Dealing with sensitive skin should never mean having to skip on washing or dealing with that dry, itchy feeling all day. That’s where the best soaps for sensitive skin can help.
Soaps designed for sensitive skin tend to be less astringent and are generally milder than regular soap. They often feature ingredients designed to replace any moisture or oils stripped away during the cleaning process. So instead of your skin feeling clean but maybe stripped-down, your skin will feel clean without losing its moisture and softness.
But that’s easier said than done when it comes to true soaps because a true soap, by design, will strip everything off your skin. That’s great when it’s dirt, sweat and grime, but it’s not so great when it leaves your skin feeling dry and flaky.
That’s where body bars or beauty bars come into play. They’re basically the same as soap in terms of cleaning, but they’re not technically soap. A soap is a salt from a fatty acid that is made by mixing a fat or oil with an alkali such as lye. Body bars are not made that way, so they are not soaps.
Though that means body bars might not clean as well, there’s an upside. Body bars are frequently much better for dealing with sensitive skin because they don’t strip the skin nearly as much as soap. For that reason, they also tend to be made with things like aloe, chamomile, lotions and creams, all intended to keep your skin supple and irritation-free.
We should also note that added fragrance can be a source of irritation, so many soaps and body bars come in unscented options.
So now that we know what to look for, check out the best body bars and best soaps for sensitive skin below and start choosing irritation-free skin for yourself today.
1. Dove Beauty Bar
Dove’s been a leader in cleansers for sensitive skin for what feels like forever because Dove products clean well without sacrificing your skin.
The Dove Beauty Bar will get rid of the grime you want while restoring the skin you need. It’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, suitable for sensitive skin and contains ¼ moisturizing cream, perfect for any place you want to wash with minimal irritation.
2. Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap
Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap, unlike the top pick, is actually soap, but it counteracts the cleaning ability of the soap with chamomile and aloe vera to soothe your skin. There are no dyes or fragrances or anything that should negatively affect your skin. Plus, it’s highly rated and not at all expensive in this pack of six, always a win for any personal care products.
3. Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin
What do you get when you set out to make sustainably produced soap without fragrance, preservatives or anything that could irritate sensitive skin? You get the Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin.
It takes care of germs and goes on gently thanks to aloe, oils and shea butter. Multiple reviewers said it worked great for their dry and sensitive skin. Take that and add on our own experience with Tom’s and we’re confident Tom’s is one of the best soaps for sensitive skin.
4. Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
When there are thousands of reviews for a product that doesn’t really change, you can really learn something from reading some of them. And if you’re not reading the reviews, you should at least be comparing overall ratings to pick out gems. If you did that, you would find that the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar is one of the highest-rated soaps / body bars on Amazon, with 4.8/5 stars on over 5,600 reviews.
The Cetaphil bar is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (aka it doesn’t clog pores), safe for face and body and designed to clean your skin and leave the good oils in place. When you’re finished with this body bar, your skin will be a heck of a lot softer, cleaner and hydrated than it was before.
5. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
MADE BY DERMATOLOGISTS
Though many products are made and endorsed by dermatologists, we think no brand is as recommended by dermatologists as CeraVe. And that’s not just the internet talking; when we talk to dermatologists for our research, they often recommend CeraVe products.
That’s why we trust the derms and recommend the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar. It’s suitable for face, body and hands because it uses ceramides, an essential component of healthy skin, to maintain your skin’s natural moisture. So no matter where this bar goes on your body, sensitive skin or not, you’ll have clean and hydrated skin.
6. SheaMoisture Face and Body Bar Soap
BEST SHEA BUTTER BAR
For all the shea butter lovers out there, we recommend the SheaMoisture Face and Body Bar Soap.
The soap gets your skin nice and clean while the shea butter works to rehydrate dry skin. It does have a fairly subtle frankincense and myrrh fragrance, but it doesn’t last very long and we don’t think it’s liable to irritate your skin. But if your skin has been irritated by fragrances in the past, you might want to choose a different soap.
7. Yardley London Oatmeal and Almond Bath Bar
BEST OATMEAL BAR
If you’ve ever had chickenpox as a kid, then you know oatmeal is the perfect soother for irritated, itchy, dry skin.
The Yardley London Oatmeal and Almond Bath Bar delivers on that promise in spades. Oat grains exfoliate and smooth your skin while almond oil softens and rehydrates your skin, leaving your skin feeling softer, cleaner and smelling slightly of sweet almond.
8. One With Nature Dead Sea Spa Activated Charcoal Soap
BEST CHARCOAL BAR
Charcoal is well-known for its natural cleansing properties, which is why the One With Nature Dead Sea Spa Activated Charcoal Soap makes perfect sense.
The soap takes care of germs, the Dead Sea salt and activated charcoal work to exfoliate and purify your skin and the shea butter and argan oil help moisturize your skin. The soap is also triple-milled to last as long as possible, and who doesn’t want their soap bars to go the distance?
But, we’ve found that this charcoal soap is polarizing for users. Some reviewers extolled the benefits for their sensitive skin, while others said they couldn’t use it on their sensitive skin at all.
If you’re willing to give this soap a shot, you can at least do so knowing you’re backed up by a 100% money-back guarantee.
9. A La Maison Hypoallergenic Unscented Bar Soap
If you’re looking for a soap with as few ingredients as possible, check out the A La Maison Hypoallergenic Unscented Bar Soap. It’s got water, palm oil, coconut or olive oil, vegetable glycerin and tocopherol (vitamin E). That’s it. Nothing in there should specifically irritate sensitive skin, and everything there will help moisturize it. If that doesn’t make this one of the best soaps for sensitive skin, we’re not sure what would.
10. Native Men’s Unscented Bar Soap
Sometimes, finding the best soaps for sensitive skin or just the best anything can be a real task. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts to ingredients in often unique and unpredictable ways. So it really helps when a brand tells you not only what is in its product, but what each ingredient is actually doing.
That’s one reason we love the Native Men’s Unscented Bar Soap. Native tells you exactly what each ingredient in the soap is there for, which can help you figure out if anything could irritate your skin. In this case, we also happen to know that nothing Native includes irritated our skin. It’s fragrance free, cleans great and will leave you skin supple, not stripped.