If you've never heard of black soap, get ready: this stuff is about to have its moment in the sun. Made from ashes (specifically those of plantains, palms, and/or cocoa pods) mixed with shea butter or another natural skin hydrator, black soap is one of West Africa's best-known skin treatments. It has hydrating, antimicrobial, and cleansing properties, and having used it, we can aver that it's a sure thing. If you can't make it to Ghana, though, we recommend you try Shea Terra Rose Hips Black Soap face wash ($18).
It's a liquid formula, unique since traditional black soap is a paste, and does a wonderful job of removing post-workout grime without drying out or irritating skin. It also exfoliates just as well as a light scrub, which is great if you need daily maintenance to keep your pores from getting clogged. And with more high-quality black soap formulas becoming available Stateside in general, there's never been a better time than now to follow in Darth Vader's footsteps and join the dark side.