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- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
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- Best all-natural soap: Little Seed Farm Sea Salt Bar | Skip to Review
- Best for oily or acne-prone skin: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bar | Skip to Review
- Best for dry skin: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Soap | Skip to Review
- Best for sensitive skin: Tom’s of Maine Fragrance-Free Beauty Bar | Skip to Review
- Best for the whole family: Dove Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin | Skip to Review
- Best for beard and body: Rockwell Beard & Body Bar Soap | Skip to Review
- Best body wash: Native Body Wash | Skip to Review
- Best multipurpose bar soap: Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap Bar | Skip to Review
- Best multipurpose liquid soap: Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Body | Skip to Review
While soap may have one primary function — to keep you clean! — it can do a whole lot of other good, too. Many soaps are designed for specific skin types or uses, offering additional benefits for dry, oily, or sensitive skin.
It’s important to choose a soap that’s good for your skin because, while many of the big brand soaps may smell nice, they can really dry out your skin, causing itching or other symptoms.
Whether you’re looking for a soap that will help clear up acne, or you just want to streamline your routine down to one product, we’ve got options you’re sure to love.
To create this list, we scoured online reviews and looked for products that were rated well by customers. We prioritized soaps that include good-for-you ingredients and leave out any harmful ingredients the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says men should avoid, like
We aimed to provide a range of products for several skin types and uses. We also took price into consideration. While there are a couple of higher-end products on our list, most are priced reasonably for a product you’ll be using daily.
Prices are listed per each bar of soap or bottle of body wash. Some links may lead to multi-pack bundles at a higher price:
- $ =under $5
- $$ =$5–$10
- $$$ =over $10
Best all-natural soap
Little Seed Farm Sea Salt Bar
- Price: $$
- Ingredients: goat’s milk, sea salt, organic olive oil, coconut oil
Goat milk — the primary ingredient in this bar — is chock full of skin benefits thanks to vitamins, fatty acids, and alpha hydroxy acids known to nourish, soften, and repair the skin. Goat’s milk is also full of butterfat, which helps moisturize and soothe dry skin, along with the organic olive oil and coconut oil — other key ingredients in this all-natural soap.
Mineral-rich sea salt crystals and fine pumice help to gently exfoliate the skin and slough away dead skin cells so you should get a deep, renewing clean.
This product does contain essential oils, which some users may find irritating to their skin.
The company says that the soap is made sustainably on a family farm with natural and organic ingredients. It’s also shipped in biodegradable and recyclable shipping materials for zero waste, its makers say.
- The soap contains all natural, organic ingredients.
- It’s exfoliating.
- It’s sustainably made.
- The soap contains essential oils that may irritate sensitive skin.
Best for oily or acne-prone skin
Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bar
- Price: $$
- Ingredients: aloe, oat, rosemary
African black soap has antimicrobial properties and is known for helping soothe irritation. Proponents claim it can help treat acne without drying out skin. This bar from Shea Moisture is also made with gotu kola, lemon balm, and colloidal oatmeal.
Doubling as a facial cleanser, this product removes oil without drying out skin, according to reviewers.
This soap contains essential oils and rosemary extract, which may irritate sensitive skin.
- This soap may reduce oil and acne.
- It doubles as a facial cleanser.
- The shea butter
can help with dry skinand has been used to decrease inflammation.
- The rosemary extract and essential oils may irritate sensitive skin.
Best for dry skin
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Soap
- Price: $$
- Ingredients: shea butter, frankincense, and myrrh extracts
Another soap from Shea Moisture, this bar’s star ingredient is fair trade shea butter, which has been known to help moisturize dry skin. As with all Shea Moisture products, it’s made without parabens, formaldehyde, and phthalates.
Users say it has a nice light scent and leaves their skin feeling clean but not dry.
- It can be used on your face and body.
- It moisturizes dry skin.
- It has no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates.
- The soap contains rosemary leaf and frankincense extracts, which may irritate sensitive skin
Best for sensitive skin
Tom’s of Maine Fragrance-Free Beauty Bar
- Price: $$$
- Ingredients: aloe, glycerin
This soap from Tom’s of Maine is made with simple ingredients like aloe vera, which helps soothe skin, and glycerin, which moisturizes.
It’s fragrance-free, which is great for sensitive skin, since synthetic scents can cause irritation. It’s also a good choice if you’re looking for something truly unscented. While many fragrance-free products still have a little bit of scent, users say this soap has no smell at all.
- It’s suitable for sensitive skin.
- It’s unscented.
- Some users say the soap has changed from the original.
Best for the whole family
Dove Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin
- Price: $
- Ingredients: stearic acid, lauric acid, glycerin
This Dove soap is made specifically for sensitive skin but works for all skin types. It’s hypoallergenic and made with moisturizing cream so it won’t dry out skin or leave it feeling tight.
You can use it on the face and body, and it’s often recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians, so anyone in the household can use it. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find at most drugstores.
Users like that it doesn’t leave a residue on the skin.
It’s unscented, but a handful of users report a light, unappealing scent.
- It’s suitable for sensitive skin.
- The soap can be used on all skin types.
- Dermatologists and pediatricians recommend it.
- It’s easily found in most drugstores.
- Some users report it has a light, unusual odor.
Best for beard and body
Rockwell Beard & Body Bar Soap
- Price: $$$
- Ingredients: jojoba oil, shea butter, activated charcoal, coffee
This multipurpose soap bar is formulated for all skin and facial hair for a top-to-bottom go to for bearded and/or mustached folks of all skin types. It cleanses and moisturizes with a skin and hair-friendly combo of jojoba oil, shea butter, and activated charcoal. The inclusion of coffee claims to provide gentle exfoliation but may irritate some skin types.
