Skincare Products » Best Bar Soaps

13 Best Bar Soaps of 2023

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Bathing is a part of routine hygiene that the majority of us agree is an important thing to do. Although body washes, gels, and scrubs have had an extended heyday since the 1990s, you can’t ignore the classic bar soap. 

This cleaning tool has come a long way since the original grocery store varieties that were once sold. These days, bar soaps are hydrating, come in various scents, and are also designed to target specific concerns from acne to hydration. So, if you’re ready to give your tried and true body wash a break, these are the bar soaps we recommend. 

Best bar soaps overview:

How we chose the best bar soaps

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including the key ingredients, scents, and more, to create a short list of the top bar soaps. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best bar soaps for each category.

Our picks for the best soaps

Best overall
Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Body Bar Soap

What we love

  • Vegetable soap base
  • Goat milk renews and strengthens skin
  • Large bar that’s triple-milled to last longer

What we don’t love

  • Pricey for a single bar

Water quality plays a big part in whether you leave the shower or bath feeling hydrated and refreshed versus stripped and irritated. But your bath soap shouldn’t be contributing to the latter. Beekman 1802 is an upstate New York face and body care brand that infuses goat milk into all its products for the pre and probiotic benefits. 

While the brand has a wide array of soaps — including a limited edition Bridgerton set — we like the fragrance-free Pure Goat Milk Body Bar Soap. Along with being triple-milled, this best-selling product uses goat milk and botanicals to cleanse without stripping your skin, complete with a 100% vegetable base to cut through dirt. 

Meanwhile, goat milk is rich in lactic acid, minerals, and vitamins that work to improve your skin’s natural barrier.

Key ingredients: Goat milk, vegetable soap base | Scent: Unscented | Size: 9 oz

Best budget
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Shea Butter Soap

What we love

  • Large, 8 oz bar
  • Hydrating formula ideal for dry skin
  • Made from fair trade ingredients

What we don’t love

  • May cause dryness

If you like SheaMoisture’s hair care offerings, then you’re in luck. Many of the brand’s signature scents are available in bar soap form — and for a price that won’t hurt your wallet. The Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Shea Butter Soap is one of the 12 soap offerings from this company. 

Along with supporting community commerce, this hydrating bar soap incorporates manuka honey to improve your skin’s moisture barrier. It’s ideal for people with dry skin, as mafura oil replenishes oils that might otherwise be stripped during the cleansing process. African Rock Fig keeps your skin looking radiant, too. 

This budget-friendly option offers massive value considering you’re getting an 8-ounce bar of soap for just a few dollars. However, some reviewers did note that this product could be drying.

Key ingredients: Manuka honey, mafura oil, African rock fig | Scent: Unlisted | Size: 8 oz

Best drugstore
Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar

What we love

  • Ideal for sensitive skin types
  • Safe for hands, face, and body
  • Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic

What we don’t love

  • Ingredient list isn’t clean

Whether you’re short on time or only like to shop in-store, sometimes it’s good to have those classic brands that you can find almost anywhere your passport takes you. If this sounds familiar, say hello to Dove. This heritage American skincare brand has been creating products that don’t strip skin of critical moisture before it was trendy to do so.

As with other entries in our list, although we’re highlighting the Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar, the brand offers plenty of other soap options. This particular bar is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. It’s gentle enough to use on a child’s skin or even to manage skin issues like dermatitis or eczema. 

As is standard for Dove, the bar’s formula is rich with moisturizing cream. It offers a gentle lather that effectively cleans without stripping your skin of hydration. This pick can be used on your hands, face, or body. 

Key ingredients: Moisturizing cream | Scent: Unscented | Size: 3.75 oz each (2 pack)

Best self-care
L’Occitane Douceur Immortelle Uplifting Body Soap

What we love

  • Made without palm oil
  • Relaxing floral/herbal scent
  • Creamy lather

What we don’t love

  • Small size for the price

Sometimes bathing is about more than just quickly removing dirt and grime. Occasionally you need a self-care moment to relax in the tub. If that sounds about right, L’Occitane’s Douceur Immortelle Uplifting Body Soap is a great way to achieve your moment of zen — if only in the confines of your shower. 

