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What is African Black Soap?

What is African Black Soap?

I get asked many questions about the origins and uses of black soap. I love sharing the fascinating information I have gathered both from my experience using it as a child growing up in Nigeria and from my research as I travel to various production sites in Ghana. It's amazing how women have used simple and locally available material to create soaps that are truly effective clearing and brightening the skin. I hope you enjoy this post and feel free to send us your thoughts and questions about black soap


Black Soap, Ose Dudu or Alata Samina is a true West African Soap and one of Africa’s best-kept beauty secret. Black soap has it's origins among the Yoruba in Nigeria, but receives more widespread use and production among Ghanaian West Africans. Legend has it that the black soap was introduced to Ghana many years ago by Yoruba traders doing business in Ghana. These traders were women and many were in the business of selling tomatoes and peppers. They were called the Alatas (Pepper Sellers). Samina is an Akan word for soap. The word Alata Samina, coined by Ghanaians, means 'The Pepper Traders Soap'.

What is Black Soap?

Black soap is a dark colored cleansing bar. It is soft and porous and dissolves faster than most cold press soaps. Black soap produces a very rich lather and gives the skin a clean soft feel. Many users claim that Black soap buffs away dead skin cells and clears up acne, eczema, blemishes and discolorations. Black soap is 100% natural, organic and vegan in origin and process.

Who Uses Black Soap?

Although African in origin, Black Soap is suitable for all ethnicities and works especially well lifting dead dry skin to reveal newer & healthier glowing skin. It is gentle enough to use morning and night and does a great job of unclogging pores.

How Does Black Soap Work

Black soap effectively cleanses the skin. It even completely removes makeup, though you should not use it as an eye makeup remover. It has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that deeply yet gently cleanses the skin.

The ash in the soap helps to naturally and gently exfoliate the skin, clearing clogged pores of excess oil, sebum and debris, without over-drying. This is key, since drying the skin too much can actually trigger more oil and sebum production. The soap also helps to tone the skin and improve its texture over time. It helps to clear up old spots and even out skin tone all while lifting dead skin.

In addition, black soap provides the proper moisturize balance for the skin. The Shea butter and coconut oil help to smooth and hydrate the skin. Our African Black Soap has the right balance of natural ingredients to keep your skin soft and smooth, all while locking in the moisture. We use only the best unrefined Shea butter as it has a higher concentration of skin calming, anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Use Black Soap

Take the bar in your hand and run it under some water. Lather it up and wash in circular motions. Rinse and pat dry. If you have acneic skin, leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. If using liquid black soap, pump once into your hand and lather in circular motions. Rinse & follow with a natural moisturizer. The liquid black soap works great in conjunction with skin cleansing devices.

Additional Tips: 


We've made using black soap super easy to use by putting it in liquid form. Our African Black Soap Body Wash creates an even more soothing effect because it has colloidal oatmeal. Both the bar and the body wash are perfect for the face and the entire body! Consider following your cleansing ritual using a light, anti-inflammatory moisturizer, such as natural aloe vera. Aloe is great for soothing acne and irritated skin, providing moisture, without clogging the pores. 

You can shop our African Black Soap here. Enjoy!

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