Shea Moisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner Review

Shea Moisture's African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner is a "refreshing dual action toner, formulated with time honored natural blemish fighting secrets, African Black Soap, and organic shea butter, helps address skin problems associated with acne. Manages oil and shine without clogging pores. Purifies skin by removing any traces of dirt and make-up. Controls shine without drying. Refines the appearance of large pores. Adds a matte finish to skin." This acne fighting toner contains 124ml (4.2 fl oz) and sells for about $10 at Target, Ulta, and most major drugstore chains. Shea Moisture is cruelty free, and prides themselves in using fair trade, natural, and organic ingredients. This toner was made in the USA.

The African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner comes in a basic plastic spray bottle. A black label wraps around the bottle, offering a product description, full ingredient list, and information about the brand. The spray pump delivers a fine mist, though I (and Shea Moisture) do not recommend spraying this toner directly on to the skin - you will not get the full benefit of this toner that way. I'm not sure why Shea Moisture chose to package their African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner this's inconvenient and doesn't benefit the user or the product in any way. Packaging is recyclable.

If you read "This Toner Quest Has Just Begun", you'll know that I'm looking for a new holy grail toner - and the African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner was the first up to bat. I'm looking for a toner with little to no alcohol content that can still fight acne. Shea Moisture's African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner seemed like the perfect candidate - it's ingredient list is so promising! This toner contains several known acne fighters like sulfur, tea tree oil,salicylic acid, witch hazel, and meadowsweet. A handful of soothing ingredients like glycerin, shea, aloe, and chamomile are included to counter any irritation that may be caused by the more active ingredients, Equally important to what is on the ingredients is what isn't on it - the African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner is alcohol and fragrance free, a rarity among drugstore toners.

Shea Moisture's African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner is a yellow, watery liquid that's meant to poured (or spritzed) onto a cotton round and swiped over freshly cleansed skin. After exactly a month of use, I have very mixed feelings about this product. I began seeing results pretty quickly, about four days after I added this toner into my skincare routine - my existing acne seemed calmer and started to heal. Great! However, after a couple weeks of use, I came to the conclusion that while this toner can treat breakouts, it doesn't help to prevent new ones. This toner's formula will wipe away excess oil and any traces of cosmetic residue on your skin without leaving your face feeling dry, tight, or irritated - actually it feels refreshing and just a little bit effervescent on the skin. Despite this toner's high sulfur content, this toner doesn't smell like rotten eggs; instead it has a fizzy, botanical tea tree scent that I find quite pleasant.

Sadly, Shea Moisture's African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner isn't quite what I was looking for. By no means is this a bad product, the ingredient list is amazing - all natural and full of great stuff. Unfortunately I need something with more active ingredients, like AHAs. I think this toner is better suited to those with normal to combo skin with very mild acne. I think it's also important to mention that Shea Moisture's African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner isn't a great value. I've used this toner twice daily for exactly a month, and I've already used up 4/5 of the product. I would be hesitant to repurchase this toner for that reason alone. I'll be moving on to the next toner on my wishlist - maybe Pixi's Glow Tonic or Mario Badescu's Glycolic Toner after I finish this product - but I definitely don't regret trying it.

Deionized Water, African Black Soap Extract, Methylsulfonyl Methane (Sulfur), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerine, Witch Hazel, Vitamin C, Pathenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Salicylic Acid, Spiraea Ulmerea (Meadowsweet) Extract, Allantoin (Comfrey Root) Extract, Tamarind Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Moroccan Camomile Sauvage Oil, Tea Tree Oil


  1. You might like the Tony Moly rice toner for exfoliating and the tea tree lotion for treating breakouts. I'm allergic to tea tree so I can't tell you if the lotion is effective, nor have I tried the toner, but I have been using a rice & grain based cleanser for years and my skin texture is better than ever!

    1. Interesting, I'll definitely look into those - thanks! <3

  2. ;-; if it smelled like eggs you would be v upset