Raw African Black Soap: What, When, How and Why

Over the past year, there has been an increasing demand in the South African beauty community for Black Soap. It is understandable why it would be so, with the soaps reputation to fight acne and revitalise skin. In the same breath, however, the soap has also called for a lot of concern, with some complaining about its drying effect on the skin. So, i decided that i am going to sum up for you directions on how you can utilise black soap. Welcome to the the Raw African Black Soap: What, When, How and Why.

Black soap is generally made from locally harvested African plants such as plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and Shea tree bark. The ingredients are sun-dried and roasted, which is how it gets its deep color. Water and oils such as coconut, palm and Shea butter are then added. The soap is then left to sit and “cure.” It is a traditionally made soap from West Africa by tribeswomen in Ghana from special secret recipes.

Black Soap has been considered safe to use for people of all skin types; dry, normal. oily and also the sensitive kind. And is well known, as said, for healing the skin of blemishes, scarring and toning the skin. Black soap is made in various ways and therefore differ from batch to batch. So, you may found that whilst one batch is beneficial to one person, it may not necessarily be true for the next person. Skim type also plays a significant role as to how your skin reacts to the soap; some may find is moisturising whilst others experience the total opposite.

My first encounter with black soap was three years ago when i started on my journey of all-natural hygiene. However, i didn’t use the soap until early 2016 (don’t ask why because i don’t know, myself). I have normal to dry skin and upon first usage, i realised that the soap made my face very dry and taut. I decided that would carry on using the soap and the dryness almost got better with every use. I really am not sure whether i just got used to the dryness or if my skin ‘adapted’ to the soap. In my research, i found that most people have had the same experience as i have so we could say that its “normal”.


As mentioned, the soap can be quite drying. So, try looking for ones which contain more amounts of Shea Butter. Shea Butter is a great moisturising agent for our skin type and is high in vitamins a and E as well.
If you already have a black soap which is drying out your skin, try using it less. Start by using it every other day and ease yourself into it.
always make sure that you are replenishing your oils by moisturising right after cleansing.
I know of some people who have used black soap, experienced drying and eventually broke out. So, listen to your body. Just because something is good for skin, it does not mean it will definitely be good for you. You know your body, you know your skin, only you can make that judgement as to whether something is beneficial or not.


African black soap is great for oily and acne prone skin. It’s efficient for deep pore cleansing because of its natural exfoliating qualities. For some oily skin types it seems to keep the skin hydrated without increasing oil production.
Even with this, you still have to moisturise with a non-comedogenic moisturiser or carrier oil.

In all honesty, there is no specific way to apply black soap. Just grab the soap and place it in your hand and rub it in your clean hands. If you have good quality soap, you will realise that a little goes a long way and that the lather is great! I am always against applying the bar straight onto your face because sometimes, you may find dust particles and such inside. This is quite off-putting, i know, but this is just because of the environments that some of these soaps are made in. So, to prevent any unnecessary lacerations, be sure to apply on your hands first.

You can now go ahead and take your clean lathered hands and rub them on your face in a circular motion. Concentrate on your cheeks, T-zone, forehead and chin area especially if you are acne prone. If you have open skin, you may just experience tingling, if its too much, discontinue using the soap just in case it exacerbates your breakout. You do not want to be “squeaky clean” after using it, this means that you are using too much or rubbing it into your skin for way too long.

Generally, Raw African Black Soap, is a great cleanser for almost all skin types. The trick is to make sure that you are buying authentic soap and not gimmicks from chancers. Unfortunately, when something like black soap gains popularity, you find many people trying to sell you dupes. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS. First of all, black soap is not black in colour, it is more of a mixture of variations of brown. Although it comes in a bar form, it is not a hard bar that can be compared to commercial soaps. Instead, black soap is more of a soft-ish texture that can sometimes look “crumbly”. Black Soap does not have a fragrance, the best way to describe the smell is to call it “earthy”. If your black soap is smelling like lavender, oranges or roses (whatever nice smell) i suggest that you throw it out!

This was a highly requested blog post and i hope that i have done it justice. Remember, your friend’s skin is not your skin. Only you know how your skin is feeling and only you can make an informed decision on whether or not to continue use. The internet nay help you with information, but at the end if the day, only you know.

I hope that this was helpful and put you just one step closer to your healthy skin journey.

All love 🙂

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