What is African Black Soap?

With the rising popularity of African Soap and Black Soap bars, we are finding many people asking what is in it and why it is beneficial for your skin. Well, in fact, we would love to share!

potash, plantain, cocoa, ghana

African soap usually refers to a mixture made from ash of local trees in Ghana, like cocoa, palm and plantain. This mixture is often called potash. It was originally used by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, Benin and Togo, but because of its health benefits is now used in products world wide. African Black Soap or potash is high in iron, vitamins A, E, and rich in antioxidants, which is why it is a great cleanser for skin and hair. Authentic potash soap is brown, not black, and can range from a powder form, to a hunk of “soap” that is marbled in appearance and soft in texture. 

activated charcoal, charcoal, black soap

Now lets switch gears to what commercially is referred to as black soap. Black soap describes what it is. It is a hard soap bar that is black in appearance due to the additive of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is especially good at removing toxins from the skin, leaving your skin especially soft and clear. It works similarly to potash in many ways, as they are not too different from each other, but they should not be confused with each other either.

When you come across one of these bars, you might find there are variety of interpretations of what “black soap” actually means. In our view, the most authentic form is the black soap made from potash (ie. African Soap), but that doesn’t mean if it doesn’t have potash in it that it is lacking integrity as a great soap bar. What consumers really need to watch out for are bars that are simply black or brown in appearance but don’t have either active ingredients that give black soap its renowned name, or lead you to believe that it is authentic African Soap. Many commercial companies began adding colors or dyes in their soap and calling it “black soap” with the intention to mislead consumers. Don’t be fooled, read your ingredients!


potash, activated bamboo, charcoal, black soap, african soap

Kainat Beauty is proud to offer a black soap that combines the best of both worlds. The coconut oil based bar is packed with authentic potash made from cocoa pod ash, plantain peel ash, locally produced palm kernel oil, and camwood bark, as well as activated charcoal. This way you get the most benefits from both products in a convenient and traditional soap bar.