Exfoliating soap is excellent whether you need to buff away dry skin or tackle tough dirt. It’s easy to make exfoliating soap at home with just a few ingredients. Simply choose your favorite melt & pour soap base, add a fragrance you like and sprinkle some ground luffa powder into the recipe.
Loofah powder is a great ingredient because it’s gentler on sensitive skin, but still works well as an exfoliant. Follow along as we make this scrubby soap recipe that’s perfect for men and women.
What is Loofah powder all about?
Shower loofahs are commonplace, but you might be wondering what luffa powder is. As you might have guessed, luffa powder is simply ground up luffa. You might also see this word spelled as luffa, luffah, or loufa – all of these words mean the same thing.
But what is a luffa anyway? Many people think it’s a type of sponge, but in reality, it comes from a plant similar to a gourd or squash. Luffa aegyptiaca – aka the luffa plant – is an edible member of the squash family. If harvested when it’s ripe, luffas can be eaten like you would a zucchini or summer squash. If left on the vine until autumn, the luffa develops a dense, fibrous inner structure that can be dried into a coarse sponge-like material.
The cylindrical-shaped loofahs may be used whole or cut into slices. Sliced loofahs are often embedded in soap to create a scrubby soap bar. The luffa can also be ground into a powder that is used as an exfoliating ingredient. Ground luffa powder is versatile for a number of DIY recipes, such as exfoliating scrubs or soaps.
Because they come from gourds, natural luffas are also vegan and cruelty free – they don’t come from the ocean like you might have assumed, and are not made from man made materials. That’s just another reason to love luffa powder!
How to Make Soap with Loofa Powder
The recommended amount of loofah powder for melt & pour soap is approximately 1 tsp per pound of soap. You may add more if you decide that you want a more exfoliating soap bar. However, you want to avoid adding too much luffa to melt & pour soap, as it can result in a soap bar does not hold up as well when used. Adding too much loofah powder can also make soap too abrasive for sensitive skin.
Note that in melt & pour soap, loofah powder may sink towards the bottom of the mold. This may result in a soap bar that is scrubby on only one side. However, this can be a nice effect if you don't want to use the exfoliating side all the time.
Ready to start making projects with Loofah powder? We put together this easy exfoliating soap recipe so you can experiment with using luffa powder. This loofah powder soap recipe is a great gift for men, but anyone who wants to exfoliate will also enjoy this project!
Supplies & Ingredients for Loofah Powder Soap
- 38 oz Premium Shea Butter Melt & Pour Soap Base
- 1 tablespoon Loofah Powder
- 5 oz NorthWoods Fragrance Oil (or other skin-safe fragrance of choice)
- Square Soap Mold
- 1/2 oz Measuring Scoop
- 28 oz Mix & Pour Funnel Pitcher
- 1 oz Measuring Cup
- 3 oz Measuring Beaker
- Digital Scale
- EZ Grip Nylon Whisk
- Straight Edge Cutter
- Plastic Pipette
- 6 Square Soap Boxes (optional; available in kraft or white).
- Nitrile gloves
- Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
- Cutting board
- We usually recommend measuring ingredients by weight because it is more accurate. However, loofah powder is so lightweight that it does not register on most scales.
- You may add mica powder to this recipe if you want to color your soap bars. We recommend 2-4 micro scoops of mica per pound of soap base. Wearing a face mask is recommended when working with mica powder. You can add the mica at any time once the soap base is melted.
- This recipe calls for 38 oz of soap, which does not fit into our largest measuring cup. Because of this, we recommend making this recipe in two batches. The recipe instructions tell you to make half the soap at a time. You will fill half of the soap mold cavities, then repeat the process to fill the remainder of the mold.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Soap with Loofah Powder
- Use your digital scale to weigh 19 oz of Shea Butter Melt & Pour Soap (picture 1)
- Use the straight edge cutter to cut the soap into approximately 1” cubes, then put the cubes into the 28 oz funnel pitcher (picture 2).
- Microwave the soap in 15-second bursts until the soap is melted. Do not overheat as it may cause the soap to burn (picture 3).
- Using your digital scale and a 1 oz measuring cup, weigh 0.25 oz of fragrance oil.
- Add the fragrance to your melted soap and stir with a whisk (picture 4).
- Using the 1/2 oz measuring scoop, add half a scoop of loofah powder to a 3 oz measuring beaker (this is approximately 1 ½ tsp or ½ a tablespoon) (picture 5).
- Pour a small amount of melted soap into the measuring beaker with the loofah powder (picture 6).
- Stir the loofah powder until it is completely combined (picture 7).
- Pour the soap and loofah powder mixture back into the rest of the soap (picture 8). You may use a rubber spatula to get all of the mixture out. Stir the soap until the powder mixture is combined.
- Spritz three of the soap mold cavities with rubbing alcohol.
- Pour the melted soap into these three cavities (picture 9).
- Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to remove bubbles (picture 10).
- Repeat steps 1-12 to fill the remaining 3 cavities of your soap mold.
- Let the soap harden, which may take several hours.
- Once completely hard, remove the soap carefully from the mold. We recommend wearing gloves to prevent fingerprints on the soap.
- Package the soap in square soap boxes (optional) and label accordingly.
To use your loofah exfoliating soap, simply wet the soap bar and rub it to create a lather. Rub the bar over any area that you want to exfoliate. Do not use on broken or damaged skin. Although loofah powder is gentler than other exfoliants, the properties of this soap may make it unsuitable for people with very sensitive skin.