If you know me, you know I have been working towards a zero waste bathroom for quite some time! And I strongly encourage you to try and do the same. By adopting fewer and cleaner beauty products into your hair and skincare routine, not only are you helping to declutter your home, but you're also reducing your environmental footprint and contributing to a healthier planet.
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One product I have been enjoying recently is a natural soap bar! All natural bar soap is everywhere, and countless beauty brands are marketing themselves as “green beauty” or “clean” to jump on this trend. However, there is often little evidence to back up these claims since the standards and regulations behind these kinds of labels leave much to be desired. It can be tough to navigate which all natural bar soap is environmentally friendly that also does the job to keep your skin and hair feeling clean and fresh.
Today, let’s explore the best organic soap bars! We’ll chat not only about why you should make the switch but also about which brand is really crushing it right now (best of all, they have products for all skin types)!
Why use natural bar soap?
As consumers, we have become more aware of the effects our choices have had on the planet. The beauty industry that we know today is riddled with toxic chemicals, silicone, microplastics, greenwashing trigger words, and heaps of plastic. Should I keep going? In fact, the average person in the US produces 280 pounds of plastic every year, and a significant amount of that comes from our products. And as a result, we have seen a rise in eco-friendly beauty trends like clean beauty and blue beauty.
bar soaps have a lower environmental impact than liquid soaps in many important categories including carbon footprint, eco-toxicity, ozone depletion potential, and eutrophication potential.Conservation Magazine
There is also evidence to suggest we simply use more product when washing our hair and bodies with liquid soap compared to bar soap, this is likely due to the convenience of a pump dispenser.
But while traditional bar soap is usually better than liquid soap, it also comes with its own issues. Bar soap often comes from animal fats and vegetable oils, and depending on the farming conditions that went into product development, the sustainability of that product can vary. This is why the ingredients that go into your soap are still VERY important and switching to an organic, natural bar soap is ideal.
Our consumer behaviors have a huge power to shape a billion-dollar beauty industry. So, let’s vote for a more sustainable planet with our dollars while we are at it. But beyond the environmental benefits, there are so many other reasons to switch to all natural bar soap:
- They are less drying than standard bars of soap. Since switching to all natural bar soap, my skin has been saying a HUGE thank you.
- Not only are they plastic-free, but traveling with bar soap is actually much easier and more convenient than traveling with bottled cleaners. I cannot tell you how many times cleansers have spilled in my bag! All natural bar soap takes up less space plus it makes my clothes smell nice which I do appreciate.
- All natural bar soaps aren't one and done. Oh no! There is an all natural bar soap for every skin type or concern.
What is natural bar soap?
There are several key components that make up all natural bar soap. First, natural bar soap is usually made of fats like vegetable and nut oils, and butters saponified (turned into a salt) by lye (sodium hydroxide). All natural bar soap should also be scented with natural aromas from organic ingredients. Cocoa butter and essential oils are two of my favorite natural scents. Finally, the best natural bar soaps will also contain extra ingredients like honey, activated charcoal, and oatmeal to make the bar that is suited perfectly for your skin type or concerns.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to a brand that has it all… Bubbles & Balms. I have talked about sustainable skincare brands in the past here at The Eco Hub but this one really takes the cake.
Bubbles & Balms is a Canadian, family-owned skincare brand that started at their local farmers market and has now grown into a leading example of clean beauty cosmetics, producing over 50 different cosmetics all made from raw and natural ingredients. They now have retailers all over the east coast of Canada and as a Canadian citizen myself, I feel good supporting brands that are close to home.
What makes Bubbles & Balms different from other sustainable skincare brands is that they consider the sustainability of a product from sourcing and production all the way to disposal. They only source ethical and sustainable ingredients, so this means most of their products are certified, vegan, zero waste, cruelty-free, and/or gluten-free. They are also working with the Good Face Index to have all of their clean label claims certified by a third party. For packaging soy-based inks, compostable paperboard packaging, and wood-pulp bioplastic labels so you know they aren’t contributing to more plastic that will sit in landfills for years to come.
