All You Need To Know About African Black Soap (Including History, Origins & Skin Benefits)

Share the love

African black soap is a heritage from Africa. They are originally made in West Africa, with pure natural ingredients, no artificial chemicals and ingredients added. African black soap is well used in Africa and world wide because of its richness in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and capabilities of exfoliating and deep cleansing the skin thereby reducing the possible occurrence of acne, rashes eczema and other skin issues. This article entails all you need to know about African black soap.

History and Origins Of African Black Soap.

African black soap (ose dudu) originated with the Yoruba people in Nigeria and the Yoruba communities in Benin and Togo.


The word “ose” means “Soap” and “Dudu” means “Black” in Yoruba language, which literally translates to “Black Soap“.

It is also called anago samina in Ghana. (Anago is the name of a Yoruba sub-group in what is now Republic of Benin). Samina means soap in the Twi dialect of the Akan language

What is African Black Soap?

African black soap

African soap or african black soap originated from West Africa, they are made from harvested African plants such as, Cocoa pods, plantain and palm tree leaves. This ingredients are locally harvested, dried under the sun or roasted before they are been used in making the soap, which gives the soap its usual black or brown colour. Other ingredients like lemon, and lime juice, red oil, and sheabutter are also added.

African black soap has been known for its wonderful benefits to the skin. Ranging from clearing acne/pimples, erradicating Eczema, rashes, razor bumps, blemishes and fighting fungus and bacteria in the skin.

African black soap also deep cleanses the skin, thereby removing impurities traped in the skin pores and also exfoliates the skin by removing the dead skin cells on the skin, thereby giving your skin the smoothness it deserves.

African black soap is widely used in Africa especially by Nigerians and Ghanaians whom have used black soap for centuries for bathing and for reducing body odor. It was, and still is, used as a shampoo for hair, not only to cleanse, but also to alleviate scalp itchiness and irritation. African black soap was used to relieve oily skin and certain skin conditions, such as acne and eczema.

Skin Benefits Of African Black Soap.

It Has Antibacterials Properties

African black soap is rich in Anti-bacterial Properties, due to its content in phytochemicals and oils derived from plants. These components are rich in flavonoids, alkaloids, and other bioactive compounds that can fight bacterial infections and prevent further infection.

It’s Safe For All Skin Types.

Raw African black soap are purely organic and 100% natural with no added chemical, and synthetic fragrance. Which makes it generally safe for all skin types.

It Fights Acne.

People with oily and acne prone skin tends to benefit more from African black soap due to its capabilities of getting rid of acne causing bacteria and alleviating the skin pores from pore-clogging impurites which may cause acne-build up. African black soap normally contains Lemon and lime juice extract which increases the acidic level of the skin which makes acne causing bacteria uncomfortable to live in.

Deep Cleanses And Exfoliates The Skin.

African black soap deeply but mildly cleanses the and exfoliates the skin pores. Getting rid of dead skin cells and excess oil or sebum. It contains Lemon and lime juice extract which contains Alpha hydroxy acids which are known to exfoliate the skin and strip away dead skin cells.

It Prevents Razor Bumps

Exfoliation is very necessary after shaving or waxing, this is to prevent the dead skin cells from clogging the pores and causing razor bumps, and this why African black soap is beneficial in preventing the possible occurrence of razors bumps

It’s Anti-inflammatory.

African black soap is extremely rich in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants (vitamin A & E) which help combat free radicals and attacks on otherwise healthy skin tissues. This may be helpful for people who have inflammatory conditions like rosacea, eczema, and ring worm.

It May help Reduce The Appearance Of Stretch Marks And Fine Lines.

Due to its skin exfoliating potentials, African women especially Nigerians and Ghanaians uses black soap for skin care during and after pregnancy to keep from getting stretch marks, and other skin conditions. African black soap contains vitamin A and AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids), these acids in combination with vitamin A helps exfoliates the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of stretch marks, wrinkles, and fine lines.

