3 amazing steps to make African black soap and its uses in Nigeria

Do you know that it only takes 3 steps to make African black soap?

We will get to know the 3 amazing steps to make African black soap and its uses in Nigeria.

This soap has been the bedrock of beauty in Africa, and it has been in existence from the onset. 

You will hardly see a tribe in Africa that does not make use of black soap, not because it is the only option for them, but because of the natural properties used in making it (ose abuwe) and the wonders, it does to the skin, hair and the general body. 

Black soap is medicinal it can be used to treat a lot of skin problems, it can be used on different skin be it fair skin, chocolate skin, or dark skin. It just depends on the making and the ingredients of the soap.

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Don’t worry, sit tight grab, something to munch on as this will be a very interesting journey as I will tell you all you need to know about raw African black soap.

A brief history of raw African black soap

Ose abuwe(black soap) commonly called by the westerners of Nigeria has been in existence for a long time, and it’s been manufactured by mostly women.

The soap process and techniques are first learned by the first set of Africans and especially the westerners of Nigeria and the Ghanaians.

Black soap is very popular in Ghana, Ghanaians are known for making black soap with different recipes and they produce it in quality and quantity with techniques best known to them. 

The process cannot just be gotten by anybody as the secret of making black soap is passed to them, so that makes it difficult for anyone to make or manufacture it.

Read Also: Skincare routine for a dark skin tone.

This soap as told earlier has different procedures, different recipes, and different tribes.

Raw African black soap has been used to treat different skin problems such as; acne, pimples, rashes, wrinkles, dry skin, fungus, and inflammation even hair before the existence of skincare products. 

Some tribe makes use of just palm kernel oil (Adi) and cocoa pod ashes to make their raw black soap, while some make use of tree bark, palm tree leaves, Shea butter and a lot more to produce black soap. And we will cover everything in this article.

Whatever process that is used to produce the African black soap just works perfectly. Without much ado, let us get the dice rolling.

Different recipes of black soap

  1. Shea butter
  2. Cocoa pod ashes
  3. Palm kernel oil
  4. Plantain peel
  5. Palm tree leaves
  6. African sandalwood
  7. Plantain peel

The 3 amazing steps to make African black soap. How to make raw African black soap?

We are going to treat this step by step and I promise to break the steps down that you will understand the making of black soap now let’s get our hands dirty.

Step 1: of the 3 amazing steps to make African black soap.

Gather and burn cocoa pod into ashes. After it has been burnt to ashes, then the burnt cocoa pod will be poured into a local pot with a hole in it, and then water will be poured into the local pot containing the burnt cocoa pod ashes.

Then the water poured will be fermented and mixed with the ashes, it will go through the holes in the local pot into a bucket that is underneath the local pot. 

After the water is fully drained, more water will be poured into the cocoa pod ashes again, and when that has been fermented too, the water or let us call it Eyin aro (it is called Eyin aro because of the process it underwent).   

Eyin Aro is the major ingredient used alongside Adi Ekuro (palm kernel oil) either burnt or collected from the grinding mill is used in the manufacturing process. It is time to move to step 2.

Step 2: The cooking process 

Firstly, Adi (palm kernel oil) will be poured into a large cooking pot (local pot) and placed on fire for it to boil and rise/swell, then the collected fermented water (Eyin Aro) will be poured into the same pot and placed on the fire. 

Take note of this.

It takes 4 to 5 hours to cook the fermented water and it depends on how fast burning the burner is, but the Africans make use of coal when cooking it. 

Some people even make use of 7 to 8 hours to fully cook it and get their desired result, as I said earlier it depends on how fast the burner is. 

When pouring the fermented water into the pot where Adi (palm kernel oil) is, the person pouring it will give a little distance as not to get burned by the hot ingredient.

After it has been cooked for 4 to 5 hours and now solid, it will be turned with a turning stick to undo any tangle and to make sure that it is well cooked, then step 3 will follow.

Step 3 of how to make African black soap and its uses in Nigeria;Turning the well-cooked and fermented water. 

After cooking the fermented cocoa pod ashes and palm kernel oil, the next thing is to add some palm kernel oil into the cooked fermented water that is now solid. 

Then get a turning stick and turn it well. 

Read Also: Things that are making your skin oily and acne in Nigeria.

Our black soap is almost ready it just needs some more steps so let us keeps going. After turning it, the next in line is to pound it with a pestle when it’s cold.

Mind you, it has to turn somehow white to show that it does not require more Adi (palm kernel oil) but if it does not turn white it still requires more Adi (palm kernel oil).

Step 4 of how to make African black soap and it uses in Nigeria: The pounding process.

Now let us assume that the soap is now cold and does not require more palm kernel oil. 

The next thing is to pour it into a mortar and pound it with a pestle. 

What we want to achieve here is that; we want the soap (made from cocoa pod ashes and Adi (palm kernel oil)) to be soft, undo every tangle, and make sure it is smooth. 

This process takes some time, but it’s better to make it worth the time to get a good result.

