Guess what? Classical bar soaps are making their comeback! They might have not been so popular in the early 2000s, being replaced by shower gels and body washes. However, soap bars (especially organic body soaps) are certainly trending now thanks to the increasing demand for all-natural and environmentally friendly products. Not only soap bars reduce packaging waste (no plastic), but they also cost less and last longer.
Our daily personal hygiene routine is unimaginable without soap, whether it’s for sanitizing, washing hands or cleansing the body. No wonder that soap is one of the oldest skin cleansers and dates back to the Ancient Babylon. The manufacturing of soap evolved significantly since, and modern soap looks very different than its predecessor.
Types Of Soap
However, not all soaps are created equally. Based on a chemical composition, soaps can be divided into three main categories:
- True soap bar – has pH between 9 and 10, and is manufactured by undergoing saponification (a chemical reaction which occurs when mixing fatty acids like animal or vegetable oil with sodium hydroxide, aka lye). Can be made using hot-pressed or cold-pressed methods.
- Syndet bar – also known as cleansing bar, has neutral pH between 5 and 6, and is based on the synthetic detergent (no saponification). It is less irritating to skin than true soap, and can also be sold in a liquid form. Usually, syndet bars are higher priced than traditional soap bars.
- Combar – has pH between 9 and 10, and is made of an alkaline soap. Combars are stronger than syndet bars but milder than true soap bars.
Nowadays, for practical reasons, most soaps are being referred to as simply “soap”, regardless of their chemistry (true soap, syndet bar or combar). For marketing purposes, different manufacturers can brand their soaps as body bars, body cleansing bars, beauty bars, body soap bars, moisturizing bar, etc.
Organic And Natural Soap Bars For Body
Natural and organic body soaps are less harsh to the skin and less drying than conventional soaps, and are healthier for the skin. They are usually higher priced since they are made with higher quality organic and natural ingredients, and without synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrance, and foaming agents.
Some of the best organic body soaps have the following features:
- No remains of lye in the final product
- Made with plant derived oils
- Contain natural glycerin
- Contain natural and organic ingredients
- Free of synthetic dyes, whiteners, fragrances, additives and preservatives
- Do NOT contain foaming agents, antibacterial agents (triclosan, triclocarban), chemical hardeners, BHT, PEGs, phthalates, EDTA, DEA, sulfates, parabens, and petrochemicals.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of good quality natural and organic body soaps on the market today. Here’s a round up of some great body soaps for different skin types and skin concerns that range on average between $5 to $20.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap
When it comes to natural and organic soaps, Dr. Bronner’s brand is an absolute leader in quality, variety and accessibility. All Dr. Bronner’s soaps are made with the purest certified organic and natural ingredients. Not only the soaps are all-purpose (can be used on face, body and hair), but also they come in different forms including bar soap, liquid soap, sugar soap and shaving soap. The base of all Dr. Bronner’s soaps are made of organic oil blend that includes coconut, palm, olive, hemp and jojoba oils. In addition, there are 10 different scents to choose from including baby unscented for sensitive skin!
Key features: USDA organic, all-purpose, 5 oils, moisturizing, bar soap and liquid.
Pure Provence Cactus Pear Soap
Crafted in southern France, Pure Provence body soaps contain 83-86% of purest organic ingredients, 100% natural ingredients, and are Ecocert certified. The base of this soap is made of organic triple-oil blend of shea butter, coconut oil and palm oil. The Cactus-Pear scent is fresh and rejuvenating, but this soap is also available in other 6 scents including lavender, Moroccan mint, acai cranberry, pomegranate passion fruit, grapefruit and unscented.
Key features: organic, triple-milled, Ecocert, 3 oils, rejuvenating.
100% Pure Coconut Butter Soap
The lightly sweet coconut scent of this all natural body soap will teleport you to a tropical island. The triple-milled formula of this soap includes deeply moisturizing and antioxidant-rich butters and oils like avocado and shea butters, and olive, coconut, rosehip seed and grapeseed oils. It gently cleans while also nourishes, brightens and protects skin from free radical damage and environmental pollutants. 100% Pure makes its butter-soap bars in 8 different scents: apple, mango, lavender, eucalyptus, peach, mandarin and meyer lemon.
