Review: Coastal Scents African Black Soap

I received a sample of Coastal Scents African Black Soap in my Conscious Box. I’ve been using it to wash my face for a week now. In my college years, I had always wanted to try black soap because I’ve heard it’s very good for acne, eczema, and any other skin ailment. Back then, I think I could only order it online by the pound (!) so I forgot about it. These days, you can buy it at Whole Foods, Target, and even some drug stores.

What is Black Soap?

African Black Soap by Coastal Scents

African Black Soap by Coastal Scents

Black soap is minimally processed compared to conventional soaps. The soap itself was very soft; like if I wanted to I could squish it together. I think this is because instead of being boiled off, poured into molds, and cured like regular soap, this stays semi-solid and is pressed together by hand. That’s why the soap appears chunky. There are generally no preservatives, chemicals or enhancers used in black soaps, so the result is a as natural of a soap as you can get. This also means that the magic of the natural ingredients like plantains, tree barks, and cocoa pods are retained, giving your skin the benefits of the vitamins in those ingredients. Supposedly, the the plantain skins contain vitamins A & E, and iron. Vitamins A and E are traditional acne-fighting vitamins. Even if it’s true that the soap contains these ingredients, I am skeptical as to how much is in there and how much is left on your skin after washing.

Sidenote: Does anyone remember the episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when Carlton has a pimple, so he goes to Will’s locker to get a Vitamin E pill but instead he takes speed


The smell seems kind of green and vegetable-y but not in a good way. It might be because I had a sample slice, but the texture was softer than I expected. The lather felt very moisturizing, much smoother “softer” than regular soaps.


After washing my face, my skin had that squeaky feeling that comes with soap – not a feeling that I enjoy, however, the skin didn’t feel as tight and dried out the way it usually does with soap. It was very clean yet moisturized. I still had to use eye makeup remover to get the rest of my mascara and eyeliner off.

I can’t comment on the miraculous healing properties because, humblebrag, I’m not having issues right now. The fact that it isn’t causing any problems is a success in itself though. I have also heard that you can use this as a shampoo. If it’s good for skin problems, it may be good for my dry scalp so I’ll try that next.

I wash my face with oil rather than soap. If I were to use soap, however, I’d use black soap. It took off most of my makeup, and it doesn’t dry out my skin. I do use conventional face wash when I travel because it’s more convenient so I’ll definitely consider switching to black soap for that purpose.


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