It May Help Reduce Hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation normally occurs as a result of sun burn and acne scars. African black soap exfoliates the skin, which gets rid of dead skin cells which helps brightens the skin and at the same time may help address the issue of hyperpigmentation.

Improves Overall Skin Texture.

Because of its powerhouse of natural ingredients, African black soap helps alleviates excessive oil, gets rid of pore clogging impurites, exfoliates the skin, fights inflammation and bacteria and improved overall skin texture and elasticity.

What Ingredients Are Found In African Black Soap?

You may be wondering what ingredients are in African Black soap, that makes it so special and beneficial to the skin. Raw African black soap comprises pure natural ingredients which are listed below:

Lemon and Lime Juice: Extracted from both lemon and lime fruit. Lemons and limes contain antibacterial properties (which is why their juice is a great cleanser), helping fight the bacteria agents causing your breakouts. It also acts as a natural exfoliator (because of its AHA’s content) which removes dead skin cells that can clog your pores as well as a great oil-eliminator.

Plantain skin: Contains antioxidants, such as riboflavin, vitamin C, thiamine, and folic acid.

Coconut Oil: Has anti-inflammatory properties and contains antioxidants that protect your skin from UV damage and prevent skin aging.

Palm Kernel Oil: Is an excellent moisturizer and emollient that keeps your skin hydrated and nourished.

Palm Oil: Is derived from the palm fruit (and not its kernel) and contains beta-carotene, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Shea Butter: Has anti-inflammatory property and keeps your skin moisturized and prevents fine lines and signs of aging.

Note: Formulation Process differs in some African black soap depending on country of production, some contains full ingredients listed above while other contains a few. For instance, plantains are only found in West and Central Africa, so the African black soap made in the Eastern region doesn’t contain plantain peels.

Caution: Also bear in mind there is a huge difference between African Black soap and activated charcoal soap. Charcoal is usually used in natural soap formulas. While African black soap is made from harvested African plants such as, Cocoa pods, plantain and palm tree leaves, which are locally harvested, dried under the sun or roasted before they are been used in making the soap. The picture below explains the difference.

African black soap

Possible Side Effects Of African Black Soap.

African black soap is beneficial to skin. But has its own possible side effects depending on your skin type.

The bitter truth is Raw African black soap might not be for everyone. It can be drying and irritating to sensitive and dry skin.

According to my experience with dudu osun black soap, if you should use a moisturizer immediately after using African black soap, you’ll probably have no issue with irritations.

Individuals with oily and acne prone skin tend to enjoy African black soap the more because it exfoliates and deep cleanses the skin pores, alleviating excessive oil and pore-clogging impurities which reduces the possible occurrence of acne.
But you might experience some breakouts as the skin purges, especially if your skin is congested. It should eventually adjust and begin to retain more moisture.

But the main important thing to do is to use a moisturizer after washing with black soap. This will counter the effect of skin dryness and normalize your skin pH level.

How To Use African Black Soap.

Cut off small chunk of soap off the bar and rub in between your hands into a lather and then apply it to your face. You can as well apply the bar directly to your skin if you’re looking for exfoliation.

If you want to make your own body wash with it:

Soak the soap in purified water. Let it dissolve and liquefy. Use it as your body wash.

If you want to make a body scrub with it:

Mix the African black soap with brown or white sugar and use it to scrub your body.

If you want to make a face mask with it:

Take tiny chunks of the soap and let them dissolve in hot water. Mix 1 teaspoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 5 drops of tea tree essential oil. Mix well and apply to your face and neck and leave it to dry. Massage gently and wash it off with water.

Note: You do not need to scrub too hard even if you are using it on some other body part and not your face.

Possible Questions and Answers.

Q: What’s the texture of authentic African black soap?

A: Real, unprocessed African black soap has a rough texture, smells organic and tropical.

Also Read: 8 Best African Black Soaps And Body Washes For Acne, Deep Cleanse And Exfoliation.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.9 / 5. Vote count: 7

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Share the love
You May Also Like