African Black Soap – What is it?

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What is African Black Soap?

African black soap originates mainly from West Africa and is called many different names. For instance, for the people of Ghana, it is popularly called Dudu Osun black soap, Alata Samina or Anago Soap whilst the Nigerians call it Ose Dudu. The soap is made from secret family or community recipes that have been handed down for generations. Black soap is a natural skin cleansing soap made in West Africa and used to lightly exfoliate and give you healthier looking skin. The soap can be used on your body or hair and works for oily skin, dry skin, skin conditions like eczema and is good for sensitive skin.  

Is Black African Soap really natural?

Coconut oil, Cocoa pod ash and Shea Butter are some the natural ingredients in African black soap which, ironically, is actually brown in colour.

Made famous by 'the Apprentice' shopping task in the UK African black soap has long been used for healing problem skin in Africa. Once you have tried this soap bar it's hard to go back to chemical based soaps especially when you consider the harsh ingredients.

Recently, I met a friend for lunch and I shared with him how excited I was about our best selling product - African black soap.  My Zimbabwean friend, who had not heard of such a thing or name before, quickly asked me, “What is so exciting about this soap? and why is it named African Black soap - can’t it be called anything else?”.

My friend did not know or understand the unique benefit of this soap and how for many centuries has been cherished in homes throughout West Africa. So I’m going to share this with you in this article.

What are the ingredients in genuine black soap?

The ingredients used in making the soap and the method of preparation varies from country to country and from family to family. Therefore the colour of the soap tends to also vary from brown to jet black. 

Aviela African Black Soap Ingredients:

  • CocosNucifera (Coconut Oil)
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Raw Shea Butter)
  • Cocoa Pod Ash, Aqua (Water),
  • Elaeis Guineensis (Palm Kernel Oil, unrefined palm oil )
  • Azadirachtin indica (Neem Oil)
  • Honey

The soap is made without Lye or Sodium Laurel Sulfate and has no preservative or dye. It is made from purely natural ingredients.  The main ingredients include Palm Kennel oil and Cocoa pod ash. It has a high natural glycerin content and black soap absorbs water!

Genuine black soap is made from 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 earthy colour. Water and oils including coconut, palm and shea butter are then added.

Aviela African Black soap contains some additional ingredients like honey to soften the skin, as well as Shea butter, Cocoa butter and Coconut oil for extra moisturising and nourishing properties. Because Pure traditional African black soap is a soft milled soap and has very high natural glycerin content. Black soap exposed to the air will have a thin white coloured film. 

Here’s an overview of the main ingredients found in our traditional African black soap, along with their benefits:

      • CocosNucifera (Coconut Oil) - A well-rounded ingredient pure coconut oil cleans and moisturizes the skin, and helps collagen production.
      • Butyrospermum Parkii (Raw Shea Butter) – Ricj in beneficial fatty acids, shea butter is one of the best ingredients for silky smooth skin and features in many skincare products. It helps repair damaged skin tissues and collagen production
      • Cocoa Pod Ash - Rich in antioxidants cocoa pods have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
      • Aqua (Water) - H20 what can we say its the essence of life!
      • Elaeis Guineensis (Palm Kernel Oil) - Palm kernel oil contains vitamin K an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is important for bone health.
      • Azadirachtin indica (Neem Oil) - The high fatty-acid content in neem oil is said to prevent and treat scars from acne. It also helps reduce redness and inflammation.
      • Honey - High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants.

How is black soap is made?

Our soap is made by a young group of women from Akotoshie just on the outskirts of Accra (Capital of Ghana). The making process is as follows:

  • Burning of the cocoa pod into ash which is then turned into a paste with water and put on the fire to boil
  • All the other oils are then mixed together and poured into the boiling potash solution
  • It is then allowed to boil until all the water evaporates
  • It is then prepared to be moulded in the soap making machine
  • It is placed into the soap making machine and made into a bar of soap
  • Then packaged ready to be shipped to the UK.

    What are the benefits of African Black Soap?

    Black soap, also known as African black soap is used for treating skin problems such as eczema and fine lines, as well as exfoliation and improving the complexion.

