We all have bad memories of bar soap from our childhoods, soggy in the shower, a hair stuck to it. These soaps historically can be remembered as a drying formula not overly friendly to skin, but over the last decade bar soap has been drastically developing while the vast majority of the world are using liquid soaps.
There are a whole host of good reasons to switch back to bar soap, partly because of increasingly updated formulas, better variety and social movements away from wasteful products. Going back to bar soap could be the switch up your regimen needs, and brings many benefits.
Bar soap is less wasteful
The advent of a huge number of issues surrounding global warming, alongside the fame of Greta Thunberg alongside other huge movements, means that many millennials are moving away from wasteful liquid soap and towards bar soap.
Plastics in the liquid soap industry, while recyclable, are often thrown straight into the trash, adding to a mountain of waste that our environment is struggling to deal with. Similarly, plastic recycling is incredibly inefficient, leading to the final statistic that only 14% of plastics are actually recycled, making the plastics in the beauty industry a huge pollutant in modern times.
A solution to this, as for many modern ecological issues, is the plastic-free, age-old solution: bar soap. By often coming wrapped in cardboard – which has a much higher recycling efficiency than plastic, and can also boast of a statistical likelihood of already being a recycled blend, helps this option to be by far the most environmentally friendly.
There is also the occasional option for bar soap to come entirely free of packaging, for example when bought directly from a farmer’s market, and so is helping many people to drastically improve their environmental impact on the Earth.
Bar soap is also less wasteful than liquid soap in other areas. Have you ever been to a public toilet, where the automatic liquid soap dispenser has managed to cover the sink in soap? Or perhaps, you may have stood in the shower with a handful of soap and spilled some as you go to wash your body.
These are all common occurrences with liquid soap, that due to the solid nature of bar soap, is entirely a non-issue. This means that not only is bar soap less wasteful in packaging, but often the individual is able to use a higher proportion of the soap than a standard liquid soap.
This does, however, depend upon proper care of bar soap – leaving it in a shower will slowly disintegrate the soap, and so it is important to keep the soap in a dish, with plenty of ventilation to stop water corroding the product.
Bar soap has more natural ingredients
Because of the demographic who tend to be using bar soap – environmentalists, older people, and those who wish to reduce the chemical role of their hygiene routines, bar soap tends to come with much more natural ingredients.
On Etsy, for example, many hand-made bar soaps can be found using ingredients which solely come from the Earth, giving a more gentle experience on the skin, and ensuring a high quality, paraben-free finish. This, however, is not a solid rule.
Some bar soaps, such as the Dove Pure and Sensitive hand soap, do include a number of chemicals, but these are proven to be much more gentle on the skin than many other chemicals, and so personal choice will let you decide exactly what you want out of a bar soap.
By having more natural ingredients, you can know that mother nature is looking after your skin, and have more faith in the products and their benefits.
A common set of natural ingredients within bar soap can be pink clay, and charcoal – products that have recently been hailed within the liquid soap industry as key players which are being hailed in the skincare world.
This means that many hailed natural products within liquid soap can often be found within solid soaps, meaning that many benefits in liquid soaps can easily be transferred across to bar soaps. Another common ingredient of bar soaps is honey, which allows for people to enjoy the naturally moisturizing benefits of honey, while also enjoying the gentle natural scent.
Ingredients like this are ultimately a win-win situation, with scents and benefits being rolled into one, reducing the need for more ingredients, while increasing the overall desirability of the soap.
Natural ingredients can overall be seen as a huge benefit to using bar soaps, not only because there will be less chemical damage of water waste through chemicals being released in the shower, and in turn, soaking into the environment.
While combining all these huge benefits, what’s not to love about the natural stance of these products?
Bar soap is healthier for your skin
It is common to hear many people talking about how 50 years ago, the skin people had was gorgeous and youthful, in a way which many of us can only dream of now. In a world filled with pollution, smoking, drinking and other poisons for our body, the largest organ we have – our skin – needs some TLC to make sure that it stays in tip top condition.
Luckily, bar soap is often healthier for your skin, thanks to the higher amount of natural products in the soap. Alongside this, the solid texture of a soap limits the ability of the soap to have a hugely acidic or oily texture, allowing for a deep clean without the chances of harsh chemicals leaving your skin feeling red and raw.
Despite some historical claims that bar soap is unhygienic, it is proven that while bacteria can live on the surface of a bar of soap, during the lathering process it is entirely eliminated and so does not transfer to the face, hands or body, after or during use. This means that you can have full confidence in your skin’s health, using just bar soap.
Bar soap can also be helpful for the skin, by reducing the number of chemicals being used. I had terrible acne as a teenager, having worked with a dermatologist and trying a whole range of liquid soap brands, nothing would work.
In a sense of frustration, I decided to tone back my skincare routine of over 9 different daily products, and used a Dove Pure and Sensitive soap on my skin, once a day. My skin loved the moisturizing qualities of the bar soap, losing its irritation and gradually improving until my acne entirely left.
The stripping back of my skincare routine, no doubt, helped me to improve my skin – all thanks to bar soap and its benefits.
For those of you who like having a number of soaps to fill your beauty routine, it is important to know that bar soaps can tick all these boxes. Because of modern technology, it is possible to buy soaps with salicylic acid for acne, moisturizing properties for aging and dry skin, and even bar soaps with tiny exfoliating natural beads, to make sure that you can be environmentally friendly, without compromising on skincare.
This means that no matter your skincare requirements or goals, it is possible to find the perfect combination of products for you within the realm of bar soap – something that lets you be kind to your skin, and mother nature.
Bar soap gives a deeper clean
I once heard from a dermatologist that the exact soap being used to clean our skin doesn’t matter too much – in fact, more people would have better results with cheap bar soaps used properly than with fancy lotions and potions.
This is because the soap needs time on our skin before it can work, and the gentle cleaning nature of a bar soap can work away over a duration of 1-2 minutes in order to give a much better clean than most normal soaps, despite on the surface being much more simple.
This is partly because the gentle nature of bar soaps means that you can gently massage it into the skin without causing irritation, and its ability to glide better over the skin, and sink inside your pores to give a deep and better clean than a standard soap.
In summary, bar soap is not only the miracle cleaner that has been forgotten for a generation, but it is the product you need to save money (often running at less than $3/bar. Bar soap, furthermore, can be an environmentally friendly option, in a world increasingly willing to make concessions in order to have environmental changes, the change to bar soap is healthier both for the environment, and for your skin.
Across having more natural ingredients, and being healthier and more effective at cleaning, bar soap is an ultimate solution to a whole host of issues which many of us are having in the modern day. With personal experience, I can say that bar soap has been a cheap and easy solution to skin issues that I’ve spend hundreds of dollars trying to fix.