This body bar incorporates florals and herbs such as basil, cypress, and patchouli. The brand promises to make you feel like you’re spending a summer day in France, where the soap is made. Note that this pick is made without palm oil and is designed to create a creamy lather.

Key ingredients: Basil, cypress, patchouli | Scent: Floral, herbal | Size: 7 oz

Best clean
Malin + Goetz Rum Bar Soap

What we love

  • Vegetarian formula
  • Hydrating
  • Purifies all skin types

What we don’t love

  • Scent is synthetically sourced
  • Pricey

Malin + Goetz is another one of these clean body and skincare-focused brands that’s made a name for itself by creating effective products with simplified ingredient lists. Plus, if you travel enough, you may have seen mini versions of these products in hotels across the country. 

The Rum Bar Soap is one of two bar soap options the brand produces. This triple-milled foaming bar carries the classic Malin + Goetz dark rum scent. The soap is safe for all skin types, intended for purifying your skin, and rinses clean without stripping. It’s also a vegetarian option that’s sustainably packaged.

Key ingredients: Glycerin | Scent: Dark rum | Size: 5 oz

Best for dry skin
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar

What we love

  • 24-hour hydration
  • Ceramides and hyaluronic acid to moisturize
  • Safe for sensitive skin

What we don’t love

  • Contains ethylene brassylate

Those with dehydrated skin tend to avoid bar soap due to fears of overdrying. But CeraVe is a brand that’s all about protecting and nourishing dry, sensitive, and troubled skin. 

The hydrating Cleanser Bar is made with 5% moisturizing cream. This soap-free bar is designed for dry to normal skin types and carries the National Eczema Association seal of approval. As with other offerings from CeraVe, the cleansing bar is made with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to boost hydration and restore your skin’s barrier. 

This cleanser is safe enough to be used for daily bathing as well as makeup removal. Likewise, this product promises 24 hours of steady hydration. However, if you have fragrance sensitivities, be aware that this bar contains ethylene brassylate, which is a masking fragrance to cover up strong odors from the other ingredients.

Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, 5% moisturizing cream | Scent: Unscented | Size: 4.5 oz each (2 pack)

Best shampoo
Glad Skin Shampoo Bar for Sensitive Scalp & Skin

What we love

  • Bar format for people with thick hair
  • Formula designed for sensitive skin
  • Hydrating and protects microbiome

What we don’t love

  • Pricey
  • May smell harsh

Soap isn’t just for your skin. So, if you want to switch from traditional liquid shampoos, consider Glad Skin’s Shampoo Bar for Sensitive Scalp & Skin. Shampoo bars can be a reliable alternative for people that feel they run through regular shampoo too quickly or who frequently travel. 

If you have thick hair, you probably laugh at traditional instructions telling you to use a quarter-sized amount of product to cleanse your hair — a shampoo bar alleviates that problem. This particular bar from Glad Skin is intended for people with sensitive skin, so consider trying it if you struggle with skin issues like eczema or find that traditional shampoos irritate your scalp. Because Glad Skin prioritizes customers with sensitive skin, their products are truly unscented. This means no masking fragrances are used to cover the unappealing chemical notes you get from the key ingredients. 

Key ingredients include oat, which is incredibly soothing for troubled skin. The brand also promises that this pick is designed to protect your skin’s natural microbiome — which can translate to less irritation.

Key ingredients: Oat | Scent: Unscented | Size: 3.88 oz

Best massaging
Bliss Mint Scrub Soap

What we love

  • Nubbed texture massages muscles
  • Gentle exfoliating formula
  • Peppermint invigorates

What we don’t love

  • Smaller size than original version

If you like the idea of getting a massage from the comfort of your shower or bath, try out the Bliss Mint Scrub Soap. 

