12 Herbal Powders to Use in Soap

Herbal powders are a convenient way to add nourishing components and label appeal to your handmade soaps!

packets of herb powders and round bar of soap in pottery dish

Instead of infusing herbs (and flowers) in oil or water for soap, you can stir small amounts of the finely powdered herbs into the:

  • lye solution,
  • warmed oils,
  • or the soap batter at light trace.

Some ground floral powders, like calendula and chamomile, add a slightly speckled texture and color. Marshmallow root powder is often added for moisturizing and soothing properties.

Other herbs, like ground mint or basil leaves, may start off green, but will eventually discolor to brown, so use those sparingly. Two more to be aware of are ground lavender, as it turns gray-brown when mixed into soap batter, and powdered rose petals which darken to a brown or black color.

Why add herb powders to soap?

Herbal powders offer a variety of potential skin soothing benefits, label appeal, and some will even give your soap a soft color.

I’m often asked if the benefits of herbs and flowers remain in soap, and always like to refer to this article: “Ask the Experts – Saponification

Some herbal powders act as exfoliants, so it’s wise to keep the amounts on the low side or the soap may turn out too scratchy.

Be sure to check out the Green Goodness soap recipe linked below, for an example of a soap made with 3 herbal powders!

Some links on this site are affiliate links; I only recommend products I personally use and enjoy. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

FREE Resource

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Learn to Use Herbs & Flowers  in Soap

Discover 21 of the top herbs and flowers for making handmade natural soap, plus:

  • How to make nourishing oil and tea infusions
  • Benefits & final color that each herb gives to soap
  • Plants not recommended for soapmaking
flowers in soap in a black ipad

12 Powdered Herbs for Soapmaking

Here are a dozen herbal powders to get you started, but there are so many more to explore! (My favorite source for powdered herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs.)

PPO = Per Pound of Oil in your recipe; 1 pound = 16 ounces = 454 grams

HerbBenefitAmountWhen to Add
(Matricaria chamomilla)
calms itchy skin
1/2 to 1 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils,
light trace
(Stellaria media)
soft green
natural colorant
2 tsp PPOwarm oils
(Chlorella vulgaris)
fights acne &
lovely natural
green colorant
1 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils,
light trace
(purple coneflower)
(E. purpurea)
anti-inflammatory1/2 to 1 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils,
light trace
(Ascophyllum nodosum)
nutrient rich
1/2 tsp PPOlight trace
(Althaea officinalis)
soothes redness
& eczema
1/2 tsp PPOlight trace
(Moringa oleifera)
soft green color
1 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils
(Urtica dioica)
healthy scalp
& skin
1 to 2 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils,
light trace
(Avena sativa)
beneficial silica
for skin & hair,
soft green color
1 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils,
light trace
(Rosa spp.)
beneficial fruit
acids; combine
with madder
root for color
1/2 to 1 tsp PPOhot lye solution
1/2 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils,
light trace
(Achillea millefolium)
for damaged,
oily, acne-prone
1/2 tsp PPOlye solution,
warm oils

Green Goodness Soap Recipe

For an example of a soap made using herbal powders, check out this Green Goodness soap recipe from my Soapmaking Success course! (Click on the image to be taken to the full sized recipe.)

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Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.