    Black soap has been claimed by many to offer various kinds of benefit to the skin and as is sometimes referred to as an’ African Apothecary’ for beautiful skin.

    It can be used all the way from your skin and hair down to your toes. It is also traditionally used in West Africa to give babies their first bath and is believed to prevent body odour. It's especially beneficial to oily skin types and acne sufferers. Black soap is a soft natural soap that lasts ages. It's a handmade, natural and soft.

    Benefits of black soap for skin conditions

    100% pure, unrefined, raw shea butter and raw African black soap helps in many skin conditions such as acne blemishes and wrinkles, stretch mark prevention during pregnancy, muscle fatigue, dermatitis. It is suitable for a wide range of skin conditions such as:-

    • Atopic eczema
    • Contact dermatitis
    • Cold sores
    • Psoriasis
    • Vitiligo

    It has been known to heal problem skin throughout history. It's excellent for reducing fine lines, evening out skin pigmentation, eczema, razor burn and clearing up blemishes. It also lightly exfoliates to give you glowing healthier looking skin. The benefits of black soap include...

    • Reduces signs of ageing
    • Improves skin tone
    • Fights acne
    • Minimize Scars & Blemishes
    • Fades skins discolourations
    • Helps clear skin of spots
    • Good for shaving 
    • Promotes healing of skin
    • Deep cleansing action
    • Reduce Fine Lines & Wrinkles
    • Gentle exfoliation
    • Offers UV protection
    • Helps reveal radiant, glowy & healthy skin
    • Helps relieve acne, oily skin & other skin problems
    • Can be used in the shower, bathing and washing (hair, face & feet)

    Our black African soap is pure traditional, original and 100% natural. It cleanses, moisturises and comforts irritated skin while absorbing excess oil helping to calm and clear blemishes and troubled skin. Some uses and benefits of black soap include:

    1. Moisturising and Nourishing

    Black soap is mainly made with natural oils which are usually rich in vitamins A and E.  This causes the soap to clean while nourishing the skin in addition to retaining moisture in the skin.  However, it must be noted that some people find that upon first use, the skin normally feels dry and tight.  This is usually because the soap draws out all impurities and excess oils from the skin, but after a few days (usually about a week), the pH levels of the skin balances out with the soap, leaving the skin feeling soft, smooth and beautiful.

    2. Improves Skin Tone and Texture

    African Black soap firms and tones the skin while improving skin texture.  It leaves skin feeling more supple and radiant.

    3. Deep Cleansing Action

    African black soap is really great for deep pore cleansing.  Due to the oils and butters, most women find that it to be really effective for removing makeup.

    4. Effective Exfoliator

    Since black soap is made of ashes, it has exfoliating properties which help to remove dead skin cells, causing the skin to feel smooth and rejuvenated. 

      Is it safe to use pure African black soap on children and infants skin?

      Our 100% natural soap is absolutely fine for babies and children. Some (not all) of the chemical versions of African Black soap on the market actually contain skin lighteners - which are NOT okay for use on kids and babies. But the pure stuff from Ghana doesn't contain those nasty things, so its fine for both mum and baby.

      What is African Black Soap good for?

      1. It's a Natural Skin Cleanser 

      The lauric acid in palm kernel oil and coconut oil creates a nice lather and is naturally anticacterial.

      2. It's Good for All Skin Types

      Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or a combination of the two, African black soap works wonders for every skin type. Coconut oil and shea butter counteracts dryness by deeply hydrating the skin.

      3. Gentle Exfoliation
      African black soap is organic, unprocessed, and raw (if its authentic) stuff, the grainy quality of this soap makes it a wonderfully gentle exfoliator.

      4. Fights Acne

      In addition to the cleansing powers of lauric acid, African black soap also has other nutrients and fatty acids that make it an effective acne buster. 

      5. Reduce Fine Lines & Wrinkles

      Providing a diverse mix of gallic acid, tannins, and catechins, phenolics and flanonoids, African black soap can help fight free radical damage that contribute to  signs of aging.