Consumers rave about the quality and versatility, and the Classic Barbershop scent gets rave reviews, too. What does barbershop-scented soap smell like, you ask? According to Rockwell, it smells like notes of leather, neroli, anise, lilac and cedar.
- It’s suitable for all skin types.
- The soap is good for use on skin and facial hair.
- It exfoliates.
- Most users love the smell.
- Most users love the smell, but a few find it overpowering.
Best body wash
Native Body Wash
- Price: $$
- Ingredients: coconut oil, food grade cleansing salt, citric acid
If you’re more of a body wash kind of guy, this product from Native is a great choice. It comes in several scents, including refreshing Citrus & Herbal Musk and Eucalyptus & Mint.
People love the extra sudsy lather, while still getting that super clean, residue-free, but still soft feeling that the brand’s bar provides.
As with Native’s bar soap, this body wash is a cruelty-free product that’s made with naturally derived ingredients.
- The soap has naturally derived ingredients.
- It doesn’t leave a residue.
- It’s available in several scents.
- It’s not made for use on the face.
Best multipurpose bar soap
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap Bar
- Price: $
- Ingredients: coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, peppermint oil
This soap is truly multipurpose. You can use it to wash your face, hair, and body, eliminating the need for multiple products. It’s made with castile soap, which is a type of vegetable-based, eco-friendly soap.
It has a light peppermint scent. Users say it doesn’t dry out their skin, but a couple of users report finding the mild tingly effect from the peppermint to be a bit irritating on their “sensitive parts”.
- You can use the soap on your face, hair, and body.
- It has a pleasant fresh scent.
- The tingly effect may feel irritating to sensitive skin.
- It contains coconut oil that could worsen acne on some skin types.
Best multipurpose liquid soap
Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Body
- Price: $$$
- Ingredients: aloe, chamomile, calendula
This is another all-in-one soap, but for those who prefer liquid soap over bar. This do-it-all product can be used to wash your hair and body. You can also use it as a shaving gel. It gets its light scent from essential oils (but some folks with sensitive skin may find that irritating).
Users report it lathers nicely. However, if you plan to wash your hair with it, know that it might be less sudsy than a typical shampoo.
- It’s EWG verified.
- You can use the soap on your hair and body.
- You can use it as a shaving gel
- It doesn’t lather well on hair.
- The essential oils may irritate sensitive skin.
|Product name||Price||Ingredients||Best for|
|Little Seed Farm Sea Salt Bar||$$||sea salt, goat’s milk, olive oil||all-natural soap|
|Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bar||$$||aloe, oat, rosemary||oily or acne-prone skin|
|Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Soap||$$||shea butter, frankincense and myrrh extracts||dry skin|
|Tom’s of Maine Fragrance-Free Beauty Bar||$$$||aloe, gycerin||sensitive skin|
|Dove Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin||$||stearic acid, lauric acid, glycerin||the whole family|
|Rockwell Beard & Body Bar Soap||$$$||jojoba oil, shea butter, activated charcoal, coffee||beard and body|
|Native Body Wash||$$||coconut oil, food grade cleansing salt, citric acid||body wash|
|Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap Bar||$||coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, peppermint oil||multipurpose bar soap|
|Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Body||$$$||aloe, chamomile, calendula||multipurpose liquid soap|
Whether you use a bar soap or a body wash mostly comes down to personal preference.
While some people avoid bar soap because it has a reputation for being drying, what matters most is the ingredients. If you’re worried about dryness, look for a soap that contains moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, or glycerin.
Bar soap tends to be cheaper than liquid body wash and more eco-friendly, too, since it usually has minimal paper or cardboard packaging rather than plastic.
When shopping for a new soap, think about things like:
- Your skin type: If you have dry, sensitive, or oily skin, you may want to look for a soap that’s specially formulated for your skin type. For example if you have dry skin, look for moisturizing ingredients, such as glycerin, oils, and shea butter. For sensitive skin, gentle, hypoallergenic soaps that are free of fragrance and dyes are the way to go.
- The ingredients: It’s best to look for a product that’s made without potentially harmful ingredients like parabens and phthalates. Check out the EWG’s list of ingredients to avoid, or look for products that the EWG has rated as safe.
- Your habits and preferences: If you’re looking to streamline your routine, you may want to opt for an all-in-one or multiuse product. Or it may be important to you that you find a product that doesn’t test on animals, or is sustainably made.
Before committing to any new product, it’s always best to do a patch test, especially if it has any potentially irritating ingredients, like essential oils. That way, you can be sure of how your skin will react before you use it all over.
To do a patch test, put a little bit of the soap on the inside of your wrist. Wait a few hours. If you notice any redness or irritation, don’t use the product. If your skin looks normal, you should be good to go.
Are there any ingredients I should avoid when selecting a men’s soap?
Yes! Here are the ingredients the EWG recommends avoiding and why:
- parabens, a commonly used preservatives that may cause allergic reactions
- phthalates, which may damage the male reproductive system
- triclosan, an antimicrobial ingredient that’s been linked to endocrine disruption and may affect thyroid function and reproductive hormones
- boric acid and sodium borate, which have been shown to affect hormones and harm the male reproductive system
What is the best way to store bar soap?
Storing bar soap on a holder with drainage slats and keeping it away from the spray of water will help keep it dry between uses and preserve it.
How can I determine my skin type?
There are a few different ways to determine your skin type. The easiest way is to pay attention to how your skin feels at the end of a normal day. For instance, if your face feels oily and looks shiny, your skin type is oily. If your skin is flaky and feels tight, then you have dry skin.
Another option is to connect with a dermatologist.
There are lots of different soaps out there, from bars to body washes. To find the best type for you, consider your skin type, habits, and preferences.
Always be sure to do a patch test before using any new-to-you product.