Where has your bar soap been? Chances are you’ve been swapping bacteria from head to head to toe even if no one else has had the pleasure of using your bathroom. There’s a hilarious scene in Friends that even once poked fun at this. “We can’t use the same toothbrushes but we can use the same soap?” Joey asks, puzzled, to Chandler. “Because soap is soap, it’s self-cleaning,” Chandler replies. “Next time you take a shower think about the last thing I washed and the first thing you washed,” Joey says, raising an eyebrow, Chandler proceeding to walk away.
But what if we could look at bar soaps differently? Surely, the bar soap worked for generations upon generations of men. One was my own dad. For as long I could remember, he always used a specific brand ambiguous pink bar soap on his face and body. I followed suit later, though dabbled onto the liquid form in my later years.
There’s still something about a bar of soap that makes me feel nostalgic and even cleaner than body washes. And there’s a lot of redeeming qualities that come from the bar soap. For one, it’s a lot cheaper. It also lasts much longer and is more environmentally friendly thanks to there being less plastic waste that ends up in landfills. Other than being lighter on my pocket and looking out for Mother Nature, it’s also effective as a body cleanser that’s a lot gentler than body soap. It’s become my go-to in the fall to winter months, where it doesn’t strip my skin like many body washes and its chemicals do. Below, are some of our favorite bar soaps for winter.
There’s a fresh, citrus soap from Baxter of California Vitamin Cleansing Bar, Italian Lime and Pomegranate, 7oz($18). It has nourishing Vitamin A and E that does a good job of supplying your skin with the right nutrients it needs from work to home. It also looks like a work of art. Just look at that rectangle that as a strip of bright green. It just screams USE ME NOW. The green strip in question is packed with hydrating glycerin that’s gentle enough for your mean mug. Other things of note: it includes cucumber, pomegranate and “sweet musk notes,” aka it smells like a man. A clean and handsome one. Definitely luxurious and I’d say worth that $18.
A classic soap from Dove Men+Care Body and Face Bar, Extra Fresh 4 oz, 10 Bar($8) gives the skin a deeper clean. It’s not only a body wash but a face wash as well (for those who love themselves a 2-in-1 deal). We wouldn’t recommend that seeing