Hollywood's Best Kept Beauty Secret: Black Soap
Published Oct 10, 2011
Dead Sea Mud has been used by women for centuries. Cleopatra (the woman who also put us on to milk baths) treasured this dark beauty secret, which contains myriad minerals essential for skin rejuvenation, and is found in a ton of beauty products. Perhaps the most popular of those is soap. And in particular, Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Soap. Beloved by Hollywood favorites and fashion icons Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy and also by Diane Keaton in Annie Hall ("It's good for my complexion!" she cries to Woody Allen’s character), the black soap is one we had to put to the test.
I've only recently arrived in New York City, and I love to replicate classic Hollywood moments. I adore the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so one blustery cold morning I walked down Fifth Avenue to look at the windows. I made my husband wait at the top of the Empire State Building just like in Sleepless in Seattle, and even had an accidental Marilyn Monroe moment over a subway grate one hot summer evening. As such, I was super excited to slather on some black soap just like the Hollywood stars. With the new film My Week with Marilyn (about Marilyn Monroe and starring Michelle Williams), the blonde bombshell was on my mind, so I lit some candles in the bathroom to set the mood before trying the Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Soap.
Sea Mud is beloved for its many healing and restorative qualities. It contains essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which are excellent for your body, and has very fine granules that help to exfoliate your skin. Year after year the water in the Dead Sea evaporates, so the salt and minerals in the water are absorbed into the mud at the bottom, which then gets scooped up for us to put on our skin. The combination of these essential minerals and fine granules don't strip the skin of its natural oils, and has also been proven to reduce skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
I'm a little extravagant, so I lathered the soap over my entire body and face (you can use it as a cleanser as well as a body bar and it works for all skin types, as it doesn't strip your skin of its natural oils). It felt luxuriously smooth and silky, and though I expected the wash to smell like a mud pie, the soap just smelled lovely, like scented powder. And it frothed to a delicious creamy, milky texture almost instantly, which I didn't expect. A little of this soap goes a long way. Afterward, my skin felt silky and clean, almost squeaky. I used it again on my face the next morning and, Beauties, my it really did look more radiant and clear. I think I'm in love.
Erno Laszlo's Sea Mud Soap is such an iconic cleanser that it's spawned some newer sea mud soaps such as Crabtree & Evelyn Black Sea Mud & Seaweed Triple Milled Soap, Adovia Dead Sea Mud Soap, or Edom Black Mud Soap.