Somewhere along the way, we all collectively seemed to hop off the bar soap train. Maybe a friend told you they were actually “dirty.” Or maybe you just got really into an amazing-smelling liquid soap.
If you’ve rejected the good old’ bar soap for any reason, we’re here to show you what you’re missing.
Besides coming in all kinds of appealing varieties, vegan bar soaps are the more environmentally friendly option. For those with skin sensitivities (we can relate!), it’s often easier to find a fragrance-free bar soap than a liquid one.
So, let’s talk soap! Stick around till the end for a list of our favorite vegan bar soaps, both aromatic and fragrance-free.
The Eco-Savvy Choice
When it comes to an environmental impact, bar soaps have liquid soaps beat. Most observably, bar soaps require much less packaging. You can go 100% plastic-free with bar soap, something considerably trickier to accomplish when trying to contain a liquid.
According to a 2009 study, it takes five times as much energy for the raw material production of liquid soap, and almost 20 times as much energy for the packaging production. Bar soaps require less energy, less water, and will generally last six times longer than the liquid alternative.
One caveat to note from this study is that vegan bar soaps did have an increased impact on land use compared to liquid soap. Since vegan bar soaps usually contain ingredients derived from farmed crops, there is a larger agricultural factor at play.
Despite the effect of bar soap on land use, it’s still the clear winner for a decreased carbon footprint. It has a lower impact on ecotoxicity, ozone depletion potential, and eutrophication potential.
The Benefits of Castile Soap
We can’t truly discuss the topic of vegan soap bars without including a section on the wonders of castile soap. If you haven’t been introduced yet, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Originally produced in the region of Castile, Spain, this non-toxic vegan bar soap is oil-based. Popular oil choices include olive, hemp, jojoba, and coconut. You can also find it with alternative oils such as walnut, sunflower seed, avocado, or almond.
Biodegradable and entirely vegan by nature, this environmentally friendly soap can be used for countless household purposes. The same gentle cleanser you use in your daily shower could also be used to wipe your counters or shampoo your dog.
Keep in mind that different castile soap manufacturers may include their own preferred ingredients. Double-check the label before using it on, for example, your unsuspecting puppy. If the product includes a hefty dose of something like tea tree oil, you’ll want to keep it far away from Fido.
Our Favorite Vegan Bar Soaps
Ready to bring bar soap back into your life? We selected our top picks for your convenience. While we love what these soaps have to offer, we’d also like to note that every individual can react uniquely to different products. Try a few to see what works best for you.
All these bar soaps are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Opas Pure Olive Soap
You’d be hard-pressed to find a soap more natural and transparently produced than the Opas Pure Olive Soap. It contains only two ingredients, organic extra virgin olive oil and distilled water. The olive oil makes it an ideal moisturizing soap for sensitive hands.
Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Almond Pure Castile Bar Soap
Our favorite thing about this Hemp Almond Pure Castile Bar Soap might have to be the mild, marzipan-type scent. The sweet-smelling lather does a thorough cleanse while leaving the skin feeling moisturized. It contains palm oil, but Dr. Bronner’s products use sustainably sourced oil.
Kirk’s Soothing Aloe Vera Castile Bar Soap
If you’re a coconut oil enthusiast, consider trying this Soothing Aloe Vera Castile Bar Soap. With inherent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, this coconut oil-based soap is certified hypoallergenic.
What About Fragrance-Free Soaps?
According to the National Eczema Association, 1-4% of the population suffers from fragrance sensitivity. Some products claim to be fragrance-free, but actually include fragrance components to hide an undesirable odor within the product.
Even people without a diagnosed allergy to these chemical compounds can still experience unpleasant sensitivities to different fragrances.
If you’d like to steer clear of fragrances, here are our recommendations:
Hand in Hand Fragrance-Free Bar Soap
In addition to being fragrance-free, this Hand in Hand Bar Soap uses organic cocoa and shea butter to nurture and heal the skin. We’re also big fans of Hand in Hand’s “buy a bar, give a bar” policy. With the purchase of every bar, they donate one bar of soap and one month of clean water to a child in need.
Sappo Hill Natural Fragrance-Free Soap
With an impressive history of over 40 years in soap production, Sappo Hill provides trustworthy Fragrance-Free Soap for sensitive skin. Every bar is cut by hand and created with simple, gentle ingredients.
The Yellow Bird Unscented Shea Butter Bar Soap
Here’s another product created by hand and with great attention to detail. The unscented shea butter vegan bar soap is made without any synthetic lathering agents. With only the highest-grade natural and certified organic ingredients, this one is perfect for easily irritated skin.
There you have it–our top picks for vegan bar soaps. Have you tried one of these products before? If so, let us know what you think!