Natural Soap Making Ingredients


Looking for Creative Soap Making Ideas?

Or natural soap making ingredients?

Either way, I’ve got you covered!

I’ve learned a lot of commercially made soaps include ingredients that aren’t great for your skin. And sometimes they aren’t great for your health either. Just pick a bar soap and look at the soap ingredients on the back. If it includes any of these five ingredients, put it back!

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Never run out of soap making ideas with 20 creative soap ingredients!

Related: The Easiest Way to Make Soap

Related: How to Start Making Bath Bombs

Natural Soap Making Doesn’t Mean Boring

Just because you’re skipping commercial ingredients doesn’t mean your handmade soap has to be boring! You can still color soap any shade with natural food coloring and more ideas below.

Not to mention, you can create unique textures and patterns too using natural soap making ingredients.

20 Creative Soap Making Ingredients

#1 Citrus Rinds: exfoliation + color + scent

Many are drawn to the fresh scent and bright colors of citrus fruits. Orange, lemon, grapefruit, or lime all make wonderful additions to soap. Citrus fruits are high in antioxidants and vitamins A, B, and C. These help combat free radicals and lend a radiant glow to the skin.

Use citrus rinds and powders to color and scent soap, in addition to exfoliation. Try DIY lemon zest soap, perfect for everyday kitchen clean-up!

#2 Oatmeal: soothe dry skin + decoration

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, colloidal oatmeal, and quinoa are great all-natural skin-softening additions for natural soap making.  The cellulose and fiber from the oats make an effective skin soother for itchy, irritated, dry skin.

The process of grounding oatmeal and suspending it in liquid creates colloidal oatmeal that is more readily absorbed into the skin. Add to your next natural soap recipe, or start with an oatmeal soap base!

#3 Coffee Grounds: exfoliation + color + scent

Most known for a morning caffeine jolt, coffee can give your skin a jolt too! It’s packed full of antioxidants, making it naturally anti-aging and detoxifying too.

Best of all, it is a natural astringent that makes your skin tighter and firmer. And who doesn’t love the aroma of coffee? Check out my easy Coffee Soap Recipe.

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#4 Lavender buds: scent + decoration

Popular for its scent, lavender is a lovely natural soap making ingredient. Known to promote restful sleep, it’s a no-brainer to include in soap. Make DIY lavender goat milk soap for a relaxing bath with dried lavender buds.

#5 Shredded Coconut: exfoliation + decoration

This pairs well with citrus scents and makes a beautiful natural soap ingredient. As a carrier oil, coconut is packed with intense moisturizing benefits for the skin. Did you know you can buy a coconut soap base? Learn more about using carrier oils with the Oils By Skin Type Chart in the Simple Living Library with a dozen soap making printables and more!

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    #6 Seeds: exfoliation + decoration

    Poppy seeds, apricot seeds, and chia seeds are clever ways to add exfoliation to soap bars. And I love how they appear to float within the soap. Check out this gorgeous Chia Seed and Aloe Soap recipe.  

    #7 Pink Himalayan salt: harden soap + exfoliation + color

    Remove dead skin cells and replenish skin with Pink Himalayan salt! Mineral salts break down the build-up of lactic acid with the help of electrolytes to reduce muscle aches and pains.

    Salt in any form also hardens soaps and provides exfoliation. Make pink grapefruit exfoliating DIY soap, perfect for a lightweight daily exfoliation.

    #8 Matcha powder: color + exfoliation

    Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging properties, green tea has amazing beauty benefits.  You can apply green tea in an abundance of natural ways to help smooth, hydrate, tighten, and brighten your skin.

    Add loose-leaf tea for exfoliation or matcha powder for color. I love the soft green color it makes in these DIY Match Matcha Bath Melts.

    #9 Candelua Flowers: color + decoration + scent

    Have you seen these in person or held them in your hand? Dried calendula flowers are big compared to most dried herbs. And the color doesn’t fade in soap, like other herbs.  P.S. If I’m not using herbs from my garden, I buy certified organic from Pronounce Skincare.

    #10 Cocoa Powder: color

    Rich in antioxidants called flavanols, cocoa powder is a multipurpose natural soap making ingredient. How? Flavonols are a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals making skin youthful for longer! How’s that for multipurpose?

