We wondered the same thing when we first saw it — but it’s the first-ever neem soap made with neem charcoal. It’s formulated specifically to deep-cleanse — but gently — so that it works as well for seniors as it does for teens.
It’s a featured product today as part of Earth Day because it’s also a totally carbon-negative product, which means that growing and manufacturing it takes less energy than is created. Our partner in Mexico grows neem trees, then feeds the leaves and small branches to chickens, cows and sheep on his farm in the arid Yucatan Peninsula.
The large neem branches are burned in a process called pyrolysis (or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33acD-PHjK4 if you’d rather watch a video). Burning the branches in a system without oxygen creates renewable energy, plus a tar-like resin and a dry charcoal-like product.
The end result: food for farmworkers in a part of the world where it’s hard to grow year-round, plus extra cleansing power for these new soaps.
Charcoal, of course, has been used for years, even in emergency rooms, to adsorb toxins. (Adsorb just means that stuff you don’t want in your tummy or on your face sticks to the charcoal so it’s easy to wash away.)
Neem soap with charcoal has all the benefits you’d expect from neem — high levels of antioxidants and immune-boosting properties — plus the extra cleansing power of charcoal.
We expected it to be a big hit with teens because it really does make a difference on non-cystic acne. We’ve been told that both blackheads and pimples clear up quickly — to the extent that mothers have been known to knock on our door when their teens run out. Older customers, including those who have worn heavy layers of make-up for years, say that their skin has never felt cleaner or looked brighter.
It can be used just like any soap, but for extra cleansing power, leave it on your skin for a couple of minutes. For instance, put the soap on your face, then brush your teeth before removing it. Teens report an almost-immediate response with skin that feels less oily, but not so dry that it’s itchy. I think it’s made my 60+ skin feel tighter, although I immediately use a thin layer of Nothing but Neem Stick or All-Natural Facial Serum on my face to keep it well moisturized.
Even men love it, particularly if they work outside, because it adsorbs the pollutants, toxins and bacteria we’re all exposed to everyday.
We do recommend a separate soap dish, though, because they sud just as black as they look and it’s easier to keep one spot clean!
Learn more about our affiliate farm and its soap-making processes here.