Finally, not only are Bubbles & Balms bars physically beautiful but they are super affordable with most bars about $7 CAD. Plus, they will arrive at your doorstep in 3-7 days after the product is shipped.
How to check for natural bar soap?
There are a few different ways to spot if bar soap is truly "all natural":
- You can first check the label for the product ingredients list. This includes the INCI name and the chemical common name or the ingredient. This way you will know if the company you are buying from is compliant with our health and safety regulations.
- Natural soaps should (almost always) be opaque because they are not "melt and pour" or glycerin-based.
- Finally, look for certifications that can verify the company’s claims! I highly recommend always checking the Environmental Working Group (EWG) app before buying your products.
All natural soap can be a god-send if you have a specific skin concern. So read on below to find Bubbles & Balms’ best natural bar soap for you.
Best natural soap for oily skin
If you have oily skin, you want to look for soap with astringents like muds, activated charcoal, and clays to help with balancing your skin's oils. The Tea Tree & Charcoal Bar is a good option here. Redness and dullness also tend to go hand and hand if you have oily skin, so this product is doing double time for you.
This soap, alongside the beat the breakout cream, saved my face and cleared my skin. I am now using it for my teenager and pre-teen to help heal and prevent breakouts.One reviewer of Tea Tree & Charcoal bar
Another good ingredient to look for if you have oily skin is Coconut oil (sodium cocoate), it creates a nice lather while you cleanse!
Best natural soap for dry skin
In the wintertime, my skin can become flaky and dry if I don’t take care of it. If you’re like me and also battle with dry skin you will want to look for natural soaps with Olive Oil (Sodium olivate) and avoid coconut oil. Added fats like Goat’s Milk can also help. I like Bubbles & Balms' Lavender Goat's Milk soap because not only does it soothe my dry skin, but it’s cruelty-free so you know the goats are healthy and happy.
Best natural soaps for average to combination skin
Combination skin is typically the most common skin type out there. If this is you then I would suggest looking for bars that serve a multi-purpose! A face, scalp, and body wash all-in-one are super convenient if you ask me. In terms of ingredients, you will want to look for soaps that contain coconut oil to get a great lather, have minimal ingredients, and lots of moisturizing fats that aren't saponified in the soaping process.
Hey Jude by Bubbles & Balms is a good bar for most combination skin types. Hey Jude also includes different natural clays like Illite and Kaolin to keep your skin feeling refreshed and stimulated.
Best natural soap for sensitive skin
Last but not least, let's talk about sensitive skin. While this skin type is less common, it's often the most difficult one to treat. One bad ingredient and your skin can flare-up. It’s exhausting.
Try to look for bars with pure Olive Oil and minimal ingredients (some good ones to look for include calendula, oatmeal, and honey as ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties… basically things that will help soothe the skin). If you have sensitive skin, I will also recommend avoiding scents entirely. Better to be safe than sorry. Honey & Oats by Bubbles & Balms might be the one for you.
As someone with really sensitive skin, I’m wary to try any new products. This soap is super gentle on my skin but still leaves a clean feeling I love. It was also the perfect solution to soothing bug-bitten skin, paired with a gentle lotion. This is a great all-around bar soap even if you don’t have fussy skin!One reviewer of the Honey and Oats bar
A final word on natural soap bar
So, what is the best natural bar soap? I would say Bubbles & Balms products are a top competitor. Not only are their products sustainable all the way through from sourcing to packaging, to disposal, but they are also family-owned and local – made right here in Canada!
And remember, no matter what bar you are using or your skin type, you should ALWAYS remember to follow up with a good face moisturizer at least three minutes after washing your face and body with all natural bar soaps. While organic soap is less drying than the commercial stuff, it can still have a pH higher than our skin which can disrupt our natural skin barrier and lead to dryness.
Lucky for you, Bubbles & Balms also have a range of great organic skin creams and salves you can use immediately after you wash.
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