Black soap Review: If you’ve lived, especially in Nigeria, you have used a black soap or at least seen it lying around your home.
Generally, Black soap is very popular especially in West Africa. It is super affordable and most people swear by it. It can easily be made at home if you have all the ingredients. While it is said to be made with pure natural ingredients, I wouldn’t say I’m sure this is true. You’ll read all about it in a few minutes.
Now the spotlight is on Dudu Osun, the OG of all black soaps. I remember using it when I was a lot younger and I loved the earthly smell of this soap. I would feel so clean after use and would knick a few bars to keep in my drawer so I can always smell it around. Weird much? Haha.
Dudu Osun’s gained it popularity a long time ago and it came in a brown wrapping like most bars soaps. Most reviews have said it helped clear Acne and it’s been positive so far but I don’t have Acne so I wouldn’t say it has helped with that (for me).
Ingredients used for the African Black soap – Dudu Osun:
- Aloe Vera
- Osun (camwood)
- Cocoa pod ash
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Palm kernel oil
- Palm bunch ash
- Pure honey
- Pure Honey
- Calcium Carbonate
The Black soap has a number of benefits for the skin such as
- Controlling excess oil on the skin
- Profound anti aging properties
- Reduces blemishes and a remedy for acne
On the flip side, you might notice that Dudu Osun, like other Black soaps, might have the following effects on the skin: As you know, this is relative as different skin reacts to products, differently
- Unwanted skin lightening
- Unwanted skin darkening
- Excess drying of the skin
- Residue and dirt after rinsing
The Review on Dudu Osun: The African Black soap.
I really love Dudu Osun. I bought it at Ebeano and I can’t remember the actual price of the item. Couldn’t be over 250 NGN (Naira). This is not the first black soap I have used. I have used the pure black soap without Shea butter or any additives. I have also used Fig Tree Tumeric Black Soap (that a colleague swears by to help treat Acne)- retailing at 2,500 NGN, Ambi Fade Black Soap, Nubian Black Soap and a ton of others I can’t remember but Dudu Osun stands out in a good way.
I noticed that Dudu Osun has a really good earthly smell and a very rich lather unlike Ambi Fade Black soap. Dudu Osun, like other Black soaps, leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean, might lead to itching and proper dryness of the skin. This means that the soap has technically stripped the skin of the natural oil, which can also alter the skin’s pH and potentially damage the skin’s barrier. That is NOT good. In other words, it is “harsh”.
You would want a soap that packs a punch like Dudu Osun but without it affecting the Stratum Corneum of the skin. Loud sigh!
The list of ingredients are incomplete.
“Dudu Osun Black Soap Ingredients: Pure honey, Shea butter, Osun (Camwood), Palm kernel Oil, Cocoa pod ash, palm bunch ash, Aloe Vera, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Water and Fragrance”- Dudu Osun’s Website
I particularly raised an eyebrow when looking through the list. There are really great ingredients for this products like Camwood, Shea butter, Palm Kernel Oil, AloeVera, Water, Lemon Juice.
Wow!!! Just wow.
I noticed it made no mention of Preservatives and emulsifiers (but it’s known that water and oil do not mix and a great and a well formulated soap like this must have an emulsion involved).
You know, Water and Oil do not mix but they get on like gang busters especially when you throw a buffet that involves oils, juices, butters and water. They get their other friends such as Bacteria, fungi and molds to get your products yucky.
So it’s either that preservatives were used (and not mentioned, so what else are y’all hiding haha) or we are just a party to the gangbusters of bacteria and fungi. We need some answers.
I noticed that the Black soap- Dudu Osun stains the bath area (which isn’t a big deal for me. A proper rinse after bathing can deal with that).
Addressing the “Drying Effect” of Dudu Osun or Black Soaps:
It’s no news that a Black soap is drying and can be horrid but Dudu Osun is one soap I can go above and beyond to make it acceptable. There are ways to tweak the ingredients on the soap/ make it less drying on the skin.
- Delay after purchase but before expiration- I have learnt that the Black soap can be purchased but not used immediately. This is to reduce the efficacy of Potash used and make it less drying aka not a fresh batch.
- Another recommendation is to ask the ladies in the market to tweak the ingredients by reducing the “caustic ingredients” for a gentler version. I don’t see myself going that far though
- The most doable recommendation for me is to add oils and rosewater to it. This is to make it less gentler and less drying on the skin (Thanks to Bisi of “thatgeminigirl” for the tip).
Perhaps you can use it on your skin and rinse immediately, rush to your dresser and generously moisturize but then again, it’s easier said than done especially if you have to layer skin care products and wait inbetween minutes for the next application.
Whatever works, I still love this soap. Is this a throwback for you? Please let me know if you loved/hated this soap.