Product review: Corium skin care & how to identify real African Black Soap

by Lala

I have been using Corium Naturals products for a few months now, after buying a selection of what they had on offer last year for Black Friday. The range consists of shea butters, serums, scrubs and masks infused with various botanical extracts, as well as the ever popular African Black Soap. They will be adding more soaps to the range this month. Here are my thoughts on the products I purchased.

African Black Soap:

The soap is a generous 180g bar. This is genuine ABS as one can tell from the mottled brown, bumpy appearance. Many hair and cosmetics shops in our CBDs sell pitch black, smooth bars as ABS and these will be unbelievably cheap. Those are not the real deal, as they have been artificially dyed and mass produced. Read this informative article that will help you identify genuine African Black Soap from Ghana. African Black Soap has been used by generations of women on the continent as an effective cleanser for problem skin, which may be prone to oiliness, pore blockage, eczema and psoriasis amongst others. ABS has high levels of antioxidants as well as Vitamins  A & E. The soap is reputed to deeply cleanse and help give the skin a natural glow.

I liked this soap because it helped to balance out my oily T-zone, especially during the heat of our summer. However, if you have super sensitive skin, do be careful as some may experience a reaction. Initially, I experienced some sensitivity on the thin skin of the “bags” under my eyes. I now use the soap every other day, and have not experienced that again. I have read that some use the liquid form and the soap bar as a clarifying shampoo. I haven’t tried that as yet.

Shea butters


I purchased the handy pack of four 100ml shea butter variants, namely Rose blend, Lemongrass & Grapefruit, Aloe and Mint, as well as the Allergen Free. In addition, I bought the 200ml Skin Perfecting Body Butter. I have to say I prefer the consistency and effects of shea butters on my skin and hair (yes, you can use these in your hair regimen) over coconut oil. Like coconut oil, these butters do become liquid when the temperatures get very warm, towards 35C or so. When they cooled down and solidified again, I was glad to see that they returned to their normal creamy texture, without any ingredients separating into layers.

All the shea butters with the exception of the Allergen Free have an earthy, slightly spicy base scent. I really like it. My favourite two scents are the Rose Blend and the Lemongrass. I often used the Rose blend and opted to go without perfume for the day, because it is so intensely fragrant and feminine. The scent is detectable but doesn’t overpower.


Sadly for me, my sister took the Rose Blend & the Aloe and Mint with her when she went back to varsity, so I am currently doing without both. The Aloe and Mint is so refreshing and slightly tingly. I often applied it to my feet after using my foot spa, and immediately put on my fluffy socks. The next morning my feet and heels in particular are soft, smooth and sandal-ready. I think the Aloe and Mint butter is a great substitute for the BodyShop’s Peppermint foot range.


The Allergen Free is one that I use on my toddler as an everyday, natural alternative to nappy creams (although when there is a little rash, I have to use the trusty Benpathen or Sudocrem. I must do a post about Sudocrem as facial skin care too). My son & I both suffer from eczema from time to time, so having an allergen free and natural skin moisturiser in the house is very handy. I haven’t had a flare up in years, thank goodness. When I don’t want to have an additional layer of scent, I use the Allergen Free or the Skin Perfecting Butter, although the latter does have a slight fragrance.

The butters are all very rich and will be a lifesaver for my extra dry skin this winter. They were also very good in the summer on super dry or peeling skin, after those record high temperature days spent in and out of the pool. I love using these butters to seal my natural hair on wash days and every other day, while in a protective style under my lacefronts. They are quickly absorbed by the hair and don’t leave a sticky residue or have any chunky bits. Although shea butter has no protein in it, I felt like the butters added a strength and sheen I usually get from protein products like Infusium 23 leave-in conditioner and Aphogee Green Tea reconstructor. This is a nice “side effect” because I rely on friends from the USA to send me those products…not cheap.

Lemon Brightening serum

This is another product that my younger sister has absconded with. The serum is an oil and not a silicone base. Because lemon can cause photo-sensitivity, it suggested for use at night. I would also suggest using a good SPF cream during the day as a normal part of your skin care. My preferred cream is the Neutrogena Visibly Even 30SPF. I used the lemon serum for about a month. One or two drops per application from the dropper is more than enough. It is a rich consistency and doesn’t sting – some lemon based products with AHAs can initially sting sensitive skin. I experienced a gradual evening out of some dark marks from blemishes, but nothing dramatic that would leave one looking ghostly or peeling.

Last year I started growing some Turmeric, from roots that my mom-in-law gave me. The plants are coming along nicely. Apart from cooking with it, turmeric is also used in Ayurvedic skincare to even out dark marks. Corium has a Turmeric mask that I may try out soon, as well as a Turmeric soap set to be launched this month.


Please note:

All products in this review were purchased by myself and are not sponsored in any way.  I do of course welcome products sent for review, by brands that I feel speak to the approach of the blog and my interests.

Contact me via email

Or on Twitter @The_RainQueen to discuss collaborations.

Corium is a Black woman owned, South African brand whose range is available online with courier delivery (mine took one or two days if I recall correctly) and at some beauty stores.

You may have seen one of my pics in their marketing on Twitter or in stores 🙂

Have you tried any African Black Soaps & Shea Butters? How about Corium?

What are your thoughts and tips for these naturally derived and inspired products?

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Fulufhelo December 9, 2018 - 5:23 am

Good read. Will definitely buy corium african black soap

Lala December 26, 2018 - 8:23 am

Corium is a great brand. I brought all of my products with me to China.


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