DIY: Exfoliating Homemade Soap – 4 Ways

I started out wanting to make a gentle, naturally exfoliating soap bar – but then got totally carried away and made 4. Soap is so easy to customize when you use a pre-made base (like glycerin or shea butter) from the craft store. It’s like a kitchen science experiment, adding in different textures and colors. There are endless variations but here are 4 simple recipes to try.

Homemade Soap 4 Ways | 4 Exfoliating Herbal Homemade Soap Bars

Supplies Needed

  • 1/2 – 1 cup of clear glycerin soap base
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons oil (olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, honey, etc)
  • Dry ingredients (chia seeds, cornmeal, oatmeal or coffee)
  • Soap mold container (I use glass storage containers)


First, cut the glycerin into cubes and melt in the microwave. I usually do this with a Pyrex measuring cup. Let the soap cool slightly then add the oil, water and dry ingredients. Stir or whisk everything together. Keep mixing for 1-3 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken. Then pour into your mold and let it cool and harden.

Chia Seed + Aloe

Chia and Aloe Soap | Homemade Soap 4 Ways | Aloe is natural skin soother and healer, and chia seeds are my new favorite exfoliators. For this version, substitute aloe vera juice for the oil and water and add 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

Cornmeal + Calendula

Calendua and Cornmeal Soap | Homemade Soap 4 Ways | This is a great version for sensitive skin because cornmeal gently exfoliates and calendula is a natural healing herb. I used 3 tablespoons of calendula-infused oil (see how to here) and added about 1/4 cup cornmeal. The cornmeal tends to settle so make sure to whisk well.

Oatmeal + Cinnamon

Cinnamon and Oatmeal Soap | Homemade Soap 4 Ways | Ground cinnamon adds such a gorgeous color! Add 1/4 cup of oatmeal and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to the soap base when you add the oil and water.


Coffee Soap | Homemade Soap 4 Ways | I love the smell of this one! And coffee does a nice job of scrubbing away yucky odors on the hands. But it’s another one that tends to settle (or maybe I added too much). I used 1/4 cup of ground, unbrewed coffee so you might want to reduce that down to about 2 tablespoons.

What homemade soap creations have you come up with?


chases 3 small kids and edits Hello Natural

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  1. TrueChick says

    I want to make the coffee one with my kids for my husband for father’s day. So I think I kind of get how to do it (and I have everything I need), but I was wondering how you get that 2 toned look? Do I do soap base and coffee grounds first, let that cool, then add more soap base with the oil, water and more grounds on top of that? Like essentially melding two bars into one? Cause thats a really cool effect. It looks like a cappuccino almost.

  2. Gigi says

    Hi there! I’m trying to do this with all ingredients I have at home. Any chance I can shave up a bar of Dove soap to make this with?

  3. Sona Jacob says

    Your soaps look yumm! Just a quick question.. Does stuff like cornmeal or oatmeal spoil while the soap is being used? Or is the fact that it is in the soap enough to keep it from spoiling?

    • gerbermom says

      As long as the ingredients are dry when they’re incorporated (any moisture will cause mold eventually), they won’t cause the soap to spoil. Cornmeal & oatmeal last for ages on the shelf so they’re fine in a soap!

  4. Karen brown says

    I love using calendula in homemade soap…it’s so pretty the way it retains it’s gorgeous color! Milk, honey and calendula is a favorite. I want to take a stab at making sea salt soap, but haven’t tried yet. I hear salt is a good exfoliatiator and it just sounds like a good summer soap!

  5. LydiaGrace says

    The coffee one would be excellent for a morning wake up, and it would also work wonders on cellulite!

    The only problem with scrubby soaps is you have to hold the bar and move it around your skin to get a proper exfoliation, and they slip out of my hands.

  6. says

    I have been marinating on the idea of making my own soap bars and after seeing yours I am so making them. I’m eager to try the chia exfoliating bar and make a mint and cucumber one.

    Thanks so much for sharing :)


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