Finding a good soap bar is tricky; one may tout an alluring list of natural ingredients, but that doesn't necessarily mean your skin is going to like it. When it comes to the best natural bar soaps, the secret to selecting the right match is knowing which ingredients will be the most complementary for your skin type.
If, for example, you have dry skin, you'll find intense hydration in ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil. But if you have acne-prone or oily skin, you may want to opt for a potent detoxifier like activated charcoal, which draws out oil and dirt from pores, helping to reduce break-outs. As for sensitive skin types, anti-inflammatory ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera can keep your complexion feeling calm and nourished.
For my list below, I searched for natural soaps featuring many of these ingredients, reading through the reviews to find the option that works best for each skin type. All of my picks are free of harmful ingredients like artificial fragrances, phthalates, and parabens.
Read on for the best natural soaps, so you can find the one that's right for you. Also, keep in mind that no matter what your skin type is, it's best to test any new products on a small area for a few days before going all-in.
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1. Overall Best: Dr. Bronner's Unscented Pure-Castile Bar Soap
What's great about it: Suitable for most skin types, this unscented Dr. Bronner's pure-castile bar soap is vegan, certified fair trade, and made with organic oils like coconut, olive, hemp, and jojoba. The combination of these nourishing oils makes for a soap that's moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and cleansing. Impressively versatile, it can be used on your face, body, and even hair. I've used this one myself and found it to have a nice consistency and lather for a natural soap. I do advise caution in using this on acne-prone skin, as olive oil can have a pore-clogging effect for some people.
According to one reviewer: "My family has used Dr. Bronner’s soaps for years and this bar soap is a very nice addition to the my personal cleaning routine. I like that it contains no artificial chemicals and scents. It lathers well and rinses off completely. I like the way it leaves my hands."
2. Best For Dry Skin: Tom’s of Maine Lavender & Shea Natural Bar Soap
What's great about it: For skin that's dry, cracked, or otherwise dull, this lavender and shea bar soap from Tom's of Maine can help bring your complexion back to life. It features shea butter and glycerin, two powerful ingredients when it comes to restoring skin's moisture. While it does contain sodium palmate, a cleanser that's derived from palm oil, the company touts it as being Rainforest Alliance Certified. It's also a popular choice on Amazon, with 800 five-star reviews. Many fans noted that they saw a huge transformation in their dry skin after switching to this soap.
According to one reviewer: "This is hands down the best bar soap I have ever used. In the winter my hands crack and bleed and this is keeping them very smooth and silky I love it!"
3. Best For Oily & Acne-Prone Skin: The Yellow Bird Activated Charcoal Soap Bar
What's great about it: For those who experience breakouts or just generally oily skin, The Yellow Bird activated charcoal soap bar is a great choice. A star ingredient in this formula, activated charcoal helps to draw out toxins and impurities from pores. Meanwhile, shea butter adds both a hydrating and anti-inflammatory boost, and lemongrass cleanses without over-drying. With more than 1,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, dozens of fans have attested to the skin-balancing powers of this healing soap.
According to one reviewer: "I love this soap! Wish I would have found it years ago. I’ve suffered with acne since my teens. I turned 50 this year so it’s been a long time of dealing with break outs. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to look in the mirror and find zero blemishes on my face for over a week now. Usually I’m lucky if I can get 2-3 days a month with clear skin. My husband even noticed the difference. For reference, I have sensitive fair skin that is oily. This has decreased the oil and isn’t irritating at all."
4. Best For Sensitive Skin: Aspen Kay Naturals Aloe Vera & Calendula Bar Soap
What's great about it: Made for even the most sensitive and reactive skin, this aspen kay naturals soap bar is made with a gentle formula of organic ingredients that can quickly calm your complexion. Coconut oil offers ample hydration, shea butter and aloe vera provide anti-inflammatory benefits, and vitamin-E-rich sunflower oil helps to heal and soften skin. This one has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, and plenty of reviews touting how well it works with sensitive, reactive skin. Just note that this is another soap with olive oil, which can cause acne breakouts for some people.
According to one reviewer: "I love this soap! It smells awesome and leaves my skin feeling very moisturized. I need to use natural soaps because I get rashes with the regular store options that are loaded [with] chemicals."
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