      6. Evens Skin Tone
      Hyperpigmentation – or the darkening of an area of the skin – can be caused by sun damage, acne, inflammation, and other skin injuries that increase the production of melanin. Studies have shown that cocoa pods can inhibit tyrosinase activity, resulting in lighter skin tones. 

      7. Treats Eczema
      Eczema symptoms can be swiftly treated with African black soap. Free of artificial chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin, 

      8. Minimize Scars & Blemishes
      The ingredients in African black soap also means it is excellent for reducing the appearance of acne scars and stretch marks. 

      9. Naturally Anti-Fungal
      You can use African black soap to treat athlete’s foot, fungus and candida overgrowth. It can be used against household mold too.

      How does African black soap work?

      Traditional soaps tend to dry out the skin too much can actually trigger more oil and sebum production. Black soap works by cleansing the skin but without harsh chemicals, the Shea butter and coconut oil help to soothe and hydrate irritated skin. 

      Is black soap good for dry skin?

      Most definitely. It includes shea butter so its better for dry skin types. If you find it’s drying out your skin, use a little less. A little goes a long way. If you have sensitive and/or dry skin start out by using it only once a day.

      Always use a moisturiser afterwards, especially if your skin tends to be dry, and during winter months when cold weather could further dry out the skin. Some people use the soap as a shampoo or mild makeup remover.

      Is black soap good for Eczema or Psoriasis?

      Eczema and Psoriasis symptoms can be swiftly treated with African black soap. Free of artificial chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin, African black soap is enriched with plenty of things that can counter inflammation and add moisture to the epidermis. Coconut oil, shea butter, and palm kernel oil, in particular, provide deep hydration while soothing the swelling and pain that often accompanies an eczema flare-up. It's perfect for helping relieve symptoms of eczema and psoriasis and leaves skin feeling soft.

      Is African black soap good for acne?

      Research suggests widespread usage and satisfaction of black soap for the reduction in symptoms of various dermatologic conditions. It is extremely gentle on the skin. It's so gentle that it can be used on sensitive skin (even babies) and for a host of different skin conditions, or to simply keep healthy skin healthy.

      African black soap is not just your average everyday bar of soap. it is 100% natural and offers real healing benefits to the skin. Aviela's African black soap can be used for all skin types and for all ages.  We hope you will try it and enjoy it - find it in our store

      Liquid Black Soap

      We also produce a mild liquid black soap voted one of the best cleansers for sensitive skin by the Independent. Shea Butter Liquid Black Soap is an all-purpose natural cleanser which can be used to wash face, body and even hair. 

      We avoid products that include SLSs, which cause shower gels to foam, fragrances (parfum) and parabens. They’re all ingredients that usually cause flare-ups for those with sensitive skin. 

      Can African Black Soap Be Used as a Shampoo?

      Yes, though it’s often included as an ingredient in homemade shampoo rather than used on its own. Our liquid black soap is multi purpose for body, hair and shaving.

      What is the best African black soap?

      Well, we will leave this for you to decide! But here are a few of our five-star reviews...

      Absolutely exceptional!

      I have been buying for months now, so cheap for such a REAL and authentic soap. I was nervous about buying at first because of how many fake or artificial African soaps are out there, or if they were not properly processed/ created or unfairly done for cheap labour etc. So I emailed the founder and she herself personally wrote pages upon pages of all the details, full ingredients list and where and how they come from, documents of validity for everything she was saying, and a whole gallery of the women in Ghana who make this product and how she visits them every so while and the relationship they have, and how it’s all 100% fair etc. Patricia, thank you for the work you do for strong black beautiful women! 

      I have to give this soap 5 stars for what it did to my skin!
      I have to give this soap 5 stars for what it did to my skin! My skin was squeaky clean but not dry, so soft. It really helped with congestion on my face and back. I must say I underestimated how strong this soap is and I used it every day because I loved what it did for my skin. Not a good move, for me anyway. My skin got very very dry. That's not the fault of the product though, I just think I cannot use it every day. Definitely a must for my body cleansing regime though, albeit less frequently.

      I love it. I have been telling my friends about it.
      I have oily skin, and I feel like my skin is really clean after using the black soap. I love it. I have been telling my friends about it.

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