning properties they naturally possess. Coconut oil, palm oil and Shea butter are just a few. We also use essential oils, from medicinal plants, which contain ingredients with naturally inherent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to help alleviate the various skin issues that people contend with daily.

Our soaps have been successful at promoting healthy skin, speeding healing and minimizing blemishes. Like authentic black soap, our soaps are free of chemicals, dyes, preservatives, stabilizers and synthetic fragrance oils. This allows skin to breathe, to heal and regenerate more quickly, so that your skin can look its best.

Stephanie - GH Soaps

Getting To Know Your Soap Maker

I’ll admit, I’m a super analytical, root cause seeking junkie, in a good way of course. Reading and researching is sort of a pastime. It’s a part of who I am. Now, soap making is somewhat of another pastime, a therapeutic endeavor however. Taking taking the two passions and merging them is how G.H. Soaps began.

I’ve been crafting soaps for just over three years now and I absolutely love it. Always being up for a challenge, I set out to focus on developing soaps that (1) are good to your skin and your whole body by using food grade ingredients (2) can address, ease or resolve a skin problem and (3) improve the look and feel of your skin. Who doesn’t like smooth, even-toned, baby soft skin?

The merging of my top two pastimes transformed my favs into a bit of an obsession. When I’m not crafting soap, I devote a great deal of time of my time to researching skin issues and seeking plant oils or herbs that have proven to demonstrate considerable improvement in alleviating those issues. I consult with my customers to find out about their skin challenges and discuss solutions. I attend webinars, workshops and perform research that discusses root causes so that I can help you to make the changes needed to address the root of the problem. My goal is always to seek a natural solution to help you achieve perfect, holistic harmony. All of these activities drive the development of products as each one is meant to improve your skin using the simple power of nature.

All of the soap recipes that I create are 100% natural, created with [clean green] ingredients that support healthy skin regeneration, vs synthetic ingredients created in a laboratory. Our soaps are biodegradable, and eco-friendly; made with sustainable ingredients and recyclable packaging. Seriously, what more can you ask for in a soap?

At the end of the day, it is soap and while ‘soap’ is available all around, G.H. Soaps’ processes support a sustainable earth – no chemicals -no synthetics. We like to think we press forward with a green footprint, as we seek to avoid contributing to the toxicity of our environment and your body. I believe there are two types of soap makers in the world; those concerned with making money selling a commodity called soap and those concerned with meeting a need in a way that supports the common good of us all.

I am happy to be your humble, passionate soapmaker!