Looking beautiful naturally by caring for hair, skin and other parts of the body as part of the over all female beauty regime is one of several things Nigerian women excel in. For centuries, Nigerian women from various tribes use natural ingredients such as coconut oil, black soap and other naturally occurring herbs and plant extracts to nurture and promote overall health and wellbeing.
Long before multinational corporations started manufacturing hair, skin and other beauty products for the black skin, the natural beauty regime of Nigerian women has been inspirational to other women in Africa and across the black diaspora, with the simplicity and availability of locally sourced lotions and potion with minimal processing which help promote their natural black African beauty. Though Women from different parts of Nigerian use different ingredient depending on what is available locally, some ingredients are available and common across the country, here are a few of the beauty ingredient that is available across the country and how its used and what they are used for.
Coconut Oil (Adi agbon in Yoruba).
Coconut oil is one of the most versatile lotions you can find. It is used for hair care, skin care it is even said to help reduce stretch marks and skin blemishes. As the name indicates, it is the oil extracted from Coconut, which occurs in abundance in most part of Nigeria.
When coconut oil is used in hare care, it is said to be a very good conditioner as it helps the hair retain vital protein and its oiliness give the hair a natural shine. It is also said to help reduce or even eliminate dandruff completely.
When coconut oil is used on the skin, it is said to help moisturise the skin, especially in Hamattan season when the skin tends to go dry. Coconut oil also have a mild insect repellent properties which can help ward off mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Black Soap (Ose Dudu).
Black soap is made from palm kernels which is rich in heavy vegetable oil and Sheer Butter. Other ingredients includes, ash, tree bark, cocoa, plantain leaves and other lesser ingredients depending on the region the soap is produced. Black soap is a gentle cleanser which also moisturises the skin because of its vegetable oil content. It is particularly good as a bath soap for delicate skin and for people with allergy to the chemical content of mass produced big brand name bath soaps.
Black soap is marketed worldwide especially in US as a cure for all sorts of skin and other beauty complaint, the basic black soap itself is just a cleanser but it is used as the base for skin care lotions and potions.