This 100% natural soap has been used by our West African neighbors for healing problem skin for generations. It has only recently gained popularity (and cost) thanks to beauty bloggers.
As such, there are a number of online retailers charging RIDICULOUS prices for it, ranging from R100 to R300.
The natural cleanser is usually used to lightly exfoliate skin and give it a healthy glow, but it has also been known to even out dark spots, ease eczema and soothe razor bumps and blemishes. It can also reportedly help with oily, dry and sensitive skin as well as rashes and scalp irritations.
This could probably be because the soap is made from 100% natural ingredients such as locally harvested African plants including plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea tree bark. Water and oils such as coconut, palm and shea butter are later added to the mix.
Because the soaps are naturally made, there is no reason for a 150g bar to cost more than R30 in South Africa (which is about $2.30). The only time a bar of African black soap would cost more than that is when it is made by a big manufacturer who has added a number of artificial ingredients to it.
The soap I used is called Dudu Osun and comes in green packaging. One bar lasts me 2 - 3 months because I only use it on my face.
The soap makes a lot of lather when water is added to it so be careful not to use too much. Be careful not to rub the bar directly onto your skin as some of the pods and seeds in the soap bar can be quite abrasive (they can scratch your skin).
The rawest form of the soap from Ghana often looks uneven and crumbly, but it often the most home-made looking soap that works the best.
The soap should also have quite a natural, earthy smell or a faint cocoa smell. Anything that has any type of floral fragrance isn’t natural.
There are a number of resellers claiming to sell originals but they may be fake so be very careful who you purchase from. Only purchase from retailers that have be recommended to you by someone you know and trust.
African black soap works for all types of skin from all races but be sure to consult a dermatologist before using it if you have extremely sensitive skin.
The soap might pose a problem for people who are caffeine-sensitive therefore, you should test the soap on a small piece of skin 24 hours before you use it.
According to the Mother Nature Network, small amounts of naturally occurring latex can be found in shea butter so you should also be careful if you have a latex allergy.
Main image credit: instagram.com/africanorganictouch