Bar soaps have always gotten a bad rap, mainly because they are believed to strip skin of natural oils, upset natural pH levels, and also leave the skin feeling dry and tight.
While this may be true of inferior or low-quality bar soaps, the secret is in finding a bar soap containing the right ingredients.
In the following guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the best moisturizing bar soaps on the market and explain exactly how you can benefit from using them.
Best Moisturizing Bar Soap – Reviews & Recommendations For 2021
Best Overall: Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar for Dry/Sensitive Skin
Since it is designed for sensitive and dry skin, this gentle cleansing bar cleans your skin without imitating it. It also moisturizes as it cleans, leaving your skin smooth, soft, and hydrated afterward.
This mild soap bar is free of harsh chemicals and detergents that tend to dry and irritate the skin; therefore, it is ideal for all over body cleansing. It’s also gentle enough to use on children. This is one of the few bar soaps that maintain natural moisture and pH levels without stripping it of protective oils or emollients.
Some of the bonuses of using this bar soap are that it rinses off easily. Formulated by dermatologists to help people with sensitive and dry skin, it’s suitable for various skin types while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It cleans, moisturizes, and rinses off easily. So if you’re looking for a bar soap that leaves the skin with that soft and smooth feeling afterward, then this is the one. It’s appropriate for head to toe use and gentle enough for use on children as well. It is formulated with dermatologists and comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores either.
This product is therefore ideal for people suffering from skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, acne, and psoriasis as well.
- Created by dermatologists
- Moisturizes as it cleans
- Gentle enough for head to toe use
- Unpleasant smell
- Ingredients: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoat
- Size: 4.5 ounce
Runner Up: Olay Moisture Outlast Beauty Bar with Shea Butter
The Olay Moisture Outlast Ultra Moisture Beauty Bar with Shea Butter contains ten times more moisturizers than regular soap. Ultimately, this results in smoother and more supple skin. Your skin will be more hydrated than when using the regular soap, even with continued use. This beauty bar washes away dry skin cells and leaves your skin feeling softer.
According to the manufacturers, you’ll experience visibly smoother skin in just seven days of use. The soap is also age-defying and formulated with vitamin E, which goes beyond cleansing for radiant and beautiful skin.
The benefit of using this moisturizing bar soap is that it is formulated with only 1% of the top ingredients evaluated and selected. The products are also tested by over 8000 women per year, and the company has also won more than 100 beauty and skincare awards.
- Ten times better moisture than regular bar soap
- Vitamin E for radiant skin
- Smoother skin in 7 days
- Small size
- Ingredients: Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Paraffin, Sodium Coco Glyceryl Ether Sulfonate, Glycerin, Water/Eau, Talc, Magnesium Stearate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Magnesium Cocoate, Sodium Stearate, Coconut Acid, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Cocoate, Fragrance/Parfum, Magnesium Laurate, Lauric Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Laurate, Tetrasodium Edta, Etidronic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract
- Size: 3.17 ounce
Alternative: At Last Naturals MSM Herbal Moisturizing Bar
The At Last Naturals MSM Herbal Moisturizing Bar contains MSM, which is one of nature’s richest sources of organic sulfur. Therefore, it keeps the skin smooth, supple, and wrinkle-free. Often referred to as nature’s beauty mineral, it plays an essential role in the health and maintenance of collagen and elastin, therefore giving you radiant and beautiful looking skin at all times.
- Contains MSM
- Keeps skin wrinkle free and smooth
- Suitable for daily use
- Not suitable for sensitive skin
- Ingredients: Aloe vera gel, pure MSM, camomile extract, calendula extract, vitamins A, C, & E, and essential oil of orange in a natural vegetable base soap.
- Size: 3 ounce
Alternative: Dove Men + Care Extra Fresh bar Soap
The Dove Men + Care Extra Fresh bar Soap can looking and feeling he finished, hydrated, and invigorated. It’s also formulated with one-quarter moisturizing cream helping to maintain the skin’s moisture and pH levels as well. Not only that, it effectively washes away bacteria while the invigorating scent refreshes your skin. The one-quarter moisturizing cream rinses away easily for a non-greasy feel. So it cleans the skin and also leaves feeling strong and healthy.
- One-quarter moisturizing cream
- Invigorating scent
- Refreshing feeling
- Ingredients: Not specified
- Size: 3.75 ounce
Alternative: Dove Beauty Bar for Softer Skin
The Dove Beauty Bar for Softer Skin is meant to clean and not dry out your skin like other regular bar soaps. It is also recommended by dermatologists and contains one-quarter moisturizing cream and mild cleansers. Therefore, it helps to maintain the skins’ natural pH and natural moisture levels. If you are looking for soft, smooth, and more radiant-looking skin, then Dove is definitely the way to go.
- Cleans and moisturizes
- Pleasant vanilla scent
- Contains shea butter
- Vanilla scent may be overpowering for some people
- Ingredients: Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Water (Aqua), Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Oil, Sodium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Yellow 6 (CI 15985)Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Water (Aqua), Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Stearate
- Size: 3.75 ounce
Moisturizing Bar Soap FAQ
Does bar soap dry out skin?
