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Which bar soap is best? 

One of the oldest, simplest and most effective ways to clean your body is with a bar of soap. It is up to you as a conscious consumer to find a natural shower soap that works best for your skin needs. One of the most important considerations when purchasing bar soap is the ingredients. Since this product will be used for directly cleansing the skin, it is vital that it contains natural, safe and non-irritating ingredients.  

A top choice, the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Bar Soap is a favorite among many due to its pleasant smell and ability to calm the skin while cleansing thoroughly.

What to know before you buy bar soap

Avoid anti-bacterial 

If you are planning to purchase a bar of soap, you should avoid anything labeled anti-bacterial. These bar soaps contain a toxic chemical called triclosan, which acts as a carcinogen to disrupt the endocrine system and hormones. This ingredient has been banned in many products and counteracts the benefits of cleaning the body. 


One of the most important things to consider when purchasing bar soap is the ingredients. Located on the side of the packaging, the ingredients will tell users if the product contains harmful chemicals, if it best suits their skin type and if the chemicals negatively impact the environment. Long scientific names of ingredients are often hard to decipher. Users can find resources online to help or simply Google search the ingredient that they are unsure of to see if it is toxic. 

Animal testing 

Most brands have opened their eyes to a more natural, eco-friendly way of life, including a reduction of animal testing on products. If a product was used to harm animals before being used by humans, there will not be a symbol on the packaging that says cruelty-free. These products are typically less natural than those that do not test on animals. Dove, for example, went cruelty-free in 2018, stopped testing on animals and started using more natural ingredients while keeping their products cost-effective. 

Bar soap features 


Some bar soaps are used to exfoliate the skin in conjunction with cleansing. If a bar soap contains a granular substance that adds traction to the bar, it is likely meant to remove dead skin cells and deeply cleanse the skin. Examples of natural exfoliants present in soap bars are coffee, sea salt, sugar and oatmeal. 


A good bar soap will contain all-natural ingredients and be hypoallergenic. Looking for this on the packaging will ensure that the product does not cause irritation to the skin. This is an important feature to consider if you have sensitive skin. If the company that is producing the bar soap sources its ingredients naturally, then a product is more likely to be hypoallergenic. 


Some bar soaps derive their scents from essential oils rather than chemicals and dyes. It is best to look for a soap that features no scent. If you like scented soaps, make sure that the smell is from an oil rather than a toxic chemical. 

Bar soap cost 

Bar soaps are available in a variety of price ranges. For shoppers on a budget, buyers will find cheaply produced bar soaps between $3-$5. Mid-range bar soaps in the $7-$15 price range provide customers with natural, cruelty-free elements and essential oils. Premium bar soaps that include all of the best features and naturally sourced ingredients are between $20-$40. 

Bar soap FAQ 

Does bar soap expire? 

A. Bar soaps with essential oils expire within one year, while other commercial bar soaps take two to three years to expire. If you are unsure how long ago you bought the soap, you can test this by bringing the soap to a lather. If the soap produces a thick lather, then it is likely not expired. 

How do I know which ingredients are best for my skin type? 

A. If the product description does not tell you what skin type the ingredients are targeting, then simply looking at the ingredients will tell you if the product is best for your skin type. If you have dry skin, avoid tea tree oil soaps, and if you have oily skin, make sure the soap is oil-free. 

Which bar soap should I get? 

Best of the best bar soap 

Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Bar Soap

Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Bar Soap 

Our take: This product naturally brightens dull skin and provides a luxury experience for users. 

What we like: The ingredients of this soap are ethically traded and sustainably produced. It helps firm and even skin tone and has a naturally floral smell. This product is gentle for all skin types. 

What to consider: The scent is too floral for users who prefer no fragrance. Some users have reported excessive drying when used on the face. 

Where to buy: Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Best bang for your buck bar soap

Dove Sensitive Skin Bath Bar

Dove Sensitive Skin Bath Bar

Our take: This product is dermatologist tested and does not dry out the skin. It contains one-fourth moisturizing cream.  

What we like: The Dove sensitive skin bar is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. It works to cleanse all skin types. It is easy to bring this soap to a lather and it does not clog pores. 

What to consider: This soap is half the size of ordinary soap bars and can be compared to hotel travel-sized soap.  

Where to buy: Amazon

Honorable mention bar soap

Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Detoxifying Bar

Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Detoxifying Bar 

Our take: This product is gentle on skin, while working to eliminate acne for users with blemish-prone or sensitive skin. 

What we like: This product is vegan and contains all-natural ingredients. It uses sustainable, responsible packaging. There are no added parabens, alcohols or sulfates in this product. 

What to consider: This product is not great for those who already have dry skin. It can excessively dry the skin. 

Where to buy: Sephora and Amazon


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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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