How to Use African Black Soap with Shea Butter

How to Use African Black Soap with Shea Butter


African black soap, also known as Anago soap or Alata simena, is a natural soap made in West Africa from the ash of locally harvested plants. It is traditionally made by hand and contains shea butter, palm oil, and other nourishing ingredients.

Black soap has been used for centuries by West African women to care for their skin and hair. The addition of unrefined shea butter enhances the moisturizing and skin-softening properties of the soap. When used together, African black soap and shea butter make a gentle yet effective natural beauty regimen.

Here is a guide on how to properly use and get the most benefits from African black soap with shea butter:

Cleansing Skin

  • Wet face: Splash lukewarm water on your face to dampen it before applying the soap. This helps the soap glide smoothly onto the skin.
  • Work into lather: Rub a small amount of the soap between your hands to work it into a light lather. Be careful not to over-scrub.
  • Massage gently: Massage the lather gently over your face in circular motions. Avoid the eye area. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  • Pat dry: Gently pat your face dry with a clean, soft towel. Do not rub.

Benefits for Skin

Using African black soap with shea butter to cleanse helps:

  • Deep clean pores and remove excess oil and impurities
  • Soothe irritation, inflammation, and blemishes
  • Hydrate and soften skin with vitamins and fatty acids
  • Balance oily areas and dry patches for more even tone

Moisturizing Skin

  • Apply sparingly: After cleansing, take a small amount of shea butter (about the size of a pea) and warm it between your fingers. Spread it lightly over your face.
  • Focus on dry areas: Pay special attention to any rough patches, dry spots, or fine lines. Use gentle upward strokes.
  • Let sink in: Allow the shea butter to fully absorb into your skin before applying makeup or sunscreen.

Benefits for Skin

Using shea butter after cleansing with African black soap helps:

  • Seal in moisture and nourish skin with vitamins A and E
  • Soothe skin irritation and reduce redness
  • Boost collagen production and reduce appearance of fine lines
  • Provide antioxidant protection against pollutants

Using on Body

  • All-over cleanser: Lather the black soap in your hands and smooth over body in the shower for an all-over cleanse. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Foot soak: Add a few tablespoons of grated soap to a foot bath to soften calluses and soothe aching feet.
  • Shaving cream: Apply a thin layer of lathered soap to condition skin for a smoother shave. Rinse completely.
  • After-sun: Gently massage diluted soap over sunburned areas to relieve stinging and promote healing.
  • Moisturizer: Apply shea butter daily on extra dry areas like knees, elbows, and heels to deeply hydrate.

Tips for Best Results

  • Store African black soap in a dry place to prevent excess moisture.
  • Use lukewarm or cool water to retain the soap's cleansing oils.
  • Let shea butter melt into skin for 10 minutes before dressing to maximize absorption.
  • Perform a patch test before first use to check for allergies or sensitivity. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
  • Purchase 100% raw, unrefined shea butter for greater skin benefits.
  • Avoid overuse of the soap as it can potentially dry out skin. Adjust frequency based on your skin type.


African black soap combined with pure shea butter makes a time-tested natural skincare regimen. Its gentle cleansing and deep moisturizing provides benefits for all skin types when used properly. Consistent use can help minimize pores, even skintone, reduce blemishes and acne, and deeply nourish skin.

For 100% natural and ethical African black soap and shea butter, shop with African Fair Trade Society. Their products are sourced directly from women's cooperatives in Ghana to support fair wages and local communities. Give your skin the heritage of Africa.