Moroccan black soap (savon beldi/savon noir)
Beldi is the name for Moroccan black soap. The word beldi is derived from the word ‘bled’ meaning country, territory, land and countryside. It is a rustic term representative of a region. It is said that Moroccan black soap originated in the Levant many centuries ago and travelled from there to Morocco, however there is no evidence of this.
Black soap is made from olive oil, black olive pulp (or black olive powder), water and potassium hydroxide (a natural lye made from ash). Argan oil is added to one variety of our soap for extra moisturisation. Many companies add eucalyptus to their soap, but eucalyptus is not indigenous of Morocco and will be imported. The quality of this oil, therefore, will be unknown.
The most common olive varietal for black soap is Baldi Picholine which is harvested green for table food and black for olive oil. Black olives produce the amazing colour of beldi which has natural variations depending on the crop.
Beldi soap became famous worldwide thanks to the Moroccan hammam. A hammam is a communal steam room where Moroccans habitually go each week to cleanse themselves. It consists of several consecutive steam rooms, each varying in warmth. The bather gradually moves from the coolest room to the hottest and once a good sweat has broken and the pores opened, the black soap is applied all over damp skin. It is worked into the skin (avoiding eye area) for a good few minutes and rinsed off. The body is then exfoliated using a kessa glove. This glove is made of coarse fabric which offers a deep exfoliation and used from the feet upwards, which aids blood circulation. The combination of the beldi and kessa glove leaves the skin invigorated, detoxed, glowing and cleansed.
Beldi has a relatively short shelf life. Due to the natural ingredients it should always be kept away from water. This can be difficult when using in the bath or shower (always scoop out the required amount of soap before bathing/showering and ensure the lid is firmly closed before the room warms). If the soap mixes with water the shelf life will rapidly reduce and it may grow mould. The black soap should be kept out of direct sunlight as it can ‘melt’ and liquefy. However, this does not affect the soap’s capabilities. Beldi does not lather. It is known as a body ‘mask’ and designed to leave the skin smooth, clean and silky soft.
Although there are a few recipes online for reproducing beldi, none of these recipes is traditional. The method of making beldi has been kept as a true secret in Morocco and is passed down through the family.
Nuts Organic’s black soap
Nuts Organic was one of the first in the UK to retail black soap and has been retailing it for over 13 years. Our soap has gained such popularity that it is now one of our best-selling products. We wholesale within the UK and world-wide. Chances are that if you purchase beldi from another supplier it may actually be our soap!
Selling skincare in the UK (and EU) comes with tight legislation. All products, including black soap, need to hold a UK cosmetic safety assessment and must be registered under EU regulations for safe sale. ALWAYS ask to see such documentation before purchasing a product. Any reputable seller will be happy to hand over such documentation.