Key features: all-natural, triple-milled, 6 oils, deeply moisturizing.
UpCircle Chocolate Charcoal Chai Soap Bar
Designed as face and body cleanser, this gently exfoliating 100% natural bar has brightening, soothing and detoxifying properties. 67% of ingredients are organic, including the base of the soap - cacao butter, which is a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient that is high in antioxidants. This soap also contains 10 finely grounded spices (ginger, cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, fennel), which provide gentle exfoliation and boost circulation. Will suit better normal, combination and oily skin. Also available in two more aromas: fennel+cardamom and cinnamon+ginger.
Key features: organic & natural, 10 spices, exfoliating, detoxifying.
Herbivore Pink Clay Soap Bar
This all-natural face and body soap is handcrafted with French pink clay, which has rejuvenating properties. The base of the soap contains coconut, olive and sustainable palm oils, and added essential oils of geranium and blood orange help to smooth skin texture and balance oil production. Great for all skin types, especially sensitive, dry and dull. In addition, this soap bar has a subtle and refreshing smell of citrus and rose geranium. For oily, combination or blemish-prone skin try Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal bar.
Key features: all-natural, pink clay, 3 oils, for sensitive, dry and dull skin.
Makes 3 Organics Soap Bar
Handmade and EWG verified organic body soap with rejuvenating and healing blend of coriander, ginger and oatmeal. This moisturizing and soothing soap includes safflower, sunflower, coconut, and sustainable palm fruit oil, and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. It will work well for all skin types, especially dry and irritated skin. The scent is very faint. Also available as Orange Blossom, Eucalyptus, Lavender Vanilla and Unscented.
Key features: USDA organic, EWG verified, handmade, antioxidants.
Kahina Giving Beauty Moroccan Beldi Soap
Traditional Moroccan black soap that is naturally rich in vitamin E, and can be used as body cleanser or softening body treatment. This high quality all-natural soap has gel-like consistency and is made from pure olive oil. Additionally, it removes impurities, detoxifies and balances skin. Scented with rose essential oil, and has light floral and earthy aroma.
Key features: all-natural, gel-like, pure olive oil, softening.
Ethique Bodywash Bar – Matcha, Lime & Lemongrass
Ethique is a zero waste company based in New Zealand dedicated to producing sustainable products and reducing plastic waste. Their body wash bars are made of all natural and sustainably sourced ingredients, and are palm oil free. The Matcha-lime-lemongrass body soap contains olive and coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, lemongrass oil, lime essential oil, and matcha powder. It leathers well, leaves skin hydrated and has pleasant refreshing citrus scent.
Key features: all-natural, sustainable, 2 oils, citrus.
Aspen Kay Naturals Lavender & Goat Milk
100% natural and organic handmade soap for face and body that is suitable for all skin types. It is made with high quality ingredients like certified organic unrefined shea butter, organic sustainable palm oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, coconut, sunflower, and castor organic oils, goat milk, and kaolin clay. A subtle lavender and ylang-lang scent comes from therapeutic grade essential oils. Aspen Kay Naturals soap bars come in 9 different scented formulations including Turmeric bar, Dead Sea mud & charcoal, Oatmeal-milk-honey, Aloe Vera & calendula, Exfoliating coffee, and others.
Key features: organic, handcrafted, 6 oils, 9 scents.
SheaMoisture Olive & Green Tea Shea Butter Soap
This ultra moisturizing and anti-aging body soap is formulated with organic and natural ingredients. The base of the soap is made with coconut, palm and olive oil, and organic African shea butter and avocado butter, which are deeply hydrating and rich in vitamins. Green tea and vitamin E are rich in antioxidants and provide anti-aging properties. This organic body soap will benefit best those with dry and aging skin. SheaMoisture offers a wide variety of natural body soaps for different skin concerns including one of their best sellers for troubled skin – African Black Soap bar, and skin brightening Coconut & Hibiscus bar.
Key features: organic and natural, anti-aging, 5 oils, green tea, hydrating.
