With miles of body wash and liquid facial cleansers on the shelves of stores, you may have forgotten about the ever-reliable bar soap. Bar soaps are a great alternative to liquid soap and cleansers, depending on your skincare and needs. We’ve gathered the best bar soaps to share with you. Keep reading to find the right one for you and your skin!
In this article:
Best Bar Soaps Overview
- Best Overall: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
- Best Clean: Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Detoxifying Soap Bar
- Best Multipurpose: SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bar Soap
- Best Deep Cleansing: Jack Black Turbo Body Bar Scrubbing Soap
- Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Revitale Salicylic Acid Scrub Soap
- Best Mild: Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar with Dish
- Best Lather: Aveda Rosemary Mint Bath Bar
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
- Best Exfoliating: Baxter of California Exfoliating Body Bar
- Best for Dry Skin: Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
- Best Splurge: Arcona Toner Tea Bar Facial Cleanser for Combination to Oily Skin
- Best for Dull Skin: Drunk Elephant JuJu Exfoliating Bar
- Best Nourishing: L’Occitane Extra-Gentle Lavender Vegetable Based Soap
- Best Foaming: Malin+Goetz Bar Soap
- Best Scent: UpCircle Cinnamon + Ginger Chai Soap Bar for Face and Body
- Best Calming: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Gentle Cleansing Bar
- Best Variety: Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap Variety 6 Pack
17 Best Bar Soaps for Every Skin Type
The ingredients, the scents, the brands, and so many reviews to read… All the cleansing bars you see on the market look amazing, but you only need the best one to match your self-care needs. We’ve shortlisted 17 of them for you to choose from!
Chances are if you’ve ever walked through the soap aisle in your local drugstore, you’ve seen the CeraVe Hydrating Cleansing Bar. This cleansing bar earns our best bar soap title due to its dermatologist recommendation, NEA Seal (that’s National Eczema Association), and gentle, creamy formula. It contains 5% of CeraVe’s moisturizing cream to keep your skin hydrated while gently cleansing. You can pick it up on Amazon!
The Herbivore cleansing bar is our choice for the best clean bar soap. The activated charcoal, tea tree oil, and bergamot purify and balance the skin, while the soap is free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones. It’s a gentle exfoliating solution, recommended for normal, oily, and combination skin types. The downside of this soap bar is the color and the maintenance. Use a soap bar holder to avoid a charcoal-colored mess in your bathroom after showers. You can snag it from Sephora!
This powerhouse from SheaMoisture is a much-loved formula when it comes to African black soap. For years, people have used African black soap for a multitude of skin concerns, from acne to hyperpigmentation. While some say it can be drying, this bar soap is formulated with aloe, shea butter, and oats, providing plenty of moisture while cleansing. No matter your skin concern, you may want to give an African black soap a try. Get it at Ulta or Amazon!
Part of the Performance Ready line from Jack Black, the Turbo Body Bar is a deeply cleansing bar soap perfect for a post-workout scrub. No matter how you’ve gotten your sweat on, the blue lotus and lava rock included in this formulation will provide a luxurious cleansing experience while exfoliating and stimulating your skin. You’ll be squeaky clean in no time with this one. Pick it up from Sephora!
If you’re dealing with cystic or hormonal acne, finding a cleanser that can calm and soothe your skin can be difficult. This salicylic acid-based bar soap from Revitale is made with apricot kernels to work with the soap to cleanse the skin of excess oils. The powerful acne-fighting bar softens calluses and soothes the skin, and can also help clear up warts! Purchase it from Amazon!
While this bar soap from Clinique has ‘Acne Solutions’ right in the name, it is suitable for all skin types, and the mild formula ensures that you can use it daily to prevent breakouts. This bar soap also includes a soap dish, making it perfect for travel! Snag it from Nordstrom!
If you’re looking for a creamy, rich lather and a scent that will linger long past toweling off, take a peek at the Rosemary Mint Bath Bar from Aveda. This bath bar is made with rosemary and peppermint, as the name implies, and provides a gentle exfoliation as it cleanses. According to reviews, the stimulating scent lasts well past cleansing but doesn’t leave any residue. Grab it from Nordstrom!
Stock up on our favorite bar soap for sensitive skin with this sixteen pack (yes, sixteen!) of the Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, this bar soap is dermatologist-recommended to cleanse sensitive skin while remaining mild and moisturizing. It is perfect for both the face and body. Stock up on Amazon!