Depending on the type of bar soap you’re using, it could actually be causing more harm to the skin than good. Traditional bar soaps usually cause dry and dehydrated skin Jew to the high pH levels. So its usually best to opt for soap with a neutral pH.
When using regular or standard soaps, you may also notice an odd sensation on your skin or a tight feeling. This is because of the harsh surfactants contained in traditional bar soaps. So although these chemicals do get rid of the excess oil and dirt, they strip your skin of its natural moisture at the same time.
So this leaves your skin with a dry and tight feeling. Lots of standard or traditional bar soaps on the market also affect the natural pH of the skin, and this can make your skin start acting weirdly.
Are moisturizing soaps better than regular ones?
Since the skin requires moisture to replenish itself, it’s always better to opt for moisturizing soaps as opposed to ordinary bar soap. The skin is the biggest organ in the body, and it works to protect the body from the outside elements.
So it makes sense that you should keep it protected. One of the ways that you can do this is by using moisturizing bar soap and moisturizing it afterwards as well.
Moisture is perhaps the only thing that keeps your skin in great shape by ensuring that the protective barrier on the surface of the skin is balanced enough to block out harmful bacteria. Therefore, drying the skin can cause many issues that can take a long time to heal and can sometimes cause permanent damage to the skin.
So early signs of acne, aging, redness and puffiness are just a few of the conditions that can result from not moisturizing your skin adequately. One of the biggest misconceptions about using moisturizing bar soaps and moisturizers as well is that it will leave your skin looking oily.
However, the reason that many people have oily skin is that they don’t use moisturizers or moisturizing bar soaps. Therefore the skin is dry and tight and signals your body to produce even more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture.
Moisturizing bar soaps also help to balance a natural pH. The skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic in order to kill harmful bacteria and debris. So when the skin is dry and lacking moisture, your pH levels are going to be off, and you open up your skin to harmful bacteria as the natural protective barrier will not be adequate.
Moisturizing bar soaps also prevent acne. This is because they don’t strip your skin of the natural protective barrier and allow bacteria to invade.
Moisturizing bar soaps and moisturizers can actually protect skin against acne scars. This is because, in order for your skin to heal properly, it needs to have moisture for cells to regenerate and heal.
Moisturizing soaps and moisturizers also prevent premature signs of aging. So if you want to avoid cracked skin and fine lines, then a moisturizing bar followed by a moisturizer is the way to go.
What soaps do dermatologists recommend?
Irrespective of whether you have normal, oily or dry skin, choosing the right soap is crucial to avoid skin irritation. However, with so many soaps on the market, this simple decision can be overwhelming. However, let’s take a closer look at what the skincare experts have to say.
Ingredients to stay away from:
If you tend to have dry or sensitive skin, then there are certain ingredients that you need to steer clear off. One such ingredient is sodium laurel sulphate. It’s an ingredient contained in many cleaning detergents as it degreases and washes dirt away.
However, it is also contained in facial cleansers as well. While it is effective in cleaning, it can strip the skin of the natural oils and therefore causes your pH levels to become imbalanced.
You should also avoid fragrances and alcohol. These ingredients dry the skin out and make you prone to irritation.
Also, avoid synthetic dyes. Try to look for ingredients that hydrate the skin and avoid synthetic colors. Synthetic colors are achieved chemically and typically have an adverse effect on the skin. They may exacerbate dry skin problems rather than to alleviate them. So when shopping for soaps, smell them before you buy them. It’s quite common for soaps and body washes to contain fragrances which appeal to the senses; however, on the other hand, it’s detrimental to the skin.
Ingredients to look for:
when shopping for skin soaps, always look for plant oils. Ingredients such as organic vegetable oils, cocoa butter, elevator, olive oil, jojoba and avocado all perfect for dry and sensitive skin as well.
In the event that you cannot find a natural soap, opt for one that contains glycerin which will provide the skin with the moisture that it needs.
Another option is to look for ingredients such as the Lanolin or-hyaluronic acid. These ingredients have a hydrating effect on the skin. Lanolin which is an oil produced from the sebaceous glands of sheep moisturizes and conditions the skin and hair, and the hyaluronic acid is a key molecule in skin moisturization.
Can soaps affect your skin tone whiten or darken it?
Unless a soap is specifically designed to lighten or darken the skin, then this usually does not happen. However, if you are looking to lighten your skin, then you should opt for bar soaps containing Kojic acid.
Hydroquinone is also another controversial ingredient contained in skin lightening treatments such as soaps, face washes and moisturizers. Kojic acid, however, is a natural alternative to skin lightening and a natural ingredient that helps prevent skin discoloration.
It basically works by prohibiting the production of melanin. It’s also suitable for sensitive skin despite the name Kojic “acid”.
While there are lots of moisturizing bar soaps on the market, perhaps the best option is to go for natural bar soap.
It also seems to slowly be gaining momentum back into showers and bathrooms. Contrary to popular belief, the most expensive bar soaps are not necessarily the best for your skin. So one of the best ways to shop for bar soaps is to look at the ingredient list.
If it contains plant oils and butter, then your skin is definitely going to be able to tell the difference and appreciate you for it. Ensure that it contains no preservatives and one sure-fire way to spot a good quality bar soap is that it lasts much longer than a cheap one.