African black soap (ABS) popularly known as dudu osun here in Nigeria is locally made in West Africa, typically Ghana. Apparently different tribes and communities have their secret blend of oil and cooking techniques which is the reason why the soap varies in color . The whole process of making the soap is a well kept secret passed on from generation to generation and this is to be expected as it is sometimes the sole source of income for the village or community. Authentic black soap is never black, it always ranges from light brown to darkish brown, its also soft and sometimes crumbly when handled.
African Black soap is made from ash of organic materials such as plantain leaves and skin ash , palm leaves, cocoa pod ash, palm kernel oil, coconut oil ,shea butter and sometimes fewer or more ingredients.
According to the research I made, the organic materials are roasted in a kettle, oven or pot and the temperature has to be kept constant which is vital to ensure color, texture and smell, after the mixture has been satisfactorily roasted it is then left to set set for two weeks.
African black soap has a lot of benefits for both hair and skin and it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin types. The plantain gives the soap vitamin A&E and iron. The Shea Butter content in the soap is said to offer UV protection.
Uses /benefits of black soap include –
Body wash – because black soap is very mild it is suitable for daily use as an overall cleanser for the skin, it can be used all over the body, from top to toe.
Skin conditions – black soap is ideal for people suffering from rashes, dryness, eczema, acne breakouts and acne scars. It also clears dark spots too and even out skin discolouration.
Shampoo – the all natural ingredients present in the soap helps to condition the hair while gently cleansing the hair. It also prevents itchiness and dryness of the scalp. I shared how I make my black soap shampoo in this post.