You may have noticed a new trend in the beauty aisle lately. It seems our girly, pink and white cleansers are being replaced with much scarier dark gray or black formulas. Um, these do not look clean. They are intimidating and new and have serious benefits if you can get by the weirdness.
The first of these products to catch my attention is African Black Soap, a bar soap primarily made in Africa. According to Treehugger, it’s made from the ashes of locally harvested plants and barks such as plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves, and Shea tree bark. The mixture is then boiled and additional oils and Shea butter are added to create the secret recipe. My husband has been testing out the bar soap and lotion and has seen much improvement with his sensitive skin. The affordable soap, only $4.50 at Walmart, exfoliates and moisturizes gently yet effectively. Two warnings: some people have reported that your skin will get worse for about a week before it gets better (this was not the case with my hubby), and I recommend getting a little travel soap holder for it because the dried black suds dripping down your shower wall can look a little terrifying. Just ask my traumatized 5-year-old.
The charcoal infused product that caught my attention was the Biore Charcoal Pore Minimizer. Apparently, charcoal attracts dirt and oil and essentially sucks it out of your pores which leads to visibly smaller pores. I have no idea if this is technically what is happening, but with the addition of microcrystals for exfoliating, I have noticed that my skin feels smoother and have not had any breakouts. Biore also has added Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore strips that are very similar to the classic pore strips we all love, except that they are now black and the charcoal should enhance the product’s effectiveness.
Probably the most unusual product of all is the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask. It’s goopy, muddy gray texture takes some getting used to but feels wonderful once it starts to wor. The Korean made mask begins to fizz and bubble up, cleaning deep into your pores. Available through Amazon, the packaging is all written in Korean so I had to google instructions, but you basically smear a decent layer over your skin and wait about five minutes as it reacts. I forced another dance mom to try it with me in the church bathroom and we couldn’t stop laughing at the tickly sensation or jumping a mile and staring at the door every time someone walked in. Thank you, Sherry, for humiliating yourself for me. Embarrassment loves company!
One thing we learned is that it’s very hard to wash away completely using just the sink and a towel, so now I apply the mask while my shower heats up and then rinse under the running water. I got gobs of it in my baby hairs the first time….and then had to sit through a four hour dress rehearsal. I’m smart. A little side note: the link I provided is a combo offer with the Elizavecca Green Piggy Collagen Jella Pack. It is the grossest-feeling lotion I have ever seen and is like “the blob” as it morphs back to its original shape every time…I Loved It!!!! My skin looked so smooth after using it, and it has a ton of collagen in it for skin firming. Sadly, after scouring the Internet for ingredients in English, I discovered it contains propylene glycol, which I’m allergic to, but I loved it so much I still wanted to share.
So, come to the dark side with me and explore these new shady products. Tap back into your goth phase because black lipstick and JNCOs (Lord, help the children) are making a comeback, people!
Have a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at andi@nwaMotherlode.com.