    20 Natural Soap Making Ingredients & Additives You Haven’t Thought Of!

    #11 Rose Petals: scent + decoration

    Rose is well known to soothe, soften, brighten, and tighten the skin. Rose petals are a beautiful natural soap making ingredient. And the scent is powerful! Don’t miss these 10 ways to harness the power of rose in skincare recipes.

    #12 Activated Charcoal: detox + color

    There’s something to be said for activated charcoal‘s unmatched ability to remove toxins from the body.  It works like a vacuum to remove all the gunk deep within our skin. You can also make a marble appearance in soap like this recipe for Charcoal & Lavender Soap.

    #13 Vitamin E Oil: moisturizer

    As an antioxidant, vitamin E oil helps to protect cells from free radical damage. It is a great moisturizer for the skin and hair. Use vitamin E oil as a soap additive in your next soap bar. I use it in many of my soap recipes.

    Wondering what you can put in soap? Here’s 20 Creative Soap Ingredients!

    #14 Chamomile Flowers: scent + decoration

    Used around the world as relaxing bedtime tea, chamomile has incredible skin benefits. Its gentle nature is anti-inflammatory that calms dry, itchy skin. And chamomile flowers add a beautiful scent and decoration to soap.

    #15 Essential Oils: scent

    If you’re looking for a natural soap ingredient to add powerful scents – essential oils are it! They not only provide wonderful natural scents to soap, but they also contain a wealth of skin-loving properties. Learn more about getting started with essential oils, and don’t miss my 10 must-have essential oils for home and beauty here.

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    #16 Rosemary Sprigs: scent + decoration

    Rosemary’s naturally antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it a great natural soap making ingredient. I love to combine it with lemon, peppermint, or lavender for a lovely fresh scent. See just how pretty it is as a soap additive in this Refreshing Rosemary Citrus Soap recipe.

    #17 Loose Leaf Tea: decoration + exfoliation

    This may seem like an odd addition, but loose leaf tea is quite beautiful in natural soaps. I love to add herbal teas to soaps and bath tea recipes. It’s fun to recreate your favorite drink into a soap bar!

    20 natural soap making ingredients to jump start your holiday crafting!

    #18 Beet Root Powder: color

    I started using beetroot powder to color soap, bath bombs, and other natural skin care goodies because it only takes a little with a rich hue. Later I found out it has numerous benefits for the skin, such as potassium, folate, vitamin C, and antioxidants!

    #19 Honey: increase lather

    A natural resource of nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, and skin-boosting acids, honey is a natural soap making ingredient to love! Honey is a natural humectant that draws in moisture, is antibacterial, and is full of antioxidants! You can even start with a honey soap base for DIY soap. See it come to life in this simple honey lemon soap recipe.

    #20 Loofah: exfoliation + decoration

    Imbedded in soap, a loofah helps exfoliate dry skin, allowing your moisturizers in soap to fully nourish your skin and leave it feeling ultra-smooth! I love this DIY Lavender Loofah Soap from Crystal at Pumpkin and a Princess.

    Never run out of soap making ideas with 20 creative soap ingredients!

    What creative soap making ingredient are you going to try first? Pin this for later so you never run out of soap making additives and ingredient ideas! Tag #lifenreflection to share your soap-making ideas!



    1. Reply


      Unfortunately dried flowers and herbs can rot and turn the soap brown.

      • Reply


        Nicole, I have been making soap for years with dried flowers and herbs. They have never turned the soap brown. Now, some flowers and herbs do lose their color over time in soap and can become brown. If you use fresh flowers, they will have moisture in them and can turn your soap brown.

    2. Reply

      Jennifer R.

      I just stumbled upon your article and what good timing! When I first started making soap I only used natural colorants, but as time went by I discovered micas and that’s pretty much all I use now – until recently. I decided I wanted to get back to using plant extracts to color my soap. Thanks for the reminder of so many items I had forgotten about.

      • Reply


        Awe, I love using mica powder to color soap too, but the natural plant extracts are so interesting, right!

    3. Reply


      I like using cornmeal in my gardener’s soap. It gently scrubs dirty hands after playing in the garden!

      • Reply


        That is a great idea, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing