How to Choose the Right Bar Soap for Your Skin Type
Posted September 2023
Written by Jamie Barrows
Bar soap isn't what it used to be. Over the decades, it has gone from a very basic, overly drying, and overly perfumed product that had only one use: to cleanse, and that's it. Thankfully, things have changed! We now have many different options for maintaining healthy and radiant skin. The trick is understanding which variety will fit your specific skin type. Because many options are available, we want to simplify the process for you. Here are a few tips to help you make a stress-free decision, saving you the trouble of trying way too many products and keeping money in your pocket.
First Things First. Identify Your Skin Type.
Before you go deep diving into the bar soap aisle, the first thing you need to understand is your skin type. Most people fall into one of the following skin type categories. Which one are you?
Dry: Your skin feels tight and looks flaky. This means your skin lacks natural oils, making it prone to dehydration.
Oily: Your skin always looks shiny, and you are prone to acne and enlarged pores. Oily skin means you are overproducing sebum, a natural substance that protects the skin from environmental stressors and dehydration.
Combination: You have some spots that are dry and others that are oily. Although everyone is different, dryness often occurs on the cheeks, while oily areas are generalized in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).
Sensitive: You have difficulty exploring new skincare products because your skin often becomes irritated, red, or bumpy after using them. Sometimes, your skin even reacts to things in nature, such as cold temperatures or UV rays.
After determining which skin types you relate to most, you can explore some of these different types of bar soaps and cleansers. We've even included some of our favorites for you to begin with.
Choose the Best Bar for You
Hydrating: Many cleansing bars and soaps promote hydration through a few specific ingredients. Some bars use emollients such as oatmeal or aloe vera, which leave a protective barrier, trapping moisture after washing. Other bar cleansers are formulated using natural sugars such as hyaluronic acid, which attracts environmental moisture to the skin. You should pick up one of these bars if you have dry skin. Avoid cleansers with an abundance of fragrances or chemical ingredients, as they can exacerbate dryness.
Check Out: Aveeno Moisturizing Bar
Gentle Cleansing: If you have oily skin, opt for a bar soap that advertises itself as "gentle cleansing." There are many brands that develop their gentle cleansers alongside dermatologists, so you know they are made with the customer's skin health in mind. These products are formulated to remove excess oil and unclog pores, aiding in reducing acne breakouts – perfect for those with oily skin. But here's the bonus: They also don't contain harsh or filler ingredients that strip away your skin's natural barrier, so they are also helpful for dry skin.
Check Out: Vanicream Cleansing Bar
Exfoliating: Exfoliating bar soaps might be a good choice for those with oily or combination skin. While some bars use natural ground ingredients such as oats or nut shells as an exfoliator, others formulate their bars using helpful chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid. Both types will help slough off dead skin cells, clean pores, and help clear the way so your skin can function more effectively. These bars will leave your skin looking lighter and brighter. If you have dry skin, this may not be the best option for you as there is a chance to irritate the skin barrier further.
Check Out: CeraVe SA Cleanser Bar for Rough and Bumpy Skin
Natural and Organic: Natural and organic bar soaps are suitable for all skin types and are an excellent choice if you prefer eco-friendly, chemical-free options. These soaps are typically made from plant-based ingredients and lack synthetic additives. Those with sensitive skin may have good luck searching for a natural bar soap that provides all the characteristics they desire in a cleansing bar (even fragrance!). Use caution if you are allergic to a specific skincare ingredient, though, as skin sensitivity is not the same issue.
Check Out: Sunaroma Lavender Calming Body Bar
Specialty: In addition to these standard options, there are endless possibilities in the category of specialty bar soaps. If you are trying to target a specific skin problem such as acne, age spots, or uneven skin tone, some bars include ingredients that help those issues and more! Tea tree oil, vitamin C, retinol, ceramides, shea butter, and charcoal are all popular bar soap additives, and each performs an individual function. Research online to determine which ingredients might be right for your specific skin worry. Here are a few specialty soaps that we love:
For Acne: Tea Tree Therapy Vegetable Base Soap
For Extra Dry Skin: Ambi Black Soap Cleansing Bar
For Dull Skin: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shea Butter Soap
For Babies: Dr. Bronner All-One Baby Unscented Pure Castile Bar Soap
Selecting a suitable bar soap for your skin type is essential for maintaining healthy and beautiful skin. By understanding your skin's unique needs and choosing a bar soap that caters to those needs, you can ensure an effective and enjoyable skincare routine.
Are you looking for a partner to help formulate your next unique bar cleanser? Get in touch with us today. We'd love to help. ●