There’s a little-known Somali skincare secret called Qasil. It has long been used by our women to care for their skin – which, if you haven’t noticed, is usually quite good! Well, most of the time anyway, there are some exceptions (hi, have we met?) Qasil is one of those power multi-taskers that works well with most skin. The word qasil is actually derived from the Arabic word ghasil which means to wash/clean, so it’s obvious what qasil is good for.
Qasil comes from the Gob tree that’s found in East Africa. The dried Gob tree leaves are crushed into a green powder which is basically what qasil is. It’s a natural, soapless cleanser that deep cleans the skin to draw out dirt and gunk to purify pores. It also contains Vitamin C which has skin brightening benefits. It’s rich in anti-oxidants that help the skin fight sun damage which is essential under the African sun. And on top of all that, it has anti-bacterial properties that fight acne. What a powerhouse!
I have been around qasil since my childhood days. It’s a staple in Somali homes. A traditional beauty must-have. And that’s because it’s trusted, it’s simple to use and it works. It is especially ideal because it is so versatile and can perform as a cleanse, a mask and even an exfoliator. It all depends on how you prepare and use it. My personal tried and true way is a no-fuss deep cleansing mask. I just add water to the qasil and make a sticky paste, slap it on my cleansed face for about 15 minutes and wash it off. I always feel so clean, soft, plump (it’s very hydrating) and more radiant. It’s almost Henna-like scent really soothes my mind as well.
I hadn’t used it in a while because it was getting hard to find. I usually buy my qasil from Eastleigh but the last time I was duped! They sold me turmeric mixed with green food coloring instead of qasil! So I stayed away from that. Luckily, I found Skincare by Rozana who sell authentic qasil sourced straight from Somalia! They sell their qasil in a secure and practical 100gms pack for KShs. 600 (USD 6) which is fair, given the price of qasil. Now I’m back to my beloved qasil masks and my skin has calmed down since. My breakouts have diminished and my texture has improved. I’m a happy camper!
Qasil is an inexpensive, natural, traditional skincare soldier and it’s been trusted over many years to make skin better, in many ways. I recommend it to anyone who wants a hydrating and protective plant-based face mask or exfoliant.