Originating from West Africa, African Black soap named Ose Dudu in Yoruba is best known for treating common skin care woes like acne, skin inflammation, dryness and uneven skin tone (including previous acne scarring and blemishes).
Traditional African black soap is made up of all natural ingredients and without lye and synthetic ingredients of common household western soaps which can cause inflammation and further breakouts in extreme cases. For people with acne and dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis African black soap is definitely a superior choice to other soaps due to its flexibility in use all over the body.
Editors Note: We found the African Black Soap by Better Shea Butter to be excellent for functionality and cost. Sadly it is only available in the USA. A close second choice available across the planet is the Shea Moisture African Black Soap by Shea Moisture.
African Black Soap Reviews – The most popular brands examined!
Let’s jump into some of the reviews of African black soap but scroll down for some frequently asked questions and a mini guide on how to use African black soap.
1. Shea Moisture African black soap – By Shea Moisture
Shea Moisture (the manufacturer) has a modified recipe from the usual African black soap formula. This particular black soap has the usual base but with the addition of oats, vitamin E, aloe vera and unsurprisingly shea butter. The total combined weight of three bars of Shea Moisture African black soap comes to 1.5lbs (705g) which is pretty cost effective for a premium African black soap. Click here to check price on Amazon.
- The extra added ingredients (oats, aloe vera, vitamin E) from the original recipe add to the efficiency of this black soap to both moisturize and soften skin
- Rather than smelling earthy the shea butter makes it smell more pleasant than other competing soaps adding to the overall allure of this soap.
- Although the soap is marketed toward severely dry skin, it is excellent for all skin types
- Whilst this is not the recipe that West Africans used 100 years ago this modified formula doesn’t seem to have any negative consequences whilst staying true to the all natural philosophy.
2. Dodu Osun Soap – By Dodu Osun
Dodu Osun soap is great for all skin types and has the usual benefits of any other African black soap. One of Dodu Osun’s biggest costs is shipping due to the actual Dodu Osun soap being manufactured in West Africa so they provide decently sized discounts the more bars you buy.
- The Modified recipe includes honey, aloe vera, lime juice, lemon juice, and fragrances. All of these extra ingredients are uncommon, however, accomplish the job of traditional black soap but be aware that it is not the original recipe that was created hundreds of years ago.
- Extremely cost effective for a 12 pack.
- Although this soap works well to clear acne, blemishes, and eczema, it does have a higher risk of staining your white wash cloths, shower curtains, and bathtub/shower cubicle.
- Safe to use on the face and body and leaves skin smooth and soft.
- Fairly large bar at (150g/5.4oz) which lasts a between 2-4 months dependant on use.
3. Alaffia African Black Soap – By Allaffia
Lovingly handcrafted, Alaffia African black soap has two very cool founders and an amazing story to boot. Alaffia is a social enterprise to empower the local community in a fair trade approach to break the cycle of poverty in Togo, West Africa. An interesting fact when we tested this was that in Togo, African black soap is the only soap used to wash newborn babies.
- This soap comes naturally unscented however some users may find the natural scent unpleasant and slightly earthy.
- Upon regular use, this soap gets used up fairly quickly which is soft and occasionally hard to handle. When introduced to water it can crumble apart.
- 3oz (85g) bar is smaller than other branded soaps.
- Due to the Alaffia African Black soap being hand made with all natural ingredient the color may vary from the pictures
- It is worth noting that users find mixed results with this brand of soap.
4. Nubian Heritage black soap – Nubian Heritage
Nubian Heritage Black Soap is another successfully modified black soap recipe which works better than the original iterations of African black soap. The extra added ingredients include oats, papaya enzymes, and aloe Vera which helps to soothe skin and fight acne. Whilst reviewing this soap we did find there to be a discrepancy in the list of ingredients.
- Great for all skin types
- Ethically sourced, sustainable and no animal testing African black soap
- Fragranced soap with other synthetic ingredients
- Depending on where you buy this soap from you can get an all natural variety but the reviewed version was not the all natural soap and contained synthesized ingredients.