The final process, cooking slightly to transform into black soap

This process is important. It is important because white ashes from burnt plank will be used to wrap the black soap and the ashes have their process. Now let us go through the process.

How to reform the ashes

3 amazing steps to make African black soap and its uses in Nigeria.
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Step 1: Collect the ashes from the local stove and pour it into a bucket (big bucket) then add a lot of water to it.

Step 2: Remove- dirt like charcoal, small planks, and particles then get a filter or sieve the ashes, just to make sure it is particle-free and soft.

Step 3: Let the soft and particle-free ashes dry under the sun.

Now let us continue. So when the fermented ashes are dry and ready, the mounded black soap will now be rolled into the white ashes and thrown into a flat and wide pot, then the pot containing the black soap will be placed on fire for some minutes. 

Our African black soap is ready for use. At this junction, the black soap will be white at first and some people prefer it white while some like it brownish-black.

After some days, maybe 2 to 3, it will turn black and ready to use. It is not that the raw African black soap cannot be used while white, it can be used and it does work well, but to achieve a black soap state, it should be left alone for some time for it to fully turn black. 

3 amazing ways to make African black soap and it uses in Nigeria.
3 amazing steps to make African black soap and its uses in Nigeria.

You have gotten the major part of 3 amazing steps to make African black soap and its uses in Nigeria. Let us keep going as there are much to know about the black soap.

The usefulness of raw African black soap 

1: For the bathing of a newborn babe

African black soap can be used for bathing newborn babies. It is common for Africans to bathe a newborn baby with this soap before using any other type of soap to bathe the baby. This can be regarded as one of African culture.

2. It cures constipation

African black soap is medicinal in the way that people drink it to get rid of constipation. 

People in Nigeria, especially the northern part of Nigeria drink this soap to get rid of constipation and it works with no side effects. 

3. African black soap serves as a shampoo 

African black soap can as well be used as shampoo, as it will thoroughly get rid of dandruff and itchy scalp. 

Woman using black soap as shampoo.
Image source: Pexels

All you have to do is cut a slice and rub it thoroughly into the hair, then wash the hair layer by layer till you achieve the desired state. 

4 It fades scars 

African black soap is good at fading scars, especially black soap that is made with Shea butter. 

It will help to get rid of dead skin cells and boost collagen production. 

It will repair the skin tissues and fade off scars; it can also prevent a wound from turning into a scar. 

5 Treats eczema

The raw African black soap is great at treating eczema and it is very safe to use. 

Black soap will get rid of eczema within 4 to 5 days of usage. 

Read Also: Best skincare product in Nigeria as at 2021.

Some eczema treatment tends to lead to skin inflammation, which is treating one skin problem to get another, but that is not the case of African black soap as it will eradicate eczema without causing another skin problem. 

6 Serves as a makeup remover

I will always advise every makeup user to get rid of makeup with a makeup remover but trust me, African black soap works perfectly at removing makeup or makeup remnant from the face with one or two washes. 

It works so well that you may not even need other types of cleansers.

7. Good for general bath

This black soap (ose-abuwe) is good for a bath. I don’t even need to stress this because the major purpose of this soap is to make the general body clean. 

What you have to do is cut a little slice, apply it to your sponge and take your bath. A little slice will foam well and give a clean and flawless bath. 

8. Exfoliation purpose

African black soap can be used to remove dead skin layers because of the natural ingredients used in preparing the black soap.

For exfoliation purposes, you don’t need to cut a slice. What you have to do is make sure there is no particle or hard particle in the area you want to use to rub the body. 

Then gently rub your body with the soap and rinse well. In no time you will see it get rid of dead skin layers and give you natural, glowing, and radiant skin.

9. for skin maintenance 

African black soap can help to maintain and enhance any skin tone without causing discoloration or uneven skin tone.

10. Helps to even an uneven skin 

Discoloration, skin patches, sunburn, and blemishes will be gone in not much time of usage as African black soap can help to minimize the work of Tyrosinase in the body especially black soap made with cocoa pod ashes just like we discussed earlier. 

11. Can be used to treat acne

12. Helps to tackle wrinkle on the face

13. Raw African black soap can help to fight fungus

14. Black soap(ose abuwe) can tackle inflammation 

15. Serves as a moisturizer

As the case may be, African black soap can serve as a skin moisturizer and it depends on some factors which are:

  • Your skin type
  • The type of water you bath with

If you have dry skin, it may not fully moisturize your skin.

I have seen people that use it on their dry skin and it works well and on the other hand, I have also seen people that it does not moisturize their skin. 

So what I am, trying to say here is that your skin type will determine how well African black soap will moisturize your skin.

The type of water you use is another major factor

If you bathe with a type of water that is not skin-friendly (Hard water) it can lead to skin dryness and it might not allow the black soap to moisturize our skin. 

Either way, you just have to experiment and see what works best for you.

As for me, it moisturizes my skin whenever I use it to bathe, but I found out that it made my skin dry the last time I used hard water to take my bath due to the malfunctioning of my apartment water supply.

