BPGP: African Black Soap

A few weeks ago, I tried an all natural African black soap from Shea Terra, and hated it.  In the comments on that post, someone recommended that instead of buying a processed version of black soap, I should try the unprocessed kind.  And, boy, did it make all the difference in the world.

African Black Soap (sometimes called Ghanaian Black Soap) starts with the ash from burned plantain peels, cocoa pods and other plant material.  That ash is then mixed with pure shea or cocoa butter.  The resulting concoction looks something like a soil sample, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

The lather this soap creates is one of the richest, most velvety lathers that I have ever seen. The soap has virtually no smell when used (in the bag there’s a bit of an odor).  And it’s natural texture even provides a light exfoliating effect.

For $11 on Amazon, I bought a full pound of soap, a chunk roughly the size of a football.  Which I’ve not only been using myself, but giving away indiscriminately to friends and neighbors.

For me, the product has really helped my acne.  Even during the worst time of the month, the redness and bumps are noticeably smaller, if not gone completely.  It’s also tightened my pores, but isn’t too drying. (It’s a touch drying, but that just means that I can’t skip moisturizer.)

My building manager has been using the soap on her daughter, who suffers from eczema.  In two weeks, she hasn’t had a single flare up. A school pal, who develops dry, scaly patches on her face and hands during the winter, is patch free.

So is this low-budget soap a miracle product straight from the cradle of life?  I certainly think so.  I already bought two more pounds.


    leave a comment

  1. Lauren says:

    I ordered it today, too! All of the reviews were positive, but I am also curious how you use it. On your face or body or both? Do you use it with your Clairsonic?

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. WZ says:

    How do you use the soap? Do you just break it down to pieces and rub on your face? Or rub on hands then face?

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  3. Stephanie says:

    Hi Belle, I really want to try this product, but even at a mere $11 I'm hesitant to buy a whole pound. Any way I could get a small sample from you to try first? ­čÖé Please let me know! I'm so excited to see if it works…

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  4. missy says:

    So it can be used on face and body? I worry about dryness on my body during the winter.

    I'm a sucker for good soap. Plus, I try to use soap that doesn't contain palm oil – save the orangutans! – so alternative ingredients are appreciated.

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  5. Ms. C says:


    Like WZ, I am also curious how you use this (I've never tried a bar soap because I always thought it would be too drying). Do you lather in your hands? Are you still using you Clarasonic? So many questions…

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  6. Mary says:

    Oh thanks for the tip! I'm going to have to try it!

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  7. Mel says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I just ordered this and can't wait to give it a shot.

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  8. JS says:

    Just ordered a pound for myself and even got free 2 day shipping with an Amazon Prime trial. Can't wait to try it, thanks for the tip!

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  9. basiccravings says:

    I just ordered this! Thank you!

    November 30, 2011/Reply
  10. KP says:

    Hi Belle,

    From all of your posts it seems like we have very alike skin types. I really appreciate all of your posts about skincare products (The Clarisonic has changed my life). But with so many reviews I was wondering if you could do a post of what your exact skin care regime is as of now. Or a best of the best type of post.


    November 30, 2011/Reply
  11. N says:

    Hey ,
    I am Ghanaian so I am familiar with this soap and in Ghana, it is pretty much a household staple.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  12. Heather says:

    Hi Belle,

    Have you ever used Indian Healing Clay aka “World's Most Powerful Facial?” ($6 on Amazon, also can sometimes find at Whole Foods) Its 100% pure bentonite clay. You mix a tiny bit with apple cider vinegar to make a mask (the key is to make it a really thin mask), then you leave it on as long as you can possibly stand (for me thats only ever like 4 minutes- it makes your face PULSATE like crazy, and itch a little), rinse off, and you will have the tightest, smallest-almost-invisible pores, most exfoliated, cleanest face ever. I'm acne prone, but my biggest problem was a plethora of whiteheads all over my forehead. With the help of a Clarisonic and the Indian Clay facial twice a month, ALL of my acne, and most importantly, whiteheads are gone- something I've spent 10 yrs and every RX acne medicine ever created trying to fix!

    The key is to put on the thinnest layer possible. The first 3 times I did it, I put it on way too think and it didn't work at all and made me extremely skeptical that it would ever work. Glad I stuck with it though! The results are awesome! Just beware, it smells kind of gross, the pulsating is really freaky, never order anything but the smallest size possible (one jar will last you decades), and definitely moisturize after, it also dries skin.


    December 1, 2011/Reply
  13. Belle says:

    KP-Check my Pinterest page for best of the best. I haven't added black soap or 1 hour pimple patches yet. https://pinterest.com/caphillstyle/pins/

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  14. Amanda says:

    I definitely think I need to try this soap. Thanks for posting about it!

    December 4, 2011/Reply
  15. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Belle — I'm a regular reader, but have never commented before. This time I had to stand up and give testimony regarding this soap. After reading your post, I decided to order some for my twin daughters who are just entering puberty. They have breakouts on their chests and backs (as well as some on their faces, but our Clarisonic helps there). The soap has been fantastically effective after only about ten days of use! Absolutely no chestne and the backne is much improved. I also use it on my body and don't find it to be too drying, but I always use body lotion after a shower. They are next going to use it on their faces, although cautiously because it is quite grainy. Let's hope for equivalent success. Thanks very much for the recommendation. You have helped to ease the pain of adolescence. I really enjoy your blog.

    (P.S. I posted a similar comment a few minutes ago but it did not pop up, so I apologize if this is at some point dupicative.)

    December 16, 2011/Reply