Fact Checked

What Is Papaya Soap?

Megan Shoop
Megan Shoop

Papaya soap is homemade or manufactured soap that contains one of three ingredients: papaya extract, papaya juice, or papaya pulp. Some recipes combine all three of these ingredients to super-infuse the soap with papaya essence. In addition to giving the soap a typically pleasing orange color and a bright, fruity scent, papaya purportedly contains a number of benefits for the skin. Those interested in papaya soap may choose from a wide array of types, from those manufactured for purchase to those created at home.

Vitamins C and A are highly concentrated in most papaya fruits, along with beta carotene and an enzyme called papain. The vitamins in papaya are often nourishing for the skin, especially for those with blemishes and scars. The antioxidants in these vitamins purportedly helps wash away dead and dry skin cells very quickly, promoting the growth of new, healthy skin. This quick turnover of skin growth typically helps fade scars, heal blemishes, and helps scabbed-over wounds become soft and pliable again more quickly.

A papaya.
A papaya.

The enzyme papain helps the vitamins in the papaya soap do their work, in addition to performing several functions of its own. Papain reportedly helps keep skin soft, pliable, and new-looking, making it a popular additive to facial soaps. Its exfoliating properties promote smooth skin and may help remove uneven coloring and dark spots over time. Some manufacturers advertise very fast spot correction with papaya soap, but papaya alone will not usually remove spots quickly. Several months of using the soap may show results in this area.

An unripe papaya.
An unripe papaya.

When it comes to choosing a papaya soap, consumers generally have dozens of choices. Bar soap, liquid soap, and facial cleansers are just a few options. Still more versions of this product include exfoliating beads and are designed specifically to soften hands and feet. A few soaps also combine papaya with other tropical fruits, like pineapple and lemon, to help further cleanse the skin and pores. Those with food allergies should read labels closely to make sure they won’t have an adverse reaction to their chosen soap.

Bar soap is just one of the many forms in which a person can get papaya soap.
Bar soap is just one of the many forms in which a person can get papaya soap.

Some consumers prefer to make their own papaya soap at home, giving them complete control over what goes into the recipe. The first, and possibly simplest, option involves purchasing unscented, additive-free liquid soap and adding a few spoonfuls of papaya juice or extract to it. Those using juice should refrigerate their soap. Another option involves adding extract to one’s favorite brand of body wash or facial cleanser. The last possibility for making papaya soap involves making it from scratch, either with lye and oils, or with melt-and-pour glycerin soap base mixes.

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Discussion Comments


@burcinc-- I agree with @burcidi. It works, but you have to be patient. And if you have really sensitive skin, you might want to use it once every other day because it is a bit drying since it helps remove dead skin. I use it three times a week because I do have sensitive skin that's easily irritated.

I guess it depends on the brand too. If you get one with added moisturizers, it might be less drying.

I think the only major disappointment I had with this soap is that even though it helped with my dark spots and blemishes, it didn't lighten my actual skin color at all. I know the soap doesn't claim to whiten skin. I was just hoping that it would.


@burcinc-- Yea, I think papaya soap will work for you. Just make sure to use it correctly.

I'm South American and I've been using papaya soap for years. It's pretty popular back home. It does wonders for blemishes and it evens out the skin tone really well.

But it does it slowly and needs to be used for a long time to see results. I hear so many people complain that papaya soap didn't work for them because they use it for a week and expect better skin.

You have to stick with it and use it regularly for months! It's also important to moisturize your skin afterward, and make sure to use sunscreen to prevent new blemishes and discolorations.


I have a papaya scrub that I use sometimes but I've never used a papaya soap. The scrub is pretty cool, it has ground papaya seeds that exfoliate the skin. It works well but it's not a product I can use every day. It will be too harsh. I want a papaya cleanser that is gentle enough to use everyday.

Do you think a papaya soap is what I'm looking for? Has anyone here used papaya soap? How do you like it?

Papaya skin products in general are kind of hard to find. And if they're organic, they can be on the pricier end so I want to make sure I will benefit from this soap before I purchase it.

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    • A papaya.
      By: fuyi
      A papaya.
    • An unripe papaya.
      By: sassyphotos
      An unripe papaya.
    • Bar soap is just one of the many forms in which a person can get papaya soap.
      By: Chris leachman
      Bar soap is just one of the many forms in which a person can get papaya soap.
    • Papaya soap contains papain, which is sometimes added to facial soaps for its exfoliating and smoothing qualities.
      By: CandyBox Images
      Papaya soap contains papain, which is sometimes added to facial soaps for its exfoliating and smoothing qualities.