African black soap has in recent years taken the world by storm. Said to have origins in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Togo, the soap known as ose dudu has been a trusted skincare stable among the Yoruba people for centuries.

Traditionally, the African black soap is made with simple plant-based ingredients such as palm leaves, shea tree bark, plantain skins, cocoa pod powder, which are usually sun-dried and then burnt into ash and combined with palm oil and water, giving way to its colour and name.

Today, it brings relief to a number of skin irritations and blemishes, with modern variations that include ingredients such as activated charcoal.

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According to Relebohile Moeng, founder of Afri-Berry, which produces Moroccan Gold African Black Soap, its benefits include cleansing the skin deeply, exfoliating the skin, improving skin texture and softening and nourishing the skin.

These are the five benefits of African Black Soap:

Soothes acne

Because of the natural ingredients used in authentic African black soap, it is gentle enough to use on most skin types and can help soothe skin conditions such as acne. The ash contained in black soap gently exfoliates skin, removing excess oil and dirt in clogged pores.

Fades skin discolouration

African black soap can help combat dark spots through the powerful properties found in shea and cocoa butter, which are packed with vitamins A, E and K and rich in essential fatty acids.

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Provides UV protection

Through its shea bark ingredient, the soap helps provide skin with some UV protection and alleviates the effects of sun damage.

Acts as an anti-bacterial agent

African black soap’s palm oil ingredient acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. It also contains vitamin E and can assist with conditions such as eczema, rashes and psoriasis.

Fights premature aging

Cocoa pod powder is packed with antioxidants, which combat premature ageing.