Master list of bar soap recommendations

The task of reporting on my bar soap experiences continues to be somewhat daunting. To really test a given soap, it’s necessary to try it several times, continuously, over the course of days. With only one wash, even the most drying soaps don’t necessarily cause the cracking, dryness, even peeling or hangnails that surface with regular use. (Fortunately, I found only a few such drying soaps.)

So, I am going to use this post as my master list, editing it as I go rather than adding new posts on this topic.

I have done my best to determine that each of these products is a true soap, but as I recommend on the site, always, always check first. These are my subjective experiences and opinions.

PLEASE NOTE THAT EACH OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS IS FOR JUST THE SPECIFIC SOAP LISTED, OF THAT SPECIFIC “FLAVOR.” A RECOMMENDATION FOR ONE PRODUCT IN A LINE OF SOAPS DOES NOT IMPLY A RECOMMENDATION FOR OTHER SOAPS IN THE SAME LINE. SOMETIMES THE OTHER SOAPS IN THE SAME LINE HAVE PROBLEMATIC INGREDIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE. Also, not all of these soaps are necessarily okay for bathing infants because of other ingredients – I wanted to give grownups in the household some options, too. Always read ingredient labels for individual needs and sensitivities.

I am not grading these soaps so much as trying to categorize them.  Even the soaps in Category D (too drying in my experience) may work well for other people or may serve a purpose in someone else’s eczema removal process.  I personally use soaps in the A, A-, and B categories.  It all comes down to personal preference.  

Because I tried so many soaps, I am going to sort the feedback on these soaps into broad categories only:

A) Bar soaps I liked the best: neutral, relatively non-drying, but still left the skin feeling clean, even soft and neutral.
B) Bar soaps I thought were pretty good and neutral, but didn’t make my A-list for one reason or another, such as leaving a lot of soap residue on sink surfaces, having an overwhelming perfume, etc.
C) Bar soaps I found moisturizing that perhaps didn’t leave the skin feeling as clean as I would like.
D) Bar soaps I personally found too drying to use regularly. (Note that some of these are very popular soaps; individual experiences will vary. I hear good feedback about some of these soaps when it comes to eczema removal, too.  I list them here to provide as many choices as possible.)

CATEGORY A: Bar soaps I liked the best. Good cleansers while still relatively non-drying.
-Luxo Banho Creme
-Luxo Banho Olive
-Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant Body Bar (only the deodorant body bar)
-Sappo Hill Natural Fragrance-Free (vegan, good value, http://www.sappohill.com)
-One With Nature’s Dead Sea Salt Soap (triple milled)
-Savon Extra Pur Orange bar soap (www.lcdpmarseille.com)
-Savon de Marseille Extra Pur Orange liquid soap (www.lcdpmarseille.com)
-Tea Tree Therapy Vegetable Base Soap
-Olivella unscented
-South of France French Milled Ultra Moisturizing Shea Butter Soap
-Clearly Natural unscented glycerin soap

Almost as good, I give these an A-:
-pHisoderm pH skin cleansing bar unscented
-South of France Unscented Pure Vegetable Glycerin French Milled Soap
-Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Unscented Baby-Mild Pure-Castile Soap (only the baby-mild bar soap)
-River Soap Company Rose Geranium (www.riversoap.com, almost put in A-list, has strong rose geranium scent)
-Deerhaven Herb and Flower Farm Handmade Soap, Vanilla Bean (www.deerhaven.biz)
-Apiana Alpine Milk Soap (triple milled, made in Switzerland) 

CATEGORY B: Bar soaps I thought were pretty good, but didn’t make my A-list for one reason or another.
-Canus Goat’s Milk Soap, Naturally Rich Moisturizing
-Johnson’s Baby Soap Bar
-Skin Milk Bath Bar
-Fruits & Passion French-Milled Soap Fieldberries
-Green Tea Herbal Soap by Earth Therapeutics
-Savon Deluxe Almond and Oatmeal

A special comment on the last two products: both would have made my A-list except for two reasons: strong or unusual scents and the fact that both are exfoliating products with hard granules in them. That’s a problem for me, but it might make the products desirable to someone else.

CATEGORY C: Very moisturizing, but didn’t leave the skin feeling as clean.
-Allaffia Shea Butter and Honey Extra Gentle Body Soap ( http://www.alaffia.com, handmade soap from saponified shea butter, very unusual, not sure what to make of this soap, different from anything I’ve ever used)

CATEGORY D: Too drying in my experience.
-Whole Foods 365 unscented bar soap
-Burt’s Bees Wild Lettuce Complexion Soap
-TACT Pure Olive Oil Soap fragrance free
-The Over-worked Mother’s moisturising herbal hand soap
-Whole Foods Milk French Milled Soap
-Tom’s of Maine natural moisturizing body bar (almost too moisturizing to leave the skin feeling clean upon washing, yet drying later on)

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2 Responses to “Master list of bar soap recommendations”


  1. 1 amykinslynn April 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Hi, I read your solveeczema website a hundred times in the past couple weeks, and am implementing a switch to pure soap. I hope I don’t scare you away with my questions, but I don’t know who else to ask (that would have any idea what I am talking about).

    I would love to know your thoughts on Dr.Bronner’s liquid castille soap: baby, unscented- for use as a dish soap. Fragrances and essential oils are a big trigger for me, so a lot of products are ruled out.

    Have you found a fragrance free dishsoap that foams or have any tips on dish washing with soap?

    Also, do you have any experience with Savon de Marsielle’s olive oil bar soap (no fragrance)for body washing? Do you have any tips on hair conditioning and hair washing (getting the soap out)?

    On bedding: any suggestions for non- chemical/ detergent pillows?

    On clothing- cottons made without chemicals? I have been steadily developing eczema over the years anywhere clothing touches, and am wondering, now that my clothes are washed in soap and the eczema is still there, whether it is the fabric itself or the rubbing or the sweat.. any ideas?

    Thank you so much. I am 24 and have had eczema since I was 10. I believe that detergents are a big trigger for me… I am trying to get this under control. I would appreciate any help you could offer and am so grateful to you for giving me the idea to switch to soap. I agree that a scientific approach needs to be taken to rule out the causes. I am wondering now.. if it isn’t soley detergent, what else could it be?
    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Amy


  1. 1 Skin Care » Blog Archive » Master list of soap recommendations Trackback on October 8, 2007 at 1:29 am

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