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Is African Black Soap Good for Acne? The Evidence

African black soap has been used for centuries across West Africa to cleanse and nourish the skin. Now gaining popularity worldwide, this natural skincare wonder has become a go-to solution for those seeking an effective, all-natural remedy for various skin concerns, including acne. But is African black soap good for acne, and how does it work to address this common skin issue?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the fascinating origins of African black soap, delve into its potent ingredients, and discover why it has become such a highly sought-after skincare product.

We'll also discuss how African black soap can help with acne and how it caters to various skin types. Moreover, you'll learn how to properly use African black soap to achieve the best results and avoid potential pitfalls.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • African black soap is a natural, effective solution for treating acne, thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • The soap is suitable for various skin types, including oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin, making it a versatile skincare option.

  • Using African black soap as part of your daily skincare routine can help improve skin texture, balance oil production, and prevent future breakouts.

  • Exposed Skin Care is an effective acne management system that combines science and nature, offering a comprehensive treatment option for clear, healthy skin.

Woman holding an African Black Soap

A Brief History of African Black Soap

The Origins of African Black Soap

African black soap originated in West Africa, primarily in Ghana and Nigeria. This indigenous black soap commonly has a dark brown or black hue, depending on its specific formulation. The traditional method of creating African black soap involves sun-drying locally-made black soap and roasting it with various plant ingredients.

Key Ingredients in African Black Soap

African black soap is renowned for its natural and potent ingredients, which provide various benefits to the skin. The soap is traditionally handcrafted using locally sourced raw materials that can vary depending on the region where it's made. However, some key ingredients are commonly found in most African black soaps:

Shea Butter

Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree native to West Africa. Rich in vitamins A and E, shea butter is known for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to nourish the skin, soothe irritation, and reduce inflammation, making it particularly beneficial for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree and is commonly used in African black soap for its moisturizing and antioxidant properties. It's high in vitamins A and E, which help to promote healthy skin and protect against environmental damage. Palm oil also helps to maintain the skin's natural oils and moisture barrier, preventing dryness and irritation.

Asia woman showing the bunch of red palm fruits for palm oil

Palm Kernel Oil

Palm kernel oil is obtained from the kernel of the oil palm fruit and is rich in lauric acid, which has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. This ingredient helps to combat acne-causing bacteria and reduce the occurrence of breakouts.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another vital ingredient in African black soap, known for its antimicrobial and moisturizing properties. It contains medium-chain fatty acids that help to maintain the skin's natural moisture barrier and protect against harmful bacteria, making it an effective ingredient for acne-prone skin.

Cocoa Pods

Cocoa pods are the shells of the cocoa fruit and are a primary source of ash in African black soap. When burned, the ash from cocoa pods acts as a natural exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote a smoother, more even complexion.

Plantain Skin Ash

Plantain skin ash is obtained by burning plantain peels, a staple food in West Africa. The ash contains a high concentration of iron, potassium, and magnesium, which provide various skin benefits, including natural exfoliation, reducing inflammation, and promoting skin healing.

Aloe Vera

Some African black soap formulations include aloe vera, a powerful plant extract known for its soothing and healing properties. Aloe vera is rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help to reduce inflammation, promote skin healing, and maintain the skin's moisture balance.

Person processing aloe vera

These key ingredients work together synergistically in African black soap to provide a natural, effective solution for treating acne, improving skin texture, and promoting overall skin health.

How African Black Soap Battles Acne

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties

One of the main reasons African black soap is good for acne is its natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. A study published in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research found that African black soap inhibits the growth of isolated human skin microflora, effectively reducing the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts.

Excess Oil Control

African black soap is a godsend for those with oily or combination skin types. It effectively balances the skin's natural oils, preventing excess oil production without over-drying the skin. This helps keep acne at bay by reducing the likelihood of clogged pores.

Natural Exfoliation

Using cocoa pods in African black soap provides gentle, natural exfoliation that helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. This promotes a smoother, clearer complexion and reduces the occurrence of acne breakouts.

Woman washing her face with African Blakc Soap

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

African black soap soothes, and calms irritated skin thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter and other natural ingredients. This helps to reduce redness and inflammation associated with acne, promoting faster healing and an overall healthier complexion.

Is African Black Soap Suitable for All Skin Types?

African black soap can be beneficial for a wide range of skin types, including:

  • Oily skin: The soap's ability to control excess oil production makes it ideal for oily skin types.

  • Acne-prone skin: African black soap's antibacterial properties and natural exfoliation make it an excellent choice for those struggling with acne.

  • Combination skin: The soap effectively balances the skin's natural oils, making it suitable for those with combination skin.

  • Sensitive skin: Though African black soap can be a bit drying, it's generally gentle enough for sensitive skin types when used in moderation.

