When most people think about “Luffa,” they believe it is a sea sponge. This is wrong! The Luffa Plant is actually a gourd which produces fruit! Commonly grown in the United States and Asia, people have been consuming the squash produced from the luffa plant for centuries.
The luffa you find in cosmetic use, common for exfoliation, has actually been dehydrated for months.
Most commonly, people purchase pieces of luffa for use in the shower. It’s used by adding soap and scrubbing the skin, but this can actually be quite harsh, more so, left alone in the shower, the luffa has the potential to grow mold, mildew, and bacteria. For these reasons, we created the After the Rain Luffa Soap.
Using the melt-and-pour soapmaking technique, we added chunks of luffa directly into the soap, so there is no concern about the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria because these microbes cannot grow on soap.
Ideally, you would use a luffa soap for extremely rough or dry skin, such as on the feet. When used on the feet, it’s an amazing exfoliation of dead skin because the soap is naturally coarse and rough, helping to slough off the hardened, dried skin.
A luffa soap can also be used to invigorate the body. An ancient technique, called “Dry Brushing,” usually requires the use of a bristle brush, but a luffa soap can almost be used in the same way. Using the luffa soap on areas like the hips, glutes, and back can create a deep scratching feel, which promotes circulation and can feel like a deep-tissue massage. Be careful not to scratch too deeply – if the skin is red, inflamed, stinging, or painful, it was done too hard, or the skin may be too sensitive for this kind of use. It’s normal for the skin to be slightly pink.
Luffa soap is also excellent for areas where there are ingrown hairs, as the coarse features of the soap may help to loosen the skin blocking the hair. For this reason, using the luffa soap right before you shave (never your face!) can create a smoother, softer, closer shave.
In any way you decide to use a luffa soap, always be sure to moisturize afterward to keep your skin soft and supple.