This soap features a nubbed side that can simultaneously cleanse and work on tired muscles. Meanwhile, the refreshing mint scent can revive your senses while giving your skin a tingly sensation. Bliss promises you’ll emerge from your shower or bath with soft skin. 

Note that this is a vegan, clean, and cruelty-free exfoliating bar. However, if you remember the original bar, it was massive and took forever to finish. The reimagined version is a fraction of that size at just 5 ounces, which isn’t the best value for budget-conscious shoppers.

Key ingredients: Glycerin, peppermint oil, jojoba oil | Scent: Mint | Size: 5 oz

Best exfoliator
Aveda Rosemary Mint Bath Bar

What we love

  • Vegan, cruelty-free formula
  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Refreshing scent

What we don’t love

  • Expensive for size

Continuing with our highlights of vegan brands, Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Bath Bar is a vegan bar soap that gently exfoliates without abrasion. The vegan and cruelty-free product is derived from 90% natural ingredients. 

For exfoliating benefits, rub the bar directly on your skin. Plus, you can feel good about your purchase as Aveda is a Certified BCorp. This means the company focuses on social impact.

Key ingredients: Rosemary, peppermint oil | Scent: Rosemary, peppermint oil | Size: 7 oz

Best for sensitive skin
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

What we love

  • Glycerin for hydration
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Works for most skin types, especially sensitive

What we don’t love

  • Masking fragrance may irritate some
  • Includes petrolatum

If you’re eager to take the guesswork out of buying bar soap, Cetaphil is a brand that’s formulated with sensitive and dry skin in mind. 

The brand’s Gentle Cleansing Bar is meant to cleanse your face and body without stripping the skin. It incorporates five main ingredients, including hydrating glycerin, to bring out the best in your skin. Cetaphil promises that this bar can wash away dirt and bacteria in just 20 seconds while still maintaining your skin’s natural moisture barrier. 

This pick is soap-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic. However, while the product is unscented, it does contain masking fragrance and petrolatum, which might be irritating for some.

Key ingredients: Glycerin | Scent: Unscented | Size: 4.5 oz

Best for gifting
Fresh Freesia Oval Soap

What we love

  • Luxurious wrapping with semi-precious stone
  • Hydrating shea butter
  • Milled multiple times to last longer

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

Sometimes, if you pick the right scent, you might not even need perfume. With that in mind, we’re nominating Fresh’s Freesia Oval Soap as the best gifting option, as it’s an indulgent, deliciously scented treat to send to someone. You’ll also like that each soap comes hand-wrapped with a semi-precious stone for an added touch of luxury.

While we’ve highlighted this specific scent, you can choose from six others. As with other luxe soap bars, this nourishing option has been milled multiple times to give you a denser texture that lasts longer. 

But more importantly, you’ll like that this is a functional pick. Shea butter and vegetable base are the core components, plus natural botanical ingredients, to give each soap variety its characteristic scent.

Key ingredients: Shea butter, vegetable base | Scent: Freesia | Size: 8.8 oz

Best multipurpose
Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Rose Pure-Castile Bar Soap

What we love

  • Wide scent range
  • Safe for face, body, and hair
  • Certified fair trade, vegan, non-GMO, and cruelty free

What we don’t love

  • May be a bit drying

If you’re in the market for a soap that can go the distance, consider Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap. While we’re featuring the rose scent, note that there are seven other options for the brand’s solid bar soap offerings. 

Along with a modest asking price, we like that this soap is fair trade, non-GMO, vegan, and cruelty-free — proving that you can still have an ethical product without splurging. As with this brand’s liquid versions, you can use the castile soap for a variety of purposes beyond simply cleansing your body. It’s safe for your face and hair, too. 

The brand offers tips for creating soap dilutions such as grated and soap cream so that you can use this as a makeup remover, for shaving, to brush your teeth, and even to clean items around the home: a truly multipurpose pick.

