Current Obsession: Shea Terra's Rose Hips Black Soap

(Source: Shea Terra; Rose Hips Black Soap, $18)When it comes to skincare, I have the patience of a toddler. Results noticeable in eight to ten weeks? Please. I want instant gratification. I want immediate, dramatic, infomercial-style proof that this toner or that serum is effective—the moment I try it. 

Shea Terra's Rose Hip Black Soap Deep-Pore Facial Wash ($18) is one of the rare products that swept me off my feet at first usage. Just a single pump of the all-natural, molasses-colored cleanser left my skin so ridiculously soft and smooth that I tried it again a few minutes later just to make sure the first time wasn't a fluke. What was in this stuff—little skin-resurfacing fairies? 

Close. The potion's wonder ingredient is actually African black soap, a potent blend of organic oils cooked with cocoa pod ash, plantain peel ash, palm kernels, and camwood bark sourced from Nigeria's Yoruba tribe. When left on the skin for a few minutes, the ancient formula acts like a microdermabrasion treatment by dissolving sebum and dead skin cells. Hence the I-can't-stop-touching-my-face softness—and a vastly improved acne "situation." 

And here's the kicker: the cleanser is so gentle, you can use it twice a day, which is exactly what I've been doing for the past month. My skin has never been smoother or more balanced. What started as love-at-first-use has indeed turned into a long-term affair.
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