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A Guide to Using African Black Soap

African Black Soap (ABS)  has been used for centuries as a natural soap with high nourishing and healing properties. However, even with its seniority in the skincare world, some still may find using the natural soap to be difficult. So to make it a bit easier, we’ve created this brief guide to show how to properly use African Black Soap

History of African Black Soap

Although here at KoKo Beauty Essentials, were form our African Black Soap into bars, the soap is naturally soft (almost like thick taffy) and can range in texture based on who made the batch of soap. The powerful soap has its origins based in Nigeria, however, it is well-used all over West Africa! Check out the Article written by Summers that goes into the depths of the history of ABS (cited below)

Bars, Bars, Bars

In bar form, ABS can be used like other traditional bar soaps in combination with rags, loofahs, brushes, and scrubs. However, the soap needs to stay dry after use or it will dissolve down into the water, making a liquid soap or paste. This is different from other bar soaps that generally get soft or only break down a little bit.

Liquid Heaven

When African Black Soap is in liquid form, it’s often gentler than the bar soap as it’s soap content is softened with water, milks, or teas. Without preserving, liquid black soap can last a few days - a week without worrying about spoiling, compared to the bar black soap which can last several months. When DIY-ing a liquid black soap, it’s best to make in small batches and store in the fridge to prolong the use date. Speaking of DIY, have you tried out Liquid Black Soap Recipe? :)


Unused bar soaps can be stored in soap dishes, containers, or a comfy place in a sock drawer. Used African Black Soap bars should be placed in an area with good air circulation, to ensure the soap has a chance to dry before coming in contact with moisture. Bar soaps can be cut into smaller pieces, and then the rest saved for later use. The natural texture of the soap makes it easy to slice without it shattering like other bar soaps! Liquid soap, of course, should be kept in a bottle with a lid that closes securely. Keeping the bottle in a cool area will also help prolong the use date.

Shelf Life

Depending on if the soap is in liquid form or bar form, the shelf life of African Black Soap ranges:

Bar soap: 6 - 12 months*

Liquid soap: 1 week - 6 months**

* how soap is stored, used, and the environment can change the use date.

**when preserved using cosmetic grade preserves

Applying to Skin

This natural soap reacts to all skin types differently, while some skin may like the natural strong properties of African Black Soap, others may find they’ll need something more gentle. The best way to see if your skin likes ABS, is to try a small amount and see how the skin reacts. Read our previous post “The Best Way to Use African Black Soap to Avoid Dry Skin”

Purchase Premium Liquid Black Soap

Guide to Using African Black Soap Olive and Hemp Black Soap Bar


  1. Summers, G. African Black Soap. Live About.
  2. Pure African Black Soap. KoKo Beauty Essentials.

Comments (3)

  • Dorcas on July 19, 2022

    I mixed my black soap with tumeric, honey, vitamin E and orange juice without preservatives, how long can it last?

  • Josephine Wanjiku on October 16, 2021

    Want the African black soap

  • Angela Rowen on January 08, 2021

    Hi! I used a medley of melted butters and oils to melt my raw black soap. There is no water in it at all. All of the butters (Shea, mango, and aloe) and oils I used have at least a one year shelf life. Will the black soap still have its original shelf life of 6-12 months, even though it’s liquid?

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