Key ingredients: Organic coconut oil, organic palm oil, organic olive oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic jojoba oil | Scent: Rose | Size: 5 oz

Best for hands
Lush 13 Soap Unlucky for Dirt

What we love

  • Moisturizing hand soap bar
  • Doesn’t use palm oil
  • Package-free product

What we don’t love

  • A bit expensive for the size
  • Contains synthetic fragrance

You can’t talk about soap without including Lush, the iconic body care brand that’s made a name for itself with its rough-cut soap offerings. The 13 Soap Unlucky for Dirt is meant to be a hand soap that effectively removes dirt and grime without stripping your skin. 

Is it a bit expensive for a hand soap? That depends on your budget, considering that this pick comes in at just 3.5 ounces. But it offers an inviting herbal and floral scent, complete with ingredients like oregano to deep clean, rose to soothe, and coconut oil to moisturize. Sustainable shoppers will like that this pick ships package-free.

Key ingredients: Oregano, rose petal extract, extra virgin coconut oil | Scent: Oregano & rose | Size: 3.5 oz

Rethinking bar soap

As we mentioned in the introduction, bar soap has come a long way. Whether it’s for your face, hair, or body, there’s bar soap solution out there that won’t strip your skin — and smells good too. Meanwhile, we’re always partial to those oversized body bars. If you’re ready for something that leaves your skin silky soft, Beekman 1802’s Pure Goat Milk Body Bar Soap protects the skin’s natural biome and deeply hydrates. 

How to pick the right soap for you

When shopping for a bar soap, think about your skin type, as well as any specific concerns or needs you might have. Don’t forget about the smell, as showering should be a sensory experience. 

Key ingredients

These days, bar soaps tend to focus on a few key features — hydration, clarifying, and exfoliation. Hydration usually relies on glycerin, one of the most common ingredients for this purpose. But you can also find soaps like those from Beekman 1802, CeraVe, and Cetaphil, which include ingredients like natural oils, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and cream moisturizer. 

A clarifying soap can vary depending on the targeted goal. While we didn’t specifically include soaps designed to tackle acne or oil production, those types of soaps might consist of active ingredients like salicylic acid or even charcoal to purify. And finally, exfoliation can range from mechanical to topical. 

For topical exfoliation, soaps with lactic acid or other types of AHAs, BHAs, and even PHAs, are popular. Meanwhile, mechanical exfoliation usually incorporates a physical exfoliant, like plant particles, to rub against your body and slough off dead skin.

Skin type

Don’t ignore your skin type when you’re shopping for bar soaps. If you have dry, sensitive, or troubled skin, focus on hydrating options rich in moisture with simple ingredient lists that are primarily naturally derived. Likewise, avoid products that have fillers or rely heavily on synthetic fragrances. 


Scent can be a tricky topic since it’s hard to find a bar soap that’s truly unscented. Keep in mind that even if a brand isn’t adding a noticeable scent, it might still need what’s known as a masking fragrance. These aren’t richly scented ingredients, but they can be essential. This is because some raw ingredients — even natural ones — smell pretty bad. Without a masking fragrance, using some soaps can be unpleasant.

If you’re looking for a scented bar soap, try to prioritize brands that use natural botanicals like essential oils. This ensures that those with sensitive skin are less likely to experience irritation. 


We’ve all seen bar soap that looks dried out, split open, and generally disgusting. If you don’t want that to happen to your soap, you need to store it properly. The first thing to consider is drainage. Soap that’s left in standing water can encourage bacteria growth. If you share your shower, take your soap with you when you’re done so that it’s not left in a moist environment for extended periods. 


What’s the best bar soap to use? 

This depends on your skin type, concerns, and your preferences. However, a good starting point is our best overall recommendation — the Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Body Bar Soap.

Are soap bars better for your skin?

If you pick a bar soap compatible with your skin type and needs, the answer is yes. Like any other body care product, matching your soap to your skin type is critical to creating a hygiene regimen that works. 

Is bar soap better than body wash?

When you’re picking the right kind of bar soap that won’t aggravate or strip your skin, they’re competitive with body washes. The real question is, which do you find more appealing or convenient to use?