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What Is Grapefruit Soap?

By C. Mitchell
Updated May 21, 2024
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Grapefruit soap is any soap product, from bar soap to hand soap, that is scented with or made with grapefruits. Most grapefruit soaps are only artificially scented with a grapefruit smell and do not contain any real grapefruit extracts or elements. Some grapefruit skin-care products, particularly body scrubs and exfoliating soaps, do contain at least trace amounts of grapefruit, however. Determining whether a grapefruit soap merely imitates grapefruit or actually contains pieces of the fruit usually requires a careful reading of the manufacturer’s label.

The scent of grapefruit is popular for all sorts of soaps. Bar soap and bath soap are some of the more common grapefruit soaps available. Hand soap and even dish soap are sometimes also scented with grapefruit essence.

Most grapefruit soap is bright pink in color, designed to resemble the vibrant flesh of the pink grapefruit. Grapefruits can be either yellow or pink in tone. Most grapefruit soap products are artificially colored pink, even if they contain real yellow grapefruit elements. This is largely for purposes of mental association and marketing strategy.

Some, though not many, grapefruit soaps are actually made with natural grapefruit essences and extracts. Grapefruit pulp can be added to bar soap for an extra “zing,” for instance. Seeds and peel may also be added to coarse sugar and liquid soap to create a natural grapefruit scrub. Grapefruit soaps in this category are usually more expensive than artificial versions, but also carry other benefits.

Most citrus fruits, grapefruits included, have natural skin clarifying and brightening properties. The best way to realize these properties is to actually eat the fruits, but topical applications sometimes also yield results. Using soaps with real grapefruit pieces or grapefruit extracts can be an easy way to fight skin blemishes and naturally pursue a clearer complexion.

Grapefruit soap typically has an uplifting, energizing scent, which is often one of its biggest selling points. For this reason, grapefruit soap is a common favorite in many peoples’ morning shower regimens. Specialty soap manufacturers sell entire lines of grapefruit skin-care products that include coordinating body washes, shampoos, conditioners, shower scrubs, lotions, and bath oils, among other things. Grapefruit soap's energizing properties are usually constant, whether the scent is natural or artificial.

The word “artificial” often means harsh chemicals — but not always. Many artificially scented and colored grapefruit soaps are made with all organic products, and some even hold certifications from skincare specialists. The additives required to create a grapefruit scent vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Consumers with skin sensitivities should read the labels of scented and colored soaps carefully and should bring any questions to their dermatologists.

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Discussion Comments
By fify — On Jan 13, 2015

@ddljohn-- Actually a soap that has a very long-lasting scent probably has synthetic perfume. A soap with real grapefruit should have a refreshing citrus scent in the shower but the scent shouldn't linger on after showering. I also recommend getting a soap with moisturizing oils like shea butter because some essential oils can actually dry out skin.

By serenesurface — On Jan 12, 2015

@ddljohn-- It's kind of tough to find a soap that smells exactly like fresh grapefruit. The closest I've found is a lemon and grapefruit soap. It's a bit lemony naturally, but still has the grapefruit scent in it. Some other variations I've come across in soap are grapefruit and guava and grapefruit and mandarin.

The best thing to do probably is to visit a store or shop where you can smell various kinds of soap. Some organic and vegan stores allow their customers to check the scent of soaps. You may find a grapefruit soap that smells very close that way.

Otherwise, if you make soap at home, I bet you could always make your own grapefruit soap using grapefruit oil.

By ddljohn — On Jan 11, 2015

Are there any grapefruit soaps that have grapefruit essential oil?

I know that this type of oil is available and some people use it diluted for aromatherapy benefits. I love the scent of grapefruit and I'm looking for a soap that smells like freshly cut grapefruit to use in the morning. There is nothing like the scent of grapefruit to wake one up in the morning.

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