If you’re in the market for a natural and organic body wash, then you have two options to choose from: an organic shower gel (or liquid soap) or an organic soap bar. Both products, when made correctly, can be fantastic options for any skin type.
Many soap bars and body washes have gotten a bad reputation over the years as being drying or harsh on the skin. The truth is, like any skin care product, the effectiveness of a soap really comes down to how the product is made. A poorly crafted body wash contains almost no moisturizing ingredients and may even contain harsh foaming agents and preservatives. An expertly crafted body wash, however, can be an incredibly hydrating and nourishing experience for your skin. So, what makes the difference?
All soaps are made by combining oil or fats with a chemical called lye (all soaps are made with lye). These ingredients cause a chemical reaction called saponification (which literally means “to make soap” in Latin). Once this process is complete, if the ratio of fat to lye was correct, just soap molecules and glycerin will remain (all lye is broken down as a part of the chemical reaction). Glycerin is a humectant which helps to draw moisture into the skin. This is where the good soaps get separated from the bad. A good handmade organic soap bar, for example, is then poured into a mold and allowed to “cure” for a few weeks to allow for the excess water to evaporate. Conventional soap makers, however, will remove the glycerin from the soap and add salt to the mix in order to speed up the hardening process. They then add preservatives, foaming agents (like sodium lauryl sulfate), and other unnecessary chemicals.
In summary, a great organic body wash + organic soap bar is 1) expertly crafted made with plant-derived oils + lye 2) made so that no lye remains at the end of the saponification process 3) contains naturally occurring glycerin 4) contains natural + organic ingredients 5) does not contain harsh chemicals or preservatives (such as sulfates, parabens, irritating foaming agents, phthalates, formaldehydes, oxybenzone, ethoxylated ingredients, polysorbates, phenoxyethanol, petrochemicals, triclosan, TEA/DEA, synthetic fragrances and colors).
This organic soap bar offers a deep skin detox without drying or irritating the skin. Using a combination of bamboo charcoal, rice bran, and tea tree oil, this soap works to kill bacteria, remove dirt + oil from pores, and gently exfoliate dead skin cells. Can be used on both the body and face. Ideal for those with sensitive, acne-prone, and/or oily skin types. The scent is pleasant, but not overly feminine (great for men + women + babies).
One of the most effective organic body washes that we tested. It goes on silky smooth, creates a light foamy lather, and leaves skin feeling absolutely clean and soft. The soap is made from a gentle castile base of organic saponified oils like olive, coconut, jojoba, and apricot oils. It is also packed with nourishing ingredients like seaweed, turmeric, vitamin C, vitamin E, borage seed oil, and lavender. Non-drying and great for men + women.
Osmia does two things exceptionally well: 1) they make great products for those with extremely sensitive skin and 2) they are experts at creating natural scents. This Coffee + Mint soap bar captures both of Osmia’s talents. The smell of this soap bar is addictive and is ideal for early morning showers. It also softens the skin with a combination of organic ground coffee (mild exfoliation), mint, olive oil, shea butter, and rosemary extract.
One of the purest organic body wash formulas available. This product is sulfate free, fragrance free, packed with gentle organic ingredients, and has earned a toxicity score of 0 from the Environmental Working Group. It is even packaged in a BPA-free bottle. Great for sensitive skin types including those with eczema. Also works great for kids. It has a nice foamy lather that develops quickly and really does a good job of removing dirt and oil.
In addition to its intoxicating citrus scent, lemon verbena is also effective at softening and moisturizing the skin. This organic body wash uses lemon verbena as its star ingredient and is also packed certified organic ingredients like sunflower oil, coconut oil, aloe, orange peel, and ginger root. Has a nice lather, but you won’t find any harsh chemicals, foaming agents, or irritants in this product. Handmade and crafted for all skin types.
100% Pure makes these yummy moisturizing soap bars in seven “flavors”: coconut butter, peach butter, apple butter, lavender butter, mandarin butter, Meyer lemon butter, and mango butter. Each bar contains roughly the same ingredients with the exception of the specific fruit extract for each flavor. These bars are 100% natural and made with coconut oil, olive oil, rosehip seed oil, grapeseed oil, shea butter, and avocado butter.
This bar of soap is gentle enough for face and body use, and it is quite convenient to have a single product for the whole body. It contains all-natural ingredients and no fillers. The combination of white and pink clays gently draws out impurities without drying the skin. Geranium essential oil and blood orange essential oils give this soap a nice light scent that won’t irritate sensitive skin types. Great for all skin types (especially oily).
Dr. Bronner’s is serious about soap. The family has been making soaps since 1948. This product is an all-around amazing organic soap for the entire body (and just about anything in your house that need cleaning). This formula is even gentle enough to use on delicate baby skin. It is crafted from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, hemp oil, jojoba oil, citric acid, and vitamin E. Castile soaps should be diluted with water on a 1:2 basis.