While this bar is described as being for men, anyone who appreciates a deep exfoliation and the scent of cedarwood will fall in love with it. The rich lather is complemented by pumice, jojoba meal, and crushed olive seed oil to exfoliate dead skin cells and smooth rough patches. Since it has a strong exfoliation factor, Baxter of California recommends avoiding using this bar soap on your face. Get it at Nordstrom!
Like CeraVe, Cetaphil is a great drugstore brand that can work wonders. Their cleansing bar is a gentle solution that works to repair the skin’s moisture barrier while washing away bacteria. The non-comedogenic formula is safe for the entire body, making it an excellent option for a facial cleansing bar. Get this convenient three-pack from Amazon.
While this bar soap is on the pricier side, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are enough to make us forgive the price tag. Manuka honey and vitamin E help clarify the skin, while lecithin, yucca, and aloe extracts work to maintain your skin’s natural pH balance. Grab it from Nordstrom today!
Drunk Elephant is known for their skincare, so why wouldn’t we expect their bar soap to be any less hardworking? This exfoliating bar from Drunk Elephant is suitable for all skin types. The knockout combination of heilmoor clay and virgin marula oil provides intense moisture while revitalizing dull skin. Purchase it at Sephora!
This bar soap from L’Occitane is formulated with extra gentle vegetable oils and nourishing shea butter. The classic, long-lasting lavender scent will leave you feeling like you’ve just wandered through a lush field of lavender. Slightly larger than a typical beauty bar, this bar soap will last you for quite a while! Grab it from Amazon!
Some bar soaps and beauty bars can leave your skin feeling stripped and in need of moisture. You don’t have to worry about that with this MALIN+GOETZ pick. This foaming cleansing bar promises not to irritate while cleansing and balancing your skin. It is great for all skin types and comes in a delicious rum scent. Pick it up from Nordstrom!
For an energizing wake-up call to your senses first thing in the morning, give this bar soap from UpCircle a shot. The cinnamon and ginger oils will give your skin a boost, while the pink clay reduces redness and irritation. You can also feel good about using a product with repurposed ingredients! The chai spices infused in it are used initially to make chai tea syrup. Pick it up from Ulta!
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast – this cleansing bar is a gentle, moisture-rich soap that will leave your skin feeling soft, calm, and hydrated. The colloidal oatmeal calms and soothes, while shea butter and squalane hydrate and protect your skin’s natural barrier. It’s also allergy tested, soy-free, and vegan! Give it a try today on Amazon!
If you like to have your options, this variety pack from Dr. Bronner’s is a great place to start. Each bar is 5 oz and features one of Dr. Bronner’s well-known scents. These pure Castile soaps are made from organic oils, and the all-natural, vegan ingredients are suitable for both face and body. Take your pick of these luscious scents, and purchase on Amazon.
Tips for Choosing the Best Bar Soap
Now that we’ve shared some of our top choices for bar soaps, you may be wondering how to go about choosing one that is best for you. We have a few tips for that as well!
- Decide What You Want from Your Bar Soap: Like any skincare or beauty product, there are a LOT to choose from. You may want a sulfate-free option or a completely vegan bar soap. You can also consider how much money you want to spend and the type of bar soap you prefer.
- Consider the Type You Get: Speaking of, there are traditional bar soaps based on alkali salts of fatty acids and surfactants, syndet bars made of synthetic surfactants, superfatted soaps that contain extra oil and fat as the name already suggests, transparent soaps that are glycerin-based for an extra dose of hydration, and combination soaps that are hybrids of different types of cleansers meant to address different skin concerns.
- Know Your Skin: One of the most important aspects of skincare is determining your skin type. As your skin type can change for various reasons, choose a bar soap that addresses your current concerns.
- Ask a Professional: If you are unsure of your skin type, or you want some advice you know you can trust, talk to a professional. A dermatologist is your best bet for determining your skincare needs. They can advise you on the best bar soap for your skin.
- Buy Two: After you’ve determined your skin type, or talked with a dermatologist, remember that you should probably buy two bars – one for your face and one for your body. While there are some great combination bars on the list in this article, the skin on your body may have different needs than the skin on your face. Super exfoliating bar soap may be great for your body, but not for your face!
For a more detailed guide on picking the best bar soap for you, check out our article on the types of bar soaps and ways of using them.
Photos via Nordstrom, Amazon