- This Nubian Heritage Black soap has mixed reviews from some users. This may due to some of the non-natural ingredients that people who want African black soap are trying to get away from!
5. Shea Butter African black soap – By Better Shea Butter
Shea Butter African Black soap is one of the more unique soaps on this review list due to its versatility and brand values (vegan and cruelty-free). One of the best features of this soap is that it has unrefined shea butter which helps to moisturize dry flaky skin and soothe the skin of someone suffering from eczema. In addition to this, many individuals use this product as a one soap solution and make shampoos, body scrubs, and facial cleansers. Click here to check the price on Amazon.
- Comes in a 1lb block which you can cut and use to your own liking for a variety of uses.
- Suitable for making your own shampoo out of. Just follow manufacturers instructions by dissolving specific ratios of soap in water.
- Unlike other manufacturers, this Shea Butter African Black Soap has excellent instructions to derive other products such as liquid black soap, black soap shampoo, and even a black soap body scrub.
- This soap is both vegan and cruelty-free
- Excellent for body acne, facial acne and use on scalp
6. Raw African Black Soap – By Our Earths Secrets
Raw African Black Soap is the original soap recipe that West Africans have used historically and made in the traditional methods. It should be worth noting that no African soap is “raw” as they are all “cooked” to mix ingredients and cure. A fairly unsightly looking soap which is very soft in consistency may alarm some users however this is the intentional consistency.
- Helps to clear up acne, skin blemishes and even out skin tone
- Since this is a 100% raw African black soap, the manufacturer advises that the soap shouldn’t be used directly on the face but lathered in hands and then applied to face.
- Although packaged well and not exposed to the environment, this soap comes as a 1lb block wrapped in saran wrap placed in a ziplock bag.
- Other brands have been found to contain foreign objects (screws, glass, toenails etc). Use with caution.
- Can be very crumbly and doesn’t hold its shape whilst being used
- Signature Earthy scent of an African black soap due to no added synthetic fragrances
Whats African black soap made of?
The traditional recipe for African black soap contains a variety of components and essential oils great for the skin providing moisturization and gentle exfoliation. These include plantain ash, shea butter, cocoa butter, palm oil, coconut oil and purified water. Other variations do exist just like any other recipe but these ingredients complete the base of African black soap.
What are the benefits of African Black Soap?
The list of benefits includes:
- Skin cleanser
- Gentle exfoliator
- Acne fighter
- Anti fungal
- Anti Bacterial
- Skin Moisturizer
- Eczema Treatment
- Reducing any uneven skin tone
- Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles
- Efficient anti inflammatory
African Black Soap For Acne – Does it work?
Quite simply yes it does! Many users have had acne breakouts clear their acne in a reasonable amount of time(between 1 week and 3 months) when used consistently.
How to Use African Black soap?
Any manufacturer instructions on how to use African black soap should supersede by any information we give. However in the absence of such instructions here is a handy dandy mini guide.
- Some African black soaps can be pretty soft due to the solid vegetable fat content in the soap so it is possible to break a small piece off and lather in hands. You may find the lather slightly grainy due to the vegetable matter. Alternatively for solid bars of black soap just lather soap as normal.
- Apply this lather to the area of skin or body you wish to wash. Massage in circles gently and then proceed to rinse off with plenty of water
- Dry skin with a clean and fresh towel or wash cloth. Using a clean towel means that you won’t be pushing previous dirt and debris into pores.
- Stop using any soap if you have any adverse side effects. (This goes for all cosmetics and skin products, not just African black soap).
Final Thoughts on African Black Soap For Acne
African Black soap is highly effective in clearing acne, evening out skin tone and moisturizing skin. In saying this however some manufacturers do change or modify the recipe for African black soaps which can lead to better results than original recipes however this is few and far between. Successful brands that have accomplished this are the shea moisture African black soap, Nubian Heritage black soap and shea butter African black soap which we recommend over the other brands.