Dudu Osun Review (African Black Soap)

If you are a regular reader of my FashStyleLiv (FSL for short-coined by my lovely friend Lamide..Hiya!!), you will know by now how much priority I give my skin because it is acne-prone and combination-oily whenever it pleases.  I am always on the haunt for skincare products that are inexpensive but effective. I got the Dudu Osun Soap during my trip to Nigeria and I have been using it ever since. Actually, my Mum gave this to me so I did not technically purchase it so Thank you Mum!! I am not a newbie to Dudu Osun because I used it back when I lived in Nigeria every now and then but I was not really into taking care of my skin as much as I do now.  Dudu Osun has recently become popular outside Nigeria, especially in the States and here in the UK and I can understand why; it’s a chunky lil' piece of natural goodness..

Dudu Osun means “Black Soap” in Yoruba which is one of the major languages in Nigeria, my Home Country. Although Dudu Osun has been branded by Tropical Naturals Ltd, it has been around for a really long time. African Black Soap as it is popularly called is made by local people and sold in the markets wrapped in leaves or cellophane wraps. They are essentially made the same way but they are softer in texture and I don’t think they are easy to travel with or use as the branded one. But I have used both types and I can say they deliver the same results. The branded one is just shaped in a more solid bar/soap-like way which is much easier to handle.

The packaging in itself is nothing special as you can tell but the soap is a proper bar which I have mentioned is definitely more solid than the local ones sold  in the markets. I like that the bar has a curve on the other side which makes it fit really nicely in the hands and easier to swipe it across your face. I have to say, this soap lasts for a really long time and I just started with my second bar since May which means the first bar lasted for almost three months although I use it only on my face and not my body. I store mine on the Gamila Secret Stone Soap Dish which helps drain the soap effectively and prevents it from looking and feeling messy. It also looks much nicer in this soap dish, don’t you think?

If you love using skincare with natural ingredients, say hi to your new BFF because Dudu Osun is as natural as it gets. It is enriched with Pure Honey , Shea Butter, Camwood (Osun), Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Pod Ash, Palm Bunch Ash, Aloe Vera, Lime juice, water and fragrance. The original Africa Black Soap has no added fragrance which gives it its characteristic indigenous scent which is not as pleasant as the branded one but it is bearable.  Below are the skin benefits of some of the ingredients used:
Aloe Vera: Moisturizing properties, anti-acne and helps with sun burn.
Lime Juice: Anti-acne properties, lightens dark spots and anti-bacterial properties
Pure Honey: Helps with hyper pigmentation, anti-acne properties, reduces enlarged pores and nurtures sensitive, dull and matured skin
Shea Butter: Moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties while hydrating the skin
Camwood: Skin brightening properties, antibiotics and skin balancing properties
Palm Kernel Oil and Cocoa Pod Ash: Helps in the saponification of the soap but aid in natural exfoliating and lifting dirt and grease from the skin.

How I use it
I always do a double cleanse which means I remove my makeup first with either wipes, micellar water or a cream cleanser like the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish before cleansing my skin to nourish it. Since Summer, I prefer removing my makeup with a micellar water and the Garnier Micellar Water already hyped here is the best product for me. Next, I dampen my face with a splash of warm water and run the Dudu Osun soap under warm water then I use it across my face concentrating on my cheeks and forehead because that’s where I break out more often than not. I leave it on for a few minutes and rinse it off. I use this during the day and in the evenings although I use my No 7 Cleansing Brush with it in the evening and it’s amazing as it removes all dirt, grime and makeup traces left and leaves my skin really clean and smooth.