Mirror Lake Organics Eucalyptus & Sage Bar
Mirror Lake Organics is a small family farm based in Michigan that produces organic skin care products. The Eucalyptus & Sage organic body soap is one of their newest additions to the luxurious body care line. The base of this soap is made of four organic oils: coconut, sunflower, palm and castor. This organic body soap also includes fragrant herbs and essential oils like eucalyptus leaf tea, sage, lavender, basil, myrrh and frankincense. There are other interesting soap bars options from this organic farm available on their website.
Key features: organic, 4 oils, herbs.
Pevonia Seaweed Exfoliating Soap
Pevonia is a premium professional skincare company that has been using “green” practices for the past 30 years. The Seaweed exfoliating body soap was designed primarily for removing dead skin cells, stimulating circulation, detoxifying skin, smoothing cellulite and improving rough skin texture. This soap is made with organic and natural ingredients including sweet almond oil, shea butter, glycerin, algae, saponaria, lemon and lime fruit extracts.
Key features: exfoliating, detoxifying, for cellulite and rough skin.
Brickell Purifying Charcoal Soap Bar
Brickell designs natural and organic skincare products specifically for men. This deep cleansing and purifying body soap has stimulating aroma of peppermint and tea tree oil, and leaves skin feeling refreshed and energized. It is made of all natural ingredients, 85% of which are certified organic, and the base of the soap includes olive, palm, coconut, and sunflower seed oils that provide hydration.
Key features: for men, 4 oils, purifying.
Beautycounter Citrus Mimosa Body Bar
Luxurious organic body soap that will leave your skin fresh, clean and hydrated. This mimosa soap is EWG Verified, meaning it went through thorough screening process, and has been crafted with non-toxic and safe ingredients. It is made with organic shea butter, jojoba butter, organic marula oil, organic mongongo oil, mimosa bark extract, and infused with a refreshing blend of citrus oils. Also, it leathers well and makes skin feel soft and wonderful.
Key features: organic, 4 oils, EWG verified, antioxidants.
Cove Castile Soap - Tea Tree
Pure castile soap made with few simple certified organic ingredients, which include coconut oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil, olive oil, glycerin and tea tree oil (for scent). This is a multi-purpose liquid soap that can be used as bath soap, or for creating personal care products like body wash, facial cleanser, shampoo, or any other household cleaning products. Simple recipes are included on the bottle, but you can also just pour this soap into a foaming dispenser. Great alternative to Dr. Bronner's castile soap.
Key features: organic, multi-purpose, 5 oils, gentle.
Ursa Major Morning Mojo Bar Soap
This energizing organic body soap will gently exfoliate, purify, and hydrate your skin. In addition to the organic oil blend of shea butter, coconut, jojoba, palm and sunflower, it also contains exfoliating volcanic rock, soothing honey, aloe, and willow bark. The natural invigorating scent comes from peppermint, eucalyptus, grapefruit and rosemary.
Key features: 5 oils, controls oil production, energizing.
O Naturals – Natural Soap Collection
A 6-piece set of natural and organic triple-milled soap bars lightly infused with therapeutic grade essential oils. Each soap bar is nourishing and moisturizing, but is made with a different combination of premier organic and vegan oils, herbs, and botanicals. The Natural Soap Collection includes the following body soaps: Energizing rosemary & peppermint, Moisturizing Coconut & shea butter, Soothing argan & lavender, Exfoliating oatmeal & coffee, Cleansing jojoba & tea tree, and Sensitive agave nectar & soy milk. Also available as Black Soap Collection and Citrus Soap Collection. These unique sets are perfect as a gift.
Key features: triple-milled, organic/natural, 6-piece set, various oils.
How To Store Soap Bars?
When you finally find that perfect bar of soap that you love so much, you’ll want to treat it properly so it lasts longer. Here are few suggestions that will help you to prolong your soaps.
- Keep away from direct streams of water
- Store in a soap dish with drainage (holes) or soap saver (0n Amazon)
- Allow air circulation (avoid covered containers)
- Let it air dry completely between each use
- Use loofah or washcloth (it produces more lather and uses less soap)
- Cut the bar in half or smaller pieces
- Cure your soap bars (store for few weeks without packaging in a dry place)
- Triple-milled harder soaps have less air in them and last longer
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