Will African Black Soap make my skin purge?

We often talk about how African Black Soap is the perfect skincare product for helping with acne, eczema, and even hyperpigmentation. But can the road to clear skin really be as straightforward as it sounds? Or is it true that your skin has to break out before it gets better?


In short, it depends on your skin type. While African Black Soap is suited to all skin types, if your skin is super oily and acne prone you may experience a slight purge before your skin clears. And although it may sound like an ominous, dystopian horror film, when it comes to skincare purging can actually be a good thing! 

What is purging?

Skin purging is a process that occurs when the use of a new product increases your skin cell turnover rate. The sped up skin cell turnover will help reveal healthier skin cells underneath, but before the healthier cells can emerge, the less fun stuff has to come to the surface too; like the excess sebum and dead skin cells that can clog pores. Which can result in the formation of a few spots. For some very oily or acne-prone skin types African Black Soap’s renowned ability to deep cleanse, detoxify, and naturally exfoliate can do just that; increase skin cell turnover and draw out any underlying impurities, bringing them to the skin’s surface before revealing healthier and clearer skin. 


So is purging a good thing? 

It is not harmful! Purging in short is our skin’s way of naturally spring cleaning itself. As the rate of skin cell turnover is increased, the skin is expediting its recovery so that our dead skin cells don’t build up and clog our pores in the long run. Resulting in healthier, clearer skin that, with the continued use of African Black Soap is less prone to breakouts and able to balance oil levels effectively. 



How is purging different from acne and breakouts?

Dermatologist, Dr Justine Kulk notes that “Acne is recognised by the presence of comedones (blackheads), which are often accompanied by pustules (pus-filled spots).” But purging is slightly different, appearing on the skin mostly  as blackheads or small below the surface bumps and will not leave behind hyperpigmentation or scarring. 

Another effective way to spot the difference is how long they stick around; acne breakouts can take as long as six weeks to go away, whereas a purging period lasts a week on average due to the accelerated skin cell turnover the product is triggering. 

So after all that will African Black Soap still clear my skin? 

The soap helps fight acne by effectively removing any surface-level oil, debris, and markup before cleansing the skin deep into the pores, with its natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The ash in the soap also acts as a natural exfoliant, gently clearing clogged pores of any debris or excess sebum. This also helps to improve and smooth skin texture over time; stimulating the fading of any acne scars and hyperpigmentation. The great news about African Black Soap is that it's suitable (and beneficial) for all skin types; in a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 91% of African Black Soap users reported that the soap helped improve their skin conditions!