My experience
I am going to be honest, the first time I used this on my face, I felt it was on fire. It was itchy and felt super sting-ey and I could not even leave it on for two minutes. I rinsed it off immediately and I still felt the impact for a few minutes even after I rinsed it off. Then, I tried using it with my cleansing brush another day and Boy!! It was even worse; it was itchier and uncomfortable. However, I knew this was normal because it contains Lime juice and other natural ingredients so I did not expect anything less and I had also read a few reviews where people had the same experience. I persisted because my skin felt really nice afterwards and I could see a glow even after just one/two uses. After two-three days, my skin was able to tolerate it well with just the occasional itch/sting here and there and I now use it with my cleansing brush without any hassles. It is also worth noting that you must not allow this soap or its lather get into your eyes or else you would be sorry (speaking from experience, guys!!)  If you have sensitive skin, you may need to test it out slowly to get your skin accustomed to it but the results are so much worth it. I did not experience any breakouts or any untoward reactions with this soap. After each use, it is important to moisturise your skin effectively because this baby would strip your skin off all the moisture so much so that your skin feels quite taut, tight and dry. I remedy this with my Indeed Labs Retinol Cream which deserves its own review soon.  

It goes without saying that sometimes our skin does not need too much to reset itself. Dudu Osun has transformed my skin especially when it comes to breakouts. Would you believe I had no form of breakout even when Mother Nature paid a visit? (I know, I know-very gross way to put it). I have also made some changes to my diet but I would say Dudu Osun has been instrumental on the skincare front and I have not stopped using it. I still love my Gamila Secret Cleansing Bar but it’s a little pricey compared to this one which is why I choose this over it. My breakouts have been reduced drastically. In respect to my dark blemishes, they are diminishing slowly but surely although I also use some other chemical exfoliants like Glycolic Acid and Retinol (interchangeably) to help with that.

1. It leaves your skin really dry and you would need to amp up your moisturising technique
2. It could feel quite itchy/stingy on the skin especially when you first start off with it; just try and persist for a few days and it’s well worth it.
3. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s worth introducing it to your skin slowly to see if you can or cannot tolerate it

I already mentioned that this was given to me by my mum but it is really affordable. A pack of 6 costs an equivalent of £1.50 which is about N300-350 naira in Nigerian money and it can be found in many health and beauty supply shops . I am not sure how much a single bar costs but I am sure it is very affordable.  It can also be purchased on Amazon USA and Amazon UK for an equivalent amount and I think you can buy this in many African Shops in the States and in the UK. If you live outside of these places, I guess Amazon may be your best bet.

Final Thoughts
I love this soap and I am happy to say I no longer feel any itching whatsoever while using it. It is such a pleasure to use especially knowing you can get good results with this. My mum already sent me another pack of 6 because I don't want to run out of this soap but I am pretty sure all my supplies now will last me for a long time because one soap lasts at least 2-3 months if you limit it to just your face. I cannot recommend it enough. I hear it can also be used as a shampoo for natural hair and I can see why because it gives a good lather (it does not contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate if you are wondering) but I think I may need to deep condition my hair afterwards because it is very dry. I would update you all about my natural hair soon which by the way has grown a little although I have been very bad at caring for it; I am lazy...more on that soon..See you in my next post. Have you tried Dudu Osun Soap or any other African Black Soap?


  1. I have recently started using a lot of natural skin care black soap being chief. However the locally made ones are irregular in supply and not readily available (annoying). I may give dudu osun another try because I used it years ago and I did not like that squeaky clean "stripping" quality, best of all? it is easily accessible here and I don't have to wait on unreliable vendors urh!

    1. You are so lucky that there are at your finger tips!! You should totally try the Dudu Osun. I am glad you have a reliable vendor because the fake ones are even sold in Nigeria sef. I do like how squeaky clean it leaves my skin although it can be quite drying so always good to follow with a good moisturiser. There is a Nigerian brand called Ajali Natural Products and they sound really good from what I hear!!...xx

  2. I just started the dudu osun soap two days ago and I must say I immediately fell in love with how clean my face felt but the sting oh no,it's almost unbearable and a part of my face has a little reddish reaction to it now.I really want to continue but my worry is how bad it stings.

    1. Awwww bless I am sorry to hear it has made your face a little red. I have to agree that it does take a little getting used to but I did not have any reaction though; only a stinging feeling. Maybe try something else while waiting to see how the reaction improves. I heard they now have fake ones so finger crossed you purchased yours from a trusted seller. My gets mine from their distributors in Trade Fair Complex lagos...xx


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