DIY Shower Gel with African Black Soap

My first experience with African black soap was at a farmer’s market last summer. I bought a bar on a whim. I’m not sure why because bar soap is one of my pet peeves. I just prefer pump soap. Extra points if it’s a foaming pump.

The bar got lost in our van because it’s a 15 passenger van and that’s what things do in it.

I eventually rescued it and searched “African black soap benefits.” Go ahead. You try. Basically it’s going to solve all the world’s problems.

For starters, our 12-year-old daughter agreed to wash her face with it. She never washes her face (ewww), and she hates all my natural solutions. I told you…this stuff is magical. First miracle aside, it actually did clear her face up.

I generally scrub my entire body (face included) with a coconut oil sugar scrub. But sometimes, you just want a sudsy, soapy clean.

This is a great way to turn that bar of African black soap magic into an easy to dispense and use shower gel. It also makes a great face wash because who needs another product in the shower?

[bctt tweet=”DIY African black soap shower gel and face wash. #magical” username=”corkboardblog”]

What You’ll Need

Kitchen scale

2 oz. African Black Soap

6 oz. water

small saucepan


wire strainer

glass measuring cup

1 tsp guar gum

1 tsp vegetable glycerin

1 tsp liquid oil, optional*

15 drops essential oil, optional**

pump bottle (use #1 or #2 plastic or glass if adding essential oils)


  1. Crumble the soap or cut into pieces using a sharp knife.
  2. Add the water and soap to a saucepan.
  3. Stir gently over low to medium heat until the soap is dissolved.
  4. Strain into a glass measuring cup.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Mix in guar gum, glycerin, oil, and essential oils.

  7. Immediately pour into pump bottle.

The mixture will thicken over time. I love the consistency and the rich lather. This photo honestly doesn’t do it justice. I tried to make a video tutorial that is better at showing the steps and the consistency, but it ended up being a huge time suck and generally a #fail. #videoproduceriamnot

*Liquid oil will up the moisturizing benefits. Fractionated coconut oil or almond oil are great choices. If you have acne-prone skin, try jojoba.

**Essential oils can scent the soap to your liking but can also provide additional skin support. I used doTERRA’s Frankincense (10 drops) and Roman Chamomile (5 drops) in mine.

I’d love to hook you up with the best quality oils at the best price, so let’s connect if you want to learn more!

Do you have a favorite all-in-one body and face soap?


  1. Vania TauzeneNovember 8, 2018

    Does the guar gum give the soap that gelish / dense consistency?
    I have tried a different recepie without the glycerine and guar gum – it was great, lathered great however, watery. It did not have the “gel” consistency.
    Hoping to hear from you’

    1. MelissaNovember 8, 2018

      Hi Vania,
      Thanks for stopping by. Great question!
      Yes, the guar gum creates the “gel” which I think makes it a little easier to dispense and use.

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