Bar of black soap on blue background

African black soap, or Ose Dudu, has many beneficial uses. People in African nations have used the soap as a cleanser for centuries. It contains natural ingredients and is gentle enough for use all over the body. Black soap is a lightly scented deep cleanser that leaves skin refreshed after use. It can be used to treat rashes, moisturize dry skin, control acne and soothe scalp irritations


Black soap can be used daily for showering or bathing. You can also wash hair with black soap. Just follow up with regular hair conditioner. Use black soap as a facial cleanser to exfoliate skin and fade blemishes. The ingredients for African black soap are available for purchase at any health food establishment. The recipe uses a combination of shea butter, coconut palm oil, cocoa pods and plantain skins.


Solid Soap

Remove the cocoa beans from the pods and burn over low flame until they turn to ash. Burn the plantain skins to ash. Add water to the cocoa bean and plantain skin ashes. Place the coconut palm oil in a double boiler. Add the ashes and shea butter to mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture becomes smooth. If you want, add an essential oil like lavender or rose geranium while liquid is cooking to add a scent. Soap should start to solidify and float to the top of liquid. Use a spoon to scoop out the soap mixture as it settles on top of the liquid. Place the soap mixture in a mold. The soap will conform to the mold once it has completely cooled. Allow two weeks for soap to cure before using.

Liquid Soap

Liquid black soap can be made by following the same directions for making solid form and adding distilled water to prevent hardening. Use one part water to four parts of soap mixture.