Soap: it doesn’t seem like an exceedingly interesting or divisive topic of discussion, but you may strike a nerve with a body wash loyalist if you mention your love of traditional bar soap.
But the truth is these two products both do the same thing. Bar soap cleanses your body by dissolving dirt that sits on the surface of your skin. In the past, body wash has one-upped bar soap by providing additional ingredients to treat skin conditions such as dryness or acne.
However, today’s bar soap brands have truly worked hard to compete in the hygiene industry. That’s why we’ve gathered our picks for the 7 best bar soap products below.
What’s the Best Bar Soap?
After conducting tons of research and testing several types of bar soap, we’ve landed on CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar as our winner for best overall. Check out the remainder of the list for some other awesome products.
Our top 7 picks for the best bar soaps for men:
- Best Overall: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
- Best Hemp Soap: Dr. Bonner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap
- Best Budget Option: Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
- Best Drugstore Option: Dove Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin
- Best Face Bar: Osmia Pumpkin Exfoliating Facial Soap
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Basis Sensitive Skin Bar
- Best Eco-Friendly: L’Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap
We understand that a list isn’t reason enough for you to go out and buy all of the bar soap. If you keep reading, you’ll learn more about the importance of this product.
Why You Need Bar Soap
Some folks cringe at the thought of using bar soap due to the notion that bar soap is unsanitary. However, that statement is simply untrue. While your bar soap probably does have germs on it, most of them are from your own skin and that’s not really an issue.
In reality, your bar soap uses compounds called surfactants to remove dirt, germs, and debris in combination with water. And according to the CDC, bar soap works just as well as liquid soap to accomplish this.
What’s more, when you use liquid soap or body wash, you’re more likely to facilitate the wash with a loofah or a washcloth. Both of these types of products can hold far more germs than your bar of soap, and they deposit these germs back onto your body each time you use them.
It doesn’t help that these items also stay wet after use, making them an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
So, to sum things up, bar soap is a great choice, despite the modern love of liquid products. It’s worth hearing about the best bar soap products on the market today.
Best Bar Soaps: Top 7 Picks
Are you looking for the best bar soap? Check out our top seven picks below.
1. Best Overall: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
CeraVe is a well-known skincare brand developed by dermatologists. The brand’s main claim to fame is its triple-ceramide formulas that include three essential skin components to reinforce a naturally healthy skin barrier. CeraVe’s hydrating cleanser bar is no different.
This affordable yet effective bar soap works to clean, hydrate, and nourish the skin. It contains a five percent CeraVe moisturizing cream and has earned the official seal of approval from the National Eczema Association, making it ideal for sensitive and dry skin.
The bar also contains hyaluronic acid, which is common in many skincare products for its anti-aging properties. Users love it for its ability to cleanse without drying out skin, and so do we.
2. Best Hemp Bar Soap: Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soap
While the hemp plant is seen as controversial for many people, evidence supports its many benefits. One such benefit is its ability to help reduce eczema and minimize skin dryness and irritation. Dr. Bonner’s has taken these findings and rolled with them to create its pure Castile bar soap.
These organic soap bars come in a variety of natural scents, including lavender, peppermint, and citrus, and offer several nourishing ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba.
The bars give you a rich lather to clean and moisturize yourself gently. These cruelty-free, vegan soaps work on your face, body, and even your hair. The bars are fairly large and last anywhere from three to six weeks; plus, they smell fantastic.
3. Best Drugstore Bar Soap: Dove Beauty Bar Soap
You don’t have to go with fancy brands to get high-quality soap these days. Widely-known and trusted brands like Dove are producing great products for an excellent price.
This Dove Beauty Bar comes in a sensitive skin formula, making it perfect for those prone to hives, rashes, and dryness.
The gentle formula cleans, hydrates, and has even helped some loyal Dove customers with acne. If you’re looking for a simple, hydrating bar soap with no fragrance and no-frills, Dove is a great way to go.
4. Best Budget Bar Soap: Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
Dial has long been a brand recognized for its budget prices. So much so, that you might turn your nose up at this bar. However, the Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap actually makes a fine choice for anyone who doesn’t want to spend tons of money on soap.
Although there isn’t much evidence to support that antibacterial soap is any better than standard soap, it can give you peace of mind to know that Dial’s bar goes after 99 percent of bacteria germs.
The simple bar is also what Dial calls “skin smart.” It has a clean fragrance, moisture balance technology, and creamy formula for hydrated skin.
5. Best Face Bar Soap: Osmia Pumpkin Facial Bar
Not all bar soaps are ideal for washing your face, but this one is. The Osmia Pumpkin soap is a gentle, exfoliating face bar that is jam-packed with organic ingredients that are great for your face. Just a few of these fabulous ingredients are pumpkin, honey, and tomato.
