Chapter 11: Choosing the Right Facial Bar Soap

Beauty Book

When I think of bar soap, the one you typically use on your body is what comes to mind. Back in high school, I had friends who used bar soap to cleanse their faces, but the idea of using one never appealed to me. Old-school bar soaps had a bad rap due to their harsh chemicals that dry the skin out. But now, even though liquid soaps, foams and gels exist, beauty brands are bringing back bar soaps.

Facial bar soaps have been modernized with newer, better formulations that are more skin-friendly. With sustainable beauty becoming a growing trend, facial bar soaps have an advantage over liquid cleansers because they use more eco-friendly packaging and produce less waste than  plastic bottles.

Just as you would with any other product, if you do decide to make a shift to facial bar soaps, then make sure you know and understand your skin type and any skin concerns you might have. Once you have all that figured out, finding the perfect bar soap will be a breeze!

Before I go into detail on the best facial bar soaps, here’s a quick guide on how to use one (the right way):

  1. Wet your face and hands.
  2. Rub the bar between your hands to work up a lather. Avoid rubbing the soap directly on your face.
  3. Massage your skin with the soap in circular motions.
  4. Rinse your skin with lukewarm water.
  5. Pat your skin dry.

It also helps to store your bar soap on a tray with drainage holes for hygienic purposes. Soaps soaked in water create a breeding ground for germs and bacteria!

When traveling, you can keep your soap safe and fresh in a travel soap case. That said, another advantage of bar soaps over liquid cleansers is that they won’t leak during travel. Remember Ross’ major spill with his shampoo bottles in that episode of Friends (Season 10 Episode 1)? You won’t go through that with bar soaps!

Think about your skin concerns before you purchase a facial bar soap. Here are some recommendations to help you choose the right one:

“I’m looking for a facial bar without artificial ingredients”:

These facial bar soaps will do just what you need them to: clean. The best part is that they’re also free from preservatives, parabens, colorants and artificial fragrances. That should save you from irritation and toxins – perfect for natural-beauty lovers!

Dear, Klairs’ Gentle Black Sugar Charcoal Soap is great for its pore-purging powers, and it also gently exfoliates skin thanks to its powerful sugar and charcoal combo. Go for SKIN 1004’s Cocoon Soap Mask for a boost in collagen production while cleansing, or Olivarrier’s Emollient Cleansing Bar if you’re looking for a low-pH cleansing bar that contains green powder complex, which makes skin healthier without damaging its delicate barrier.

“My skin is in need of a deep cleanse”:

Great for those with overactive sebaceous glands, April Skin’s Signature Soap Original is formulated with French green clay and vegetable and other essential oils to gently but deeply cleanse your skin all the way to your pores.

For those who consider enlarged pores, blackheads, whiteheads and excess sebum their main issues, The Plant Base’s Rosemary Charcoal Soap is for you. This bar soap works like a charm; it cleanses skin, controls oil with bamboo charcoal, hydrates it with rich glycerin, and soothes it with rosemary oil.

Don’t enjoy munching on broccoli? No problem, you won’t have to eat this! Innisfree’s Broccoli Clearing Cleansing Bar is infused with BHA that unclogs pores and removes dead skin cells and excess sebum. It also contains broccoli and tea tree leaf extracts that soothe skin and strengthen its barrier.

“I have dry and irritated skin”:

You won’t get that tight-dry feeling when you wash your face with these facial bar soaps. Jojoba, almond, argan and coconut oils – these soaps have got all the oils that keep dry skin quenched.

Whisk away grime without stripping skin of its natural oils with Dear Klairs’ Rich Moist Facial Soap. It’s enriched with calamine powder that soothes dry, sensitive and even acne-prone skin, and formulated with jojoba, almond and argan oils to provide extra moisture.

The Plant Base’s Soap contains noni, a fruit packed with vitamins and rich minerals that strengthens the skin’s barrier and cleanses without causing irritation. If you’re looking for a bar soap that relieves extremely dry or cracked skin, give Yes To’s Coconut Milk Bar Soap a go. This creamy soap not only contains coconut oil but also shea butter to provide intense moisture and leave skin soft and supple.

“I have sensitive and acne-prone skin”:

Anyone who struggles with sensitive skin knows what a pain it is to try different products, only to have your skin react badly – I know, the struggle is real! Luckily, you can say goodbye to redness, itching and blemishes with these facial bar soaps that are a sensitive skin type’s BFF.

Red, inflamed skin is never any fun but you can easily rid your skin of inflammation with the Mild British Bar Soap (Calamine) from A’PIEU. Not only will your skin feel clean and calm with this calamine-based facial bar soap, but you’ll also smell like you just came from the spa, thanks to the rose scent.

SOME BY MI’s AHA, BHA, PHA 30 Days Miracle Cleansing Bar is more than just a cleansing bar soap. It contains three acids that slough off dead skin cells, remove excess sebum and prevent moisture loss, in addition to its blemish-fighting tea tree extract. Since this bar isn’t as mild as others, I recommend doing a patch test first if you have extremely sensitive skin. You can check out our editor Maureen’s post on the soap for a more in-depth look.

Not to be mistaken for the Signature Soap Original, April Skin’s Signature Soap Black is more effective at removing dirt and other impurities in skin, as well as clearing out gunk from your pores which are known to be the main culprits of acne.

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