Real sea sponge on a bathroom surface with skincare / personal care items and a plant in the background.

What is natural sponge made from?

With a unique texture and massaging sensation when you use it to gently exfoliate your skin, you may be wondering “what is a natural sponge made from exactly?” It is hard to imagine that nature could provide us with a tool that’s so perfect at creating a luscious lather and soothing sensation. But it is true: your organic shower sponge is completely natural in origin!

Generally, there are two types of sponges that people refer to as a ‘natural sponge’. The first is the real natural sea sponge, which is what we specialize in at Naroa. The second is the natural loofah, which despite being a natural product, it is still inferior to the natural sea sponge.

This article will explain why.

What is a natural bath sponge made of?

Real natural sea sponges by Naroa are made by nature in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. The sea sponge is actually a sea-dwelling creature that grows on reefs and rocky outcrops, the most common of which is known scientifically as Spongia officinalis. 

There is no plastic or manmade material in a real natural sea sponge by Naroa. We harvest our sea sponges sustainably from the Caribbean Sea.

The sea sponge

Sea sponges grow like an aquatic plant, but rather than absorbing nutrients through the soil, they feed on the nutrients of the sea. To do this, sea sponges have a porous structure filled with small channels that create a natural filtration system. This allows them to filter nutrients and water which is beneficial to both the sponge and coral reef. This structure is also what makes them ideal for skincare.

Over time, sea sponges grow to various sizes depending on the type of sponge. For example, the vase sponge, Ircinia campana, can reach heights of 3 feet. For creating a bath exfoliating sponge, we harvest specific varieties of sponge when they reach 4-6 feet in diameter. By leaving the root of the sponge intact, the sponge will continue to grow and sustain the life of the reef.

After harvesting, the natural sea sponges are processed, cleaned, and cut ready for their life as natural sponges for bathing and luxury skincare.

What is a natural bath loofah made of?

The second type of ‘natural’ sponge is a loofah. While a natural bath loofah is, in fact, natural… it’s not the same as a sea sponge. Loofahs are made from plant matter – they are actually vegetables related to cucumbers!

The loofah vegetable is incredibly fibrous and once dried, it makes for a rough and scratchy organic shower sponge. Compared to a sea sponge, a natural bath loofah is:

  • Incredibly tough and durable,
  • Ideal for cleaning, washing up, and scrubbing hard items,
  • Unsuitable for sensitive skin and daily bathing use,
  • A home for certain bacteria to thrive if not correctly cleaned.
In comparison, the sea sponges we harvest at Naroa are ideal for all skin types and have a luxuriant, soft, and nourishing feel as you wash your face and body. Read our FAQs to learn more about what a natural sponge is made from.
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