It's important to note that African black soap may not be ideal for those with extremely dry or sensitive skin. If you have this skin type, it's crucial to monitor your skin's reaction to the soap and adjust your usage accordingly.

How to Use African Black Soap for Acne

Daily Skin Care Routine

Incorporating African black soap into your daily skincare routine is simple. To maximize its acne-fighting benefits, follow these steps:

  1. Wet the soap and work it into a lather between your hands.

  2. Gently massage the lather onto your face using circular motions. Be sure not to scrub too hard, as this may cause irritation.

  3. Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water.

  4. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

  5. Apply a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

Man washing her face with African Blakc Soap

Listening to your skin's needs when using African black soap is essential. Some people may find daily use beneficial, while others may prefer to use it every other day or even just a few times a week.

Patch Test

Before using African black soap on your entire face, conducting a patch test is crucial to ensure that your skin won't react adversely to the soap. To perform a patch test:

  1. Wet a small area of the soap and work it into a lather.

  2. Apply the lather to a small, inconspicuous area of your face, such as behind your ear or on the side of your neck.

  3. Wait 24 hours to see if any redness, itching, or irritation occurs.

If your skin reacts negatively to the patch test, it's best to discontinue use or use alternative acne treatment options.

Tips for Using African Black Soap

To get the most out of African black soap, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Always store your soap in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. A wooden soap dish with proper drainage can help extend the soap's lifespan.

  • If your skin feels too dry or tight after using African black soap, consider using a more hydrating cleanser or reducing the frequency of use.

  • To enhance the soap's acne-fighting properties, consider adding a few drops of tea tree oil or other essential oils with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • For a more thorough exfoliation, try mixing the soap with a small amount of natural exfoliant, such as ground oatmeal or brown sugar.

Exposed Skin Care: An Effective Solution for Acne Management

Exposed Skin Care is a comprehensive acne treatment system that has garnered a loyal following due to its effectiveness in managing acne. By combining natural ingredients with powerful acne-fighting compounds, Exposed Skin Care helps users achieve radiant skin.

Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

Here are some key benefits of using this renowned acne treatment system:

  • Combination of science and nature: Exposed Skin Care combines proven scientific ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, with natural extracts like green tea, licorice root, and aloe vera. This unique blend ensures that the products are both effective and gentle on the skin.

  • Suitable for all skin types: Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, Exposed Skin Care offers a range of products designed to cater to various skin types and concerns. This makes it an inclusive acne treatment option for everyone.

  • Prevents future breakouts: By targeting acne-causing bacteria and promoting healthy skin cell turnover, Exposed Skin Care treats existing acne and helps prevent future breakouts.

  • Improves overall skin health: The natural ingredients in Exposed Skin Care products work together to nourish, soothe, and protect the skin, resulting in improved skin health and a more radiant complexion.

  • Money-back guarantee: Exposed Skin Care is so confident in the effectiveness of its products that it offers a full one-year money-back guarantee, allowing users to try the system risk-free.

Exposed Skin Care is a highly effective acne management system combining science and nature to deliver clear, healthy skin. Its inclusive range of products and a money-back guarantee make it an excellent option for those seeking a reliable solution to their acne concerns.


Discovering black soap can be a transformative experience for those struggling with acne and various skin concerns. With its natural and potent ingredients, unprocessed African black soap offers a powerful alternative to conventional acne treatments. As a facial cleanser, it targets acne-causing bacteria and promotes overall skin health.

Traditional African black soap, rich in shea butter, palm oil, and other nourishing ingredients, is suitable for various skin types, making it a versatile and inclusive skincare option.

By incorporating African black soap into your daily routine, you can experience the remarkable benefits of African black soap, including clearer skin, balanced oil production, and improved skin texture. Embrace the time-tested wisdom of traditional African black soap and unlock the potential for healthier, radiant skin.


Does African black soap get rid of acne?

African black soap can be highly effective in treating acne due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, individual results may vary, and listening to your skin's needs when using the soap is essential.

How long does African black soap take to clear acne?

The time it takes for African black soap to clear acne can vary greatly depending on the individual and the severity of their acne. Some users may see noticeable improvement within a few weeks, while others may require a longer period of consistent use.

How often should I use African black soap for acne?

The frequency of use will depend on your skin type and how your skin reacts to the soap. Some individuals may find daily use beneficial, while others may prefer to use it every other day or just a few times a week. It's essential to listen to your skin's needs and adjust your usage accordingly.

Is African black soap good for your face?

Yes, African black soap is good for your face and can provide numerous benefits, including acne reduction, improved skin texture, and a more even complexion. However, it's crucial to use this type of soap in moderation, as overuse can cause dryness and irritation.