The New Healer, African Black Soap

This guest post comes from our contributor FP Naomi.

Last winter my skin really needed a pick me up, so I decided to splurge and purchase a nice moisturizing body soap. I found myself in the aisle at Whole Foods, smelling bottles and reading labels when I came across African Black Soap. I was first hooked by the smell. It was soothing, enriching, and fresh. Something about it evoked the feeling of being cleanly showered, curled up in fresh blankets, and protected against the dead of winter.

Needless to say, the bottle came home with me, and I’ve been buying it ever since. I immediately noticed how clear, soft, and healthy my skin felt after using it for about a month. My boyfriend with winter-induced eczema also noticed that his issue was much better. I knew there had to be something to it, and looked into the stuff further.

I found out that African Black Soap is an age old healer from Africa, known to help with many skin issues. It might just be the answer for those of you out there still searching for a perfect solution. Read on to learn more.

african black soap

How it’s made: The exact recipe for African Black Soap varies from tribe to tribe, but the fundamental ingredients comprise of ash from locally harvested plant matter. They use everything from plantain bark, palm tree bark, or shea tree bark, to cocoa pods and palm leaves. After the materials are dried at a constant temperature, the ash is mixed with water and various healing oils such as palm oil, coconut oil, or palm kernel oil. Once the soap has set for a few weeks, it’s ready to use.

What properties make it healing? African Black Soap contains high levels of vitamins A & E as well as iron. Vitamin A helps the skin rebuild tissues, so it can reduce wrinkles and is often the solution to extremely dry skin. Vitamin E on the other hand, is extremely detoxifying for the skin, and helps get rid of free radicals. There are also really high levels of shea butter in most African Black Soap which make it ultra-soothing and even provide some UV protection.

What skin issues can it be used to treat? African Black Soap is an all-around HEALING soap. Use it if you want to minimize acne, reduce wrinkles, calm bumps, cure dry skin, or soothe irritated redness. The soap is extremely gentle, so they say it’s also good for babies and the elderly. I’ve even heard that you can get a good lather and use it as a shampoo.

african black soap

Who has tried African Black Soap? I’d love to hear what you think!

Check out Naomi’s blog Numie Abbot.

More beauty tips from the BLDG 25 Blog.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Wow, sounds amazing. Please anyone who has tried it post. I’m very interested!

Roxy xox,
Visit my store:

9 years ago

I’ve always had very dry skin in the winter and Maryland has HORRIBLE WINTERS! (I’m most definitely a summer baby ^_^) I’ve always noticed black soap, but It looked so menacing. I didn’t realize it had all of these benefits! I’m always up to new things to try when it come to beauty and this article makes me excited to try it! Thanks Naomi! :D

9 years ago

I’ve used black soap for years, but I usually use the kind that is brown with black flecks…I think that’s the traditional kind…I love it! I’d tried cleansers with salicylic acid before, but they didn’t work as well as the combination of black soap and coconut oil to clear up my acne. Plus it makes my skin feel so soft(:

9 years ago

I was actually just needing a new soap… I looked online and this stuff is not even expensive compared to other natural brands. I will be trying this as both body wash and shampoo to see how it performs.

9 years ago

Yes, I agree with Taegan. Be careful of imposter African black soaps in drugstores. If the bar is literally black it is not the real deal. It should be a brown hue. Try searching amazon for raw African black soap. It’s inexpensive and you can order it by the pound!

9 years ago

I used to use black soap for scrubing. You put it on your skin, wait 10 min (most boring thing ever, what are you going to do for 10 min in your shower except freezing to death ?), then scrub with a special cloth that my mom got at a hammam, then rinse. It makes your skin much softer, so every single dead cell with go away when you scrub, it’s magical ! I didnt know you could just use it as a normal soap though, good to know !

9 years ago

Interesting read! Like some others above, I wonder how the quality varies from brand to brand of this.

9 years ago

I had never heard of this! So interesting..

9 years ago

omg I use this on my face all the time! It takes away my breakouts incredibly fast! I didn’t know they had a body wash, looks amazing can’t wait to try it.


9 years ago

Ever since I began med school, my skin has been under soooo much stress. I have super sensitive and oily skin that is constantly being discouraged by all those mainstream brands with disgustingly long ingredient lists with shit I can’t even pronounce.
My dermatologist recommended this soap to me two weeks ago and oh man it works SO well!! It doesn’t artificially strip my skin of all its natural oils but it totally takes off all of the impurities from makeup and the environment. My skin has been really appreciative and I haven’t broke out in about a week.
AND! These bars are only 2.50 at my local Target.

9 years ago

Very happy to see this miracle of a soap getting some attention. I have been using it for a while after finding it in our local all natural market and it works wonders to smooth and soften my skin. Didn’t know that it worked as a face wash as well, which is something I may have to try. Great choice!

9 years ago

Wow that’s so cool! I’ve never heard of that before. I’ll have to pick some up at Whole Foods. Thank you for sharing!!!

9 years ago

This is great!

9 years ago

I love this stuff! I picked it up at my local health store a few months ago and it really makes my skin glow. I use it to take off my makeup as well – it really gets in there and cleans everything, even mascara! Love it.

9 years ago

I use African Black soap for everything! I buy the brand Alaffia at whole foods, it comes in a large bottle made by the Yoruba tribe in West Africa. It’s cool because you can read all about their women’s and community empowerment projects they do through the stuff… but anyway African black soap is the most healing, versatile, and gentle stuff around. love love love

9 years ago

I just ordered it online, couldn’t resist! Thanks for the post!!

9 years ago

I love this soap! It’s been the only natural alternative that has helped clear my skin. I have also used products from the Alaffia brand and they’re really awesome people!
Check out this interview:

This brand also produces some great African Black Soap, made with organic, fair trade ingredients

9 years ago

I’m currently using African Black soap as my morning cleanser on my Acne prone skin. I have seen an improvement but it does leave my skin feeling a bit tight and too squeaky clean. i’m going to keep with it but I’m not sure I prefer it to a cream or balm cleanser.

9 years ago

I’ve tried it and loved the smell, but it was too harsh for my sensitive skin. :( I can’t even use it as a body wash. Got little red bumps everywhere. Maybe I had a bad batch?

Gypsy Plunder Vintage 50% OFF Moving Sale!

9 years ago

Not sure how much it goes for at whole foods But you can buy it on amazon for a good price !

9 years ago

This stuff is amazing, I always try to convert my friends. I am actually waiting for mine in the mail right now. And I definitely agree to get the raw kind. I was also thinking of trying raw shea butter for moisturizer.

9 years ago

I’m going to give it a try, my hands get so dry every winter

9 years ago

I use African black soap all the time! It truely does make your skin really soft and it helped keep my skin clear from those nasty zits that like to just come out of no where! I recemmend trying it instead of soaps or cleansers that have chemicals in them and claim I prevent these problem areas but all it really does is make it worse. This really helped and is so natural!

9 years ago

take a closer look into the ingredients being used to make this Black African Soap like Palm Oil…

9 years ago

I tried African Black Soap for 3 days (on my face) and my face was burning. It felt so raw (I also have very sensitive skin). I tried it as a body wash, but it dried out my skin too. I added 1/4 of olive oil because I couldn’t deal with it anymore