Most of us long ago graduated from the squeaky bar of Neutrogena we used on our faces during high school. We entered a world of liquid facial cleansers formulated with antioxidant, brightening, and exfoliating ingredients that were up to the challenges of adult life and adult skin.
Now, more and more natural beauty brands are debuting bar soaps made with equally desirable ingredients, like goat's milk and avocado oil that are gentle enough to use on your whole body, your pretty face included.
And who doesn't want a reason to simplify their skin-care routine and clear out bottled-cleanser clutter when it turns out you're saving a tiny last squirt from, like, five of your faves?
Here are seven good-for-you bar soaps you should be washing with right now. Just don't forget to invest in a cute little soap tray for your sink. —Jamie McKillop
Indie Brooklyn-based brand Meow Meow Tweet's Tea Tree Charcoal Bar Soap detoxifies and balances combo skin with charcoal and banishes blemishes with tea tree and eucalyptus oils. It's made with ground oats, too, so it also gently exfoliates.
(Photo: Meow Meow Tweet)
There's no tight-dry feeling when you wash up with this handmade one: Argan, olive, and coconut oils hydrate your pretty face while honey soothes and goat milk softens. And the wrapper is so pretty, you may have a hard time throwing it away after you open it.
(Photo: Kahina Giving Beauty)
This soap is a total score because it's found at most drugstores. It hydrates and softens with coconut oil (only the most lauded beauty ingredient) and shea butter, plus it brightens and evens skin tone with papaya enzymes, hibiscus flower, and songyi mushroom, which help fend off sun spots. It has a nice, thick lather and leaves your skin feeling super soft, even the next morning.
(Photo: Shea Moisture)
Great for sensitive or mature skin, Soapwalla's Cardamom Ginger Soap Bar features fresh ginger and spicy green cardamom for a super fresh, detoxifying feel. But because the cult-fave Brooklyn brand (also known for its natural deodorant) handmakes it with gentle plant oils and shea butter, the bar brilliantly cleanses without drying you out. Hooray!
Osmia Organics Rose Clay Facial Soap ($5–$24)
Dr. Sarah Villafranco does not mess around. The MD turned her passion for health to healthy beauty with Osmia, and after making her first soaps in 2010 hasn't looked back. This gorgeously packaged facial bar is made with amazing pink and white clays that heal and hydrate, while coconut milk, mango butter, and cold-pressed avocado oil provide a creamy, gentle lather. The scent is a delicious geranium rose.
(Photo: Osmia Organics)
This affordable option (available at stores like Duane Reade and Target) is great for acne-prone skin because it contains calming, balancing activated charcoal. And it feels super fresh all over. The bar is huge and lasts ages. Just don't be alarmed when jet black suds fill your tub. Maybe give your significant other a heads up?
(Photo: Yes To)
Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar ($28)
This clinical-meets-natural brand is all about balancing pH and leaving out unnecessary ingredients like fragrance to save you from irritation (and toxins). The facial Pekee Bar is super moisturizing thanks to high-quality, unrefined marula oil and honey.
(Photo: Drunk Elephant)
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