The bar also includes essential oils of carrot, geranium, and rosewood all of which are good for your skin. The small bar is the perfect size for using on just your face.
It lathers well for a mild yet effective exfoliating feel and works to brighten the complexion, restore skin, and wash away dirt and oils. This organic brand has no synthetic ingredients or fragrances, either.
6. Best for Sensitive Skin: Basis Sensitive Skin Bar
Looking for an affordable bar soap that won’t irritate your sensitive skin? No need to look any further. The Basis Sensitive Skin body wash bar is ideal for sensitive skin types that don’t hold up well against traditional soaps.
Basis bar soap has a lovely chamomile scent that’s pleasant and relaxing. It also features calming aloe vera for a soothing and gentle touch.
The bar also leaves out harsh ingredients like fragrances, dyes, and chemicals, so there’s virtually nothing in there that can fluster your skin. It works up a nice lather and does well on both the hands and the body.
7. Best Eco-Friendly Bar Soap: L’Occitane Vegetable Based Bar Soap
If the environment is high on your list of priorities, you’ll love L’occitane Vegetable Base Bar Soap. Not only is this soap good for your skin, but it’s good for the world. This extra-gentle soap uses a traditional recipe that comes from master French soap makers.
It has a 100 percent vegetable oil base and adds some shea butter for additional moisture and nourishment.
L’Occitane is also Climate Pledge Friendly, meaning it uses only sustainable ingredients that help preserve the natural world. The company is also against animal testing.
Finding the Best Bar Soap for You
Whether you’re debating making the switch from liquid soap to bars, or you simply want to update your hygiene routine, our bar soap buying guide can certainly help. Take a look to learn more about purchasing this product.
The most important thing to consider when purchasing a bar of soap is your skin type. This consideration should come as no great shock we all tend to consider our specific needs when it comes to hygienic products.
Standard soap bars may work for some, but others who deal with dry skin, eczema, acne, or other conditions may have better luck with bars catered to their conditions.
In addition to the skin issues that your soap should address, you may also be concerned as a consumer with the ingredients of your soap.
For instance, some people prefer 100 percent natural, vegan products, while others don’t mind additional ingredients. Some may need a fragrance-free recipe, while others like to have that extra added scent.
Keep in mind that these various ingredient considerations can also impact the cost of your soap, so decide what you’re willing to spend and what you’re willing to compromise.
Size & Lifespan
It’s easy to reach for the cheapest set of soap bars on the shelf and call it a day. Not only will you probably end up with dry, irritated skin, but it’s likely that these cheaply made soap bars won’t last very long.
Most bars of soap are around four ounces though you can find some that weigh up to eight ounces. Anything smaller than this will disintegrate quickly.
High-quality soap bars are also harder and contain less air, meaning they’ll last longer. A good bar of soap can last for several months if you take good care of it, so be sure to invest in something that won’t have you running to the store just a couple of weeks later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Take a look at some helpful FAQs on bar soap for more information:
Is bar soap better than liquid soap?
Bar soap and liquid soap have their own sets of pros and cons, but both products do a good job of cleansing the body. High-quality bar soaps can hydrate, exfoliate, and clean thoroughly. Many liquid soaps do the same.
Can I use regular bar soap on my face?
Ideally, you should only use bar soap on your body. Some bar soaps are specifically formulated for the face, but others can be too harsh and cause your skin to dry out.
How should I use my bar soap?
The best way to use bar soap is to first wet your entire body, then clean from the top to the bottom. Doing so will ensure that you don’t drag dirty soap and water upwards and help push all debris down towards your feet.
How do I make my bar soap last longer?
Follow these easy tips to make your bar soap last longer:
- Keep it high, dry, and away from water.
- Use a soap saver dish with raised pegs.
- Cure your soap before use by placing it in a towel away from humidity for a couple of weeks.
- Use your soap with a fresh washcloth each time.
Additionally, you can try to find harder soap such as triple-milled or French-milled, which can last longer.
Is antibacterial soap the best?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, there isn’t actually enough scientific evidence to prove that antibacterial soap is any better or more effective at cleaning than standard soap.
In fact, due to a lack of long-term studies, experts aren’t even sure if these soaps may have a negative impact on your health or not.
So, What’s the Best Bar Soap?
As it turns out, there are a ton of great bar soap options on the market today. While these products may seem old-fashioned or even unsanitary, the truth is, they do a fantastic job of cleaning your body.
We love the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar for its moisturizing components, its affordable cost, and its stamp of approval from the NEA.
However, you should check out the rest of the list to find the best bar soap for you.