Uses, Properties, and Contraindications of Papaya Soap

Papaya soap is a product with exfoliating properties. This is why it's ideal for keeping the skin soft and free of impurities. Want to learn more? Keep reading!
Uses, Properties, and Contraindications of Papaya Soap

Last update: 25 August, 2022

Papaya grows in tropical countries, specifically in the western hemisphere, where people have been using it for skincare purposes in the form of soap, masks, and other products. As you may already know, it’s already highly valued due to its culinary uses and nutritional properties.

Read more about its properties below!

A quick note on commercial soaps

Generally speaking, most commercial soaps contain all sorts of chemical components in their formulation. However, many lead to adverse reactions in some people, especially those with sensitive skin. Among them, we find irritation, allergies, or even changes in the natural pH of the skin.

For this reason, many people prefer to use natural soaps, such as this one made from papaya. We’re about to tell you why it’s a great product to use together with its properties and possible contraindications.

What are the possible benefits of papaya soap on the skin?

The active enzyme of this fruit, called papain, is used in the elaboration of soaps for various purposes. According to a publication in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, this substance is often used in dermatology to minimize the appearance of scars.

Moreover, people value it due to its capacity to improve skin health, as it promotes the elimination of dead cells and impurities. Papaya also contains vitamin C, which reduces the negative effects of free radicals and helps stimulate collagen production.

As if that wasn’t enough, it also provides vitamin A, an essential nutrient to stimulate cell regeneration and reduce the presence of blemishes and irregularities. As you can see, papaya soap is a good choice for skincare due to this composition.

You won’t believe it, but there are actually even more health benefits of this soap. We’ll tell you more below!

Two soap bars with a pretty package.
Papaya soap contains papain, a substance with an exfoliating effect that benefits skin health.

Papaya soap is exfoliating

One of the main characteristics of papaya soap is its exfoliating effect. This means it has the ability to remove dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin.

Indeed, the skin renews itself naturally, although it doesn’t hurt to speed up the process with the application of exfoliating products. It gives the skin a more luminous and uniform appearance.

When it comes to papaya soap, the exfoliating action is due to the content of papain, which, as we said above, it’s a substance that catalyzes the degradation of proteins when in combination with water.

It has anti-acne properties

This isn’t a first-choice treatment against acne pimples. However, papaya soap does promote cleansing and supports the treatment of this condition. The papain content even helps remove damaged keratin and prevents scarring.

According to the book Healing Power of Papaya, by Barbara Simonsohn, the exfoliating properties of papaya soap make it an ideal ally to treat acne and prevent clogged pores due to excess dead cells.

Papaya soap is soothing

Cleansing the skin with papaya soap is useful for soothing pain, itching, and redness. While it isn’t a definitive cure for allergies, bites, or wounds, it can help reduce discomfort while you use another treatment.

Read and Learn These Five Surprising Benefits of Papaya That You Didn’t Know About

It helps prevent skin blemishes

For now, there are no scientific studies that support the theory that papaya soap reduces blemishes. However, Simonsohn, author of the book mentioned above, indicates that its regular application can slightly lighten scars over time.

At this point, let’s mention that papain doesn’t chemically lighten the skin, as is the case with commercially available whitening creams. It works by exfoliating the outer layers that may be tanned or damaged by the sun.

It’s a natural blemish remover

The enzyme papain, present in the papaya plant, catalyzes the breakdown of proteins by hydrolysis (the addition of a water molecule). This is why it’s quite useful for removing stains from fabrics.

According to the book Papaya: The Medicine Tree, by Harald W. Tietze, the soap made from this plant is effective for both loosening and removing stains with high protein content, as in the case of blood.

Contraindications and side effects of papaya soap

Just because a product is natural doesn’t mean that it can’t have counterproductive effects. All bodies are different and some people may have allergic reactions or unwanted effects from the use of papaya soap.

In general, it’s a safe product for most people. However, its use is discouraged if there’s a history of allergy to latex or papaya.

Consider the following to avoid discomfort:

  • Test the soap on a small hidden part of your skin to make sure it doesn’t produce allergies, irritation, swelling, etc. before using it for the first time.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes.
  • Use it externally only.
  • Discontinue its use if you notice any skin reaction and proceed to rinse thoroughly; consult a doctor or dermatologist if necessary.
  • Maintain the product at a temperature of fewer than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
A person holding a box.
In case of allergy to papaya or latex, it is best to avoid using papaya soap.

What to remember about papaya soap

Papaya contains useful nutrients for the skin. So, including this kind of soap in your beauty routine can be useful for exfoliating, reducing the presence of acne, and preventing blemishes. However, keep in mind it isn’t a magical ingredient.

Finally, also note that its application won’t lead to instant effects on the skin and neither will replace the products recommended by the dermatologist. It’s best to consult a professional in case of acne, irritation, or sensitivity.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Manosroi A, Chankhampan C, Manosroi W, Manosroi J. Transdermal absorption enhancement of papain loaded in elastic niosomes incorporated in gel for scar treatment. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2013 Feb 14;48(3):474-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2012.12.010. Epub 2012 Dec 21. PMID: 23266464.
  • Telang PS. Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013;4(2):143-146. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.110593
  • Kafi R, Kwak HS, Schumacher WE, Cho S, Hanft VN, Hamilton TA, King AL, Neal JD, Varani J, Fisher GJ, Voorhees JJ, Kang S. Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol). Arch Dermatol. 2007 May;143(5):606-12. doi: 10.1001/archderm.143.5.606. PMID: 17515510.
  • Simonsohn, B. Healing Power of Papaya. Lotus Press (2000).
  • Tietze, H. Papaya the Medicine Tree. Harald Tietze Publishing (2003).
  • Amri E, Mamboya F. Papain, a plant enzyme of biological importance: A review. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2012).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.