In the fast-paced world of skincare and bath and body products, the number of products and product variations can be overwhelming! Products are constantly changing to fit the latest skincare trends, and it’s easy to get caught up in the so-called latest and greatest products. Considering this, it’s easy to see how the humble bar of soap may seem like a relic of the past, overshadowed by more modern counterparts. However, the simple, unassuming bar of soap holds a surprising number of benefits that make it an essential item in every bathroom. From being eco-friendly to containing skin-loving ingredients, there are so many reasons to love this timeless classic. Read on to discover the many advantages of bar soap, and why you should consider switching to it, if you haven’t already!
Did you know that it’s estimated up to 79% of all plastics ever made still sit in landfills or the natural environment? Or that packaging generates the highest plastic demand worldwide? It’s true – and it’s estimated that up to 150 million tons of plastic is made for single-use items each year, which means that waste is collecting at alarming rates. While there are certainly other products and industries that contribute to the single-use plastic problem, the skincare industry is a big offender. Shower gels, shampoo, conditions, body washes, scrubs, and so many more products typically come in plastic bottles that ultimately end up in landfills. One of the most significant benefits of bar soap lies in its eco-friendliness and sustainability. Unlike its commercial, liquid counterparts, bar soap often comes with minimal, recyclable packaging, or no packaging at all! Switching to bar soap can significantly reduce your plastic waste over time. Plus, it’s great for your skin! Which brings us to the next point…
Fewer (or free of) Chemicals and Preservatives
“Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Glycinate, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Acrylates Copolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycol Distearate, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citric Acid, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool, Red 33 (CI 17200), Blue 1 (CI42090)”
Confusing, and a little scary, right? This is just a subset of the many ingredients in a national brand’s liquid body wash – a product that you’ve likely seen extensive advertising and marketing campaigns for. But what is all this stuff? We don’t have time to dig into every ingredient, but there are a few that stand out right away: Fragrance, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, and colorants Red 33 and Blue 1. If you have sensitive skin, skin conditions, or just want chemicals and preservatives out of your life, these ingredients should be red flags.
We’ve written pretty extensively on this topic, so if you want to learn more, check out our previous posts on both fragrance and colorants in skincare products. As for Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, this is yet another chemical preservative added to help extend the product’s shelf life through the long process from manufacturing to reaching store shelves and consumer homes. The Environmental Working Group cites that it can be toxic upon inhalation.
The primary takeaway? Liquid soaps need significantly more chemicals and preservatives to manufacture and maintain shelf stability. If you’re looking to reduce your exposure to chemicals, bar soap is certainly a friendlier option. Generally, all bar soaps contain fewer chemicals than their liquid counterparts, and some brands, like ours, focus on offering all-natural and entirely chemical-free options. For comparison, here’s an ingredient list from one of our bars of soap:
"Raw goat milk, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, rice bran oil, castor oil, and essential oil of lavender."
The difference is crazy, right?
Gentler On the Skin
This one goes along with the above – with fewer chemicals and harsh ingredients, bar soaps are typically far and away gentler on the skin! With fewer unnecessary ingredients, most users who switch to bar soap notice an immediate difference in their skin sensitivities and dryness. Your skin doesn’t need to feel “tight” and dry to be clean! Natural bars of soap often use nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oils, which offer a gentle and moisturizing cleansing experience. And, you’ll still get the satisfying lather you know and love.
Note: If you have an allergy or skin condition, it’s still important to read labels, even on “natural” bars of soap. Some can still contain harsher ingredients like fragrance or colorants. Or, if you’re trying to be more environmentally conscious – palm oil.
It’s Mess-Free and Cost Effective
Have you ever spilled liquid soap or had a bottle leak while you were away? We certainly have – it’s a common inconvenience with liquid soap dispensers. Bar soap eliminates this issue! With a bar of soap, your bathroom counter and shower can stay neat and tidy without the need for constant cleanups.
Plus, bar soap is highly cost-effective, offering a long-lasting alternative to liquid soaps. As long as you care for it properly and allow it to dry between uses (we recommend using a soap tray), a single bar of soap can outlast multiple bottles, making it a budget-friendly choice for those looking to save money without compromising quality.
One of the things we love most about bar soap is its versatility. Traveling and need to carry some in your carry-on? No big deal. Going to the gym and wanting to toss a bar in your bag to clean up afterward? No worries, it’s not going to make a mess. Bar soap is a convenient and ideal companion when you’re on the go, and its compact size and minimal packaging means it takes up little space in your bag.
And, it has many uses beyond that of a cleaning agent! From unsticking zippers to laundry stain removal, bar soap can come to the rescue when you find yourself in an unexpected situation.
It Looks and Smells Great!
Bar soaps retain their fragrance well throughout their lifespan, providing a pleasant and consistent scent until the very last use. Unlike some liquid soaps that may lose their aroma over time, bar soap ensures a great scent with every shower or hand wash. And since it’s kept in the open and not in a plastic bottle, the scent will likely carry and make your bathroom smell amazing as well! Some brands even use essential oils to scent their products, meaning you get aromatherapeutic benefits on top of a great scent.
And dare we say, bar soap is simply prettier than other options?! With beautiful colors, fragrances, and skin benefits, there’s so much to love that bottled options can’t offer.
The benefits of bar soap extend far beyond those of a basic cleaning agent! Its eco-friendliness, gentle properties, versatility, and cost-effectiveness make it a worthwhile addition to any bathroom! Whether you’re trying to embrace sustainable living, prioritize your health, or simplify your life, choosing to switch to bar soap is a small but impactful step toward your goals. There’s a reason that bar soap has endured for generations, and this list is just a few of its many surprising benefits!
If you’re looking to make the switch to bar soap, you might be interested in our goat milk soap, along with our other skincare products. At Madd House Hill, we believe in the power of bar soap and natural products and use only 100% pure goat milk, moisturizing and sustainable oils, and therapeutic-grade essential oils to craft our products. Our all-natural philosophy is something we are extremely proud of! Many of our customers who have previously experienced skin sensitivity, irritation, or frustration with commercial products have found great success when switching to our natural options.
Until Next Time,
Madd House Hill