*DISCLAIMER : I was kindly given this product by Zakia's Morocco owner. I was not paid to make my review, so I will share my honest opinion on it.*
What is black soap? It is the central part of the ritual of hammam. First you have to steam all your body to enlarge your pores, then you apply this pasty soap everywhere from head to toes, let the magic happen for 5 to 10 minutes, and then you simply wash it off and scrub with a kessa (traditional scrubby washcloth) or a loofah to maximise the efficiency. In France, you can find kessa everywhere I hope it is the same abroad.
What do I think about it? It is a very thick brown golden paste with green highlights. It contains very few ingredients, that is to say smashed olives transform into soap with sodium hydroxide. The one I was offered to try is infused with argan oil to provide extra hydration to my rough dry skin. It definitely smells like smashed olive so if you can not stand taht kind of very natural smell go for an oil-infused version (there are two more on the website, infused with orange blossom or jasmine, depending on what you prefer, floral ou fruity). When applied, it does not foam it spreads on the skin and does it work. I reallyfeel it acting my skin, specially on my face, it tingles a little but not in a bad way it is hard to explain. Do not use your scrubby washclloth on your face, it is too strong. The smell does not linger on the skin just in case you wonder.
Does it work? Yes it is a very efficient alternative to classical grain scrubs. As I alaways scrub like a savage, this grainy scrubs can leave me strikes everywhere. I know I can be softer :p. I do not get any bad reaction on my sensitive face which is great as finding a facial scrub for me is a challenge. It is very efficient, the skin is supple and well moisten after this scrub ritual. The only little downside is that you have to wait, naked in your shower for the soap to work. In winter, it is quite hard for me :).
Do I recommend it? Yes! I love hammam but I am kind of lazy and not very found of the community aspect that goes along with hammam. So being able to bring it right into my place it is so great!
Prix: 34,95$ by Zakia's Morocco (online seller only). Worlwide shipment avalaible!
I use this only as scrub for now (once or twice a week) and if I want something sweeter I go for a Body Shop scrub from time to time. I go for it every time before removing my hairs (glamour!) and it helps prevent red bumps I used to have. Big thumbs up!
See ya :)