But, since the water supply was restored, things changed and, I discovered that my dry skin was caused by the hard water I used.

16. Helps to fade stretch mark

African black soap does a lot as you can see; it can even fade an old stretch mark and prevent the new stretch mark from forming. 

All you have to do is apply your black soap to the affected area when taking your daily bath.

17. It gives a flawless and glowing skin

You can achieve a flawless and glowing skin tone by just bathing continually with African black soap.

It will get rid of pimples, acne, dark patches and spots, and any other facial or skin problem within a limited time of usage.

Possible side effects of African black soap

Many people used and testify that the African black soap does not in any way harm the skin, but it all depends on body type, different experimentation, and the type of African soap used (Ingredients used when producing the black soap).

As for me, I noticed that; 

1. African black soap makes skin dry

Like I said earlier in this post when I use this soap with hard water it makes my skin dry.

It depends on how you use it, skin type, and the type of black soap you use.

When I stuck to the one made from cocoa pod ashes and palm kernel oil I did not see any sign of dryness again even when I bath with hard water.


In my first 3 days of using African black soap, my body itches a lot after the bath. 

I asked everyone that I knew that uses black soap as well about their experience and they told me that their body itches and some said it does not make their body itch after the bath. So that means that usage of black soap may and may not lead to itching.

3.Rashes on the skin

When I was still testing every type of black soap, it led to rashes on my skin and started spreading all over my body. When I could not bear it any longer I had to visit a pharmacist and log a complaint.

So the pharmacist asked me to stop using it due to the reason that, I am allergic to palm tree leaves used in the process of making the soap.

That is the major reason I emphasize your skin type. You see, we respond to things in different ways and we are allergic to different things.

All you have to do is watch out for the ingredients used in preparing the black soap you want to use and see if there is something you are allergic to. 

And if there is something you are allergic to, try another black soap made with ingredients that won’t react negatively to your general body. 

Thanks for going along with me; I am glad that you now know almost everything about raw African black soap.

Read Also: Dermatologists advice for people with oily skin.

How do I know if I bought the original raw African black soap?

A lot of people claim to be using raw African black soap but, how authentic and original it is? Well, as it might look and seem hard for some people to spot an original black soap, it is very easy for some to spot the original ones in the twinkle of an eye.

If you are yet to know how to identify the fake ones from the original, you are in a never-ending battle.

But not to worry, I am here to help you. Your lucky day!

How to identify original African black soap

1; Raw African black soap is not very black 

Most people will get confused by the name ‘black soap’ and think that the real black soap is black, but the truth is that real raw African soap is more brown than black.

Identify the original African black soap.
African black soap

In the making process of real African black soap, the ingredients (cocoa pod ash, tree bark, palm kernel, and so on) used during the making will be sun-dried and those alone will make it dark but, no matter how dry it is, the soap can never be black.

That is to say that, the black soap that looks more like jet black, is not the real one.

They are missed with some kind of dye probably to make people think that it’s the real black soap.

The downside of buying the fake black soap is that;

  • It won’t work effectively as the real raw African black soap
  • Using the fake black soap might lead to itching
  • It will lead to inflammation of the skin
  • It will burn the skin
  • It can also irritate the skin

So you should not make a mistake when shopping for your African black soap.

2: Real African black soap is not smooth

You should take notice of this too, the fake and unnatural black soap has some ingredients in them that will make them look polished smooth while, the real ose abuwe is never smooth due to the natural ingredients used in the making and, these ingredients cannot be grounded until particle free.

3: Real African black soap is easily breakable

Unlike any other soap out there, ose abuwe(black soap) is made with natural products and oil and, does not contain anything unnatural or hardening substance so, that makes it breakable.

4: Raw African black soap is marbled colored 

This is a great way to identify the real black soap from the fake black soap.

The natural ingredient like tree bark and palm kernel used in making the real black soap(ose abuwe) are roasted, so, that means that it cannot have a consistent color and that is how it got it natural scent, texture, and color.

Can you use Raw African black soap every day?

Before you ask, let me quickly answer you.

Yes, black soap is safe to use every day, you can also include it in your skincare routine and products. 

You should not forget the amazing benefits of black soap and what it can do to your skin.

It is very safe to use, all you have to do is to break a small chunk out of your raw black soap, rub it in your palm till it lather and wash your face or skin then rinse with warm water.

I will suggest that you use it twice a day to get smooth, radiant, glowing, and flawless skin.

Conclusion on 3 amazing steps to make African black soap and its uses in Nigeria.

African black soap is a very useful and skin-nourishing soap. It can perform so many activities for the body ranging from the face, hair, and the general body. 

African black soap is also medicinal as it can be used to cure constipation, and this is common among the northerners in Nigeria.

Black soap does not have a serious side effect, your body type, ingredients used in producing the black soap, and how gentle the water used in taking your bath is are factors that can trigger the side effects.

Over to you 

That is all you need to know about raw African black soap. Do you have a suggestion or want to share your experience with black soap, kindly make use of the comment box and let us rub minds together.

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