Good, inexpensive bar soap?

Discussion in 'Skin, Body & Hair Care' started by kehern, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. I have been reading up a bit (on this forum of course!) about the different types of soaps, namely detergent vs. "real" soaps. I generally just use Irish Spring bar soap, as it is available everywhere, is fairly cheap, and the sent is pleasant but not too long lasting. Now that I take better care of my face (thanks Proraso...and soon I'll be giving thanks to MWF hopefully!) I would also like to take better care of my skin in general. I do have some light acne, a majority of my acne went away due to wetshaving actually, I only get a few pimples, but I still have some small blackheads or small pimples. (Not really noticeable, I only really see it when staring at myself in the mirror) I realize that my skin is actually fairly dry, and will probably just get dryer in the winter. Can anyone recommend a good actual "soap" (not detergent based) that is available at ones local Target, Walmart, etc? How can I differentiate between detergent based soaps and actual soaps? Are there certain ingredients that one can look out for? Thanks!
  2. Is Whole Foods Market ok for you?

    They have a great selection of organic products. Basically you should avoid soaps with SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate), and get soaps with organic oils instead of fragranced or parfumed soaps.
    If you have dry skin you should look at soaps containing shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) which is a natural and very good skin moisturizer.

    I don't know if Whole Foods Market carries the One With Nature brand, but these are big soaps (7 oz) and fairly cheap (less than $4).

    Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps a little bit smaller (5 oz) and usually with a price tag lower than $4, and these are pure and organic soaps.
  3. No, the nearest one is about an hour and a half drive away. :001_huh:

    There is a nearby organic food/asian/indian mart, called Sahara Mart, I have to go and take a closer look at the stuff there. (They do have some shaving cream, mainly the brushless kind, and some KMF)

    So if I avoid buying soaps with those ingredients listed, can I go wrong? That is why I asked for what to look for in detergent soaps, I figured that if there isn't a well known place to get them locally, I'll venture off on my own and find other soaps to try out. Can one go too terribly wrong buying actual soap, or are a majority of them pretty good?
  4. A few months ago, I started using Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap for my hair and skin and have been extremely happy with the results. I buy it at Whole Foods but it is usually available at other stores.

    Most of your grocery store soaps will be "real" soap, as in, one of the first ingredients is sodium tallowate.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  5. Get some Yarleys and have a good Bath!:thumbup1:
  6. Dial Basics @ Dollar Tree 3 for $1
    Palmolive @ Target 3 for $1
    Dr. Bronner's @ Vitamin Shoppe and at my local Target.
    KMF @ Meijer, Kroger, and Vitamin Shoppe
  7. Palmolive or Costco soap.:001_tt2:
  8. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    +1 Yardley bath soap smells fantastic it performs great and can be had for a song.
  9. Pardon my pharmacy background, but I am not sure I understand what you mean between detergent, and soap. Basically, all soaps used for cleaning are detergents. A soap simply allows water to dissolve a hydrophobic substance, usually skin oils in this case. A detergent can include numerous ingredients including soap, ammonia, enzymes to dissolve protein, acids, bleach, etc. People's taste in soaps for face cleaning vary as much as they do for shaving soaps and creams. In my experience, Irish Spring is too drying, and aggravates my acne. That is true with most of the soft soaps I use in the shower as well. For me, Dove bar soap has always worked well. Is it a detergent? Technically it is. But detergent simply means a product used for cleaning. Anyway, long story short, the more moisturizing a product is, the less likely it is to promote acne for my face. As always, YMMV

  10. I just use Dove White Bath soap or their Cucumber version...the ultimate boring benign soap but gets job done
  11. Sorry, let me clarify. From what I understand (which isn't terribly much, as I'm still a bit confused...) there are two primary types of soaps on the market. One has the base Surfactant of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, these are considered "synthetic" soaps. The other main ingredient is Sodium Tallowate, this is the traditional base of soaps. Yes, I am aware that these are both considered "detergents," I was just using the laymans term of classifying SLS soaps as detergents, and Sodium Tallowate based ones are "real" soaps. Of course, anything can be a detergent including water! :biggrin1:

    On another note, I just took a look at the Irish Spring soap, and the first ingredient is in fact Sodium Tallowate, interestingly enough. Hm, maybe I am just overthinking this whole things. :confused1 Oh well, I still need some other soap that is more moisturizing, I'll just have to go and try a few. All of this is just YMMV of course, as I'm finding out more and more everyday...
  12. Sorry, still can't understand what the big deal is about detergents versus soap. All soaps have a hydrophilic end, and a hydrophobic end. What the hydrophobic end is made of, doesn't make it a soap, or not. The fatty portion can from petroleum, plants, or my beloved tallow. (Let us bow our heads, and thank our higher power for Tabac.) I do not believe I have ever seen a product labelled "face detergent" Don't believe it would sell well. Conjures up notions of a facial soap made by Tide, or Cheer. Many of the ingredients in a bar or gel type facial cleanser, have nothing to do with cleaning. There are stabilizers, binders, preservatives and the like. Some of these ingredients will irritate some people. My point to the OP had more to do with the properties of the soap in general. If the soap has moisturizers built in, it is usually less likely to promote acne.

  13. Kirk's is a good all around soap, but may not have enough moisture for you. If your local health food store has the KMF shave cream they may have the soap- kinda pricey since it goes so fast but very very good.
  14. dial gold is ok enough for me. yardley oatmeal and almond is good too.
  15. "Soap" is really a chemical concept. Soaps are saponified fats. They don't have to be tallow. They can be coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, etc., etc.; but soap is made by reacting oils with lye.

    Anything that is not a saponified oil is not really "soap" per se. Obviously, most bar soaps contain a mixture of saponified oils and also other ingredients such as fragrances, coloring agents, and so forth. But there are other products that are called "soaps" that have little to no actual soap in them; look through the ingredients list of SoftSoap, for example.
  16. What he said. Thanks for being able to say what I was thinking better...much better. :thumbup:
  17. picked these up over the weekend...
  18. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    Good, reasonably priced soaps? Dr. Bronner's is great. There is always some variation of bars and bottles of Bronner's in use at my house. Rose, lavender, eucalyptus are all nice.

    Mysore Sandal is also a fantastic, reasonably priced soap. If you haven't tried it and you like sandalwood, go straight to your nearest Asian grocery store and buy a couple of bars. I promise you, you will not regret it.
  19. wait, are you talking about washing your body or your face? body soap shouldn't go on your face. Were you washing your face with Irish Spring? I only asked because you mentioned your acne. My skin sounds a lot like yours-- dry on my body to very dry in the winter and I have occasional acne. I can't reccomend from personal use, but the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar gets good reviews and is SLS free. I use girly stuff that costs a lot more but that's probably not what you're looking for.

    As far as a traditonal soap made from saponified oils, I use handmade and I get them from If you want to buy something locally I can't help you there. My skin gets so itchy during the winter I scratch myself in my sleep until I break skin. . . so I have to stick with the good natural stuff. If I had to I'd try KMF Olive Oil soap.

    Also, you should be moisturizing after you wash your face or your body. Soap takes off dirt and oil. You need some of those oils to keep your skin protected and hydrated. You might be breaking out because your skin gets stripped of the oils and it over produces sebum to compensate, especially if the rest of the skin on your body is dry. I'd go for the Cetaphil again based on reputation and availability. For your body the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion should be easy to get and is a great basic lotion in a man friendly khaki and green package.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  20. I don't use normal bar soap on my face, I just use the Neutrogena Acne Facial Wash. I had used bar soap a few times on my face, out of curiosity, but it ended up just being very very dry, uncomfortably so. My skin does get entirely too dry in the winter. Normally, I just ignore it, but if I can help prevent it, especially with something as simple as changing my soap, then why not! I'm comfortable enough in my manliness to use girly stuff. :laugh:

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