Hi-Bye Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Wash

As you can probably tell, I’m developing a penchant for black soap. First it was Dr. Woods Shea Vision Pure Black Soap and now, it’s the Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Wash. I was seriously about to repurchase the one from Dr. Woods until I saw that this one is not described as a household cleanser and I don’t have to share it with my floor. I suppose going by that fact alone, it’ll very likely smell better than Dr. Woods?

About Nubian Heritage
Anyway, in the course of my research about Nubian Heritage, I found out that this brand has a rather interesting origin. It appears that the brand was first developed in 1992 to meet the special skin care challenges of African-Americans. Yet, I would say their products are definitely suitable for various skin types other than the African-Americans. And while reading up about the brand, I also found out that African Black Soap is made from palm ash, tamarind extract and plantain peel. Apparently, this soap has been used in Africa for centuries to treat eczema, acne and oily skin. It seems to go hand-in-hand with Shea Butter, another staple of African pharmacology.

Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Body Wash | 384 ml, US$9.83
The Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Wash is described as a combination body wash and scrub that treats breakouts while gently exfoliating body from head to toe. Other than the African Black Soap, it contains mineral-rich Dead Sea Salt and Jojoba Beads to slough off dead skin cells as well as Oats and Aloe extracts to soothe and firm. It also contains a high concentration of Shea Butter to maximize moisture retention and promotes healing. Here’s the full ingredient listing:

African Black Soap, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Oil Soap), Decyl Glucoside (Sugar Beets), Lauroyl Lactylate (Palm Kernel), Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Essential Oil, Essential Oil Blend, Jojoba Beads, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Salicylic Acid, Dead Sea Salt, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice* *Certified Organic Ingredient

Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Ingredients

Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Wash reviewed updated by Sesame on .

Well rated at iHerb
Nubian Heritage African Black Soap is well rated at iHerb, having garnered nearly five stars from 191 reviewers. As you can tell, it is well received. For me, this is quite a strange product because it contains Jojoba Beads but yet, it does not feel "scrubby" enough. I wonder if the random beads actually do much exfoliation for our skin?

Lathers well but gave me a bit of an itch
The coconut scent in this product is quite strong but I am not too bothered by it. It lathers up well and does an effective washing job even though it does not contain SLS/SLES. However, my skin didn't do too well with this product initially and itched quite a bit after every usage. I suspect the culprit might be Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, a known skin irritant. I don't always react to this ingredient but I suspect it could have been too much since it's number two on the list. However, the issue seems to have resolved by itself after a week and I didn't experience any more of the itching.

No more black soap wash for me
But I think this product might just have killed all my interest in black soap altogether. Somehow, along the way, I got turned off somewhat and I realized I don't fancy using black soap wash that much afterall. So yeah, this is my final bottle and I won't be repurchasing even though it's pretty affordable and does what it promises to a large extent. And nope. No gonna buy the one from Dr. Woods either. Bye-bye black soap!
Rating: 3



  1. Mary says:

    This is one of my favorite brands, I absolutely love their bar soaps and body butters. The scents are strong but really rich and not overpowering. I haven’t tried their body washes but I imagine their soaps might be gentler because they don’t have any of the Cocoamidopropyl Betaine. Also, they have many other lines besides the African Black Soap one, so they might have something else you like better!

  2. Stephie says:

    I like black soaps, though. You might want to try other brands first before swearing off them? Just a suggestion.

  3. Sesame says:

    Yes, perhaps I should give the bar soap a try given the number of people who like it.

  4. Sesame says:

    Do you have other brands to recommend? This is the 2nd I’ve tried and I’m not so hot about it now.

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  6. Jen says:

    Sesame, thanks for this. I’m a huge fan of this brand, especially their soaps. Definitely try a different one, I’m not so sure about the black soap either.

  7. Sesame says:

    Glad you like the brand. Have you tried their black soap bar then?

  8. VNikol says:

    I too found frustration in not being able to fall in love with the black soap trend like everyone else had, especially considering some of the reviews for the stuff sound so amazing! I tried Nubian Heritage’s bar soap some years ago & was underwhelmed, then I tried a few other brands but nothing impressed THEN I heard about Dudu Osun’s brand & read the reviews on Amazon which were so good, I couldn’t skip it. That was about two years ago & it’s my favorite body soap now. I love the stuff & buy it in bulk online now, it gets my skin really clean without drying it out. Doesn’t irritate at all. Lots of people use it on their face but my face is a whole other issue of sensitivity so I only use it on my body, but it’s great.
    VNikol last post is: Natural Hair Chronicles: The Trouble with Transitioning

  9. Eco Beauty says:

    Funny thing is although I’m someone who usually tries beauty products that a lot of people seem to be raving about (there was a time that african black soap was a big trend like snail creams, etc), I never got around to trying black soap. I’m not sure why… But reading your review, I think I’m more convinced that it’s not very suitable for me. I have chicken skin on the back of my arms and they react badly to most surfactants.
    Eco Beauty last post is: The Green Beauty Skincare Tag

  10. Pins says:

    Riding on the topic of body washes, have you tried the Johnson & Johnson’s natural line? (http://www.johnsonsbaby.com/introducing-johnsons-natural-baby) I don’t think I’ve seen them in Singapore — but then again, I’m quite blind! Any thoughts if you have? (:

  11. Sesame says:

    Personally I’m double minded about soap bars. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t. This was why I didn’t consider buying the Nubian Heritage soap bar that is so highly raved. But I might, given the curiosity. I’ll check out Dudu Osun you mentioned. Such a name!

  12. Sesame says:

    Well, I started off with quite an open mind about it but feels it doesn’t do anything more for me. Maybe the soap bar might work for you since it doesn’t contain the usual surfactant. Well, IF I do try it, I’ll be sure to review it. ?

  13. Sesame says:

    I don’t think I’ve seen it either. Otherwise, I would have bought it to try! I couldn’t see the ingredient list but I suspect, going by the description, that this is formulated like other natural body wash too. Just need to find out what surfactant they use cos it’s not clear that the products do not contain the harsher ones like SLS/SLES. I suspect not though.

  14. Fathima says:

    Hi sesame, we stay at singapore my sister does a lot of hand made jewellery, I wld like u too see her pieces and give your opinion.

  15. Sesame says:

    Ok, send me a link to her site or email me some pics at vivawoman@gmail.com.

  16. Annie says:

    Sesame, have you tried the Shea Terra Rosehip Black Soap Face Wash? (wow that was a mouthful) It’s my first venture to blacksoap and I quite like it. I was just wondering if you have tried it and if it work out for you.

  17. Pranali says:

    hey sesame you could try the brand Alaffia.. it is available on iherb

  18. Sesame says:

    No, not tried. Will look it up. Thanks for the recommendation!

  19. Sesame says:

    Oh okay…I’ll have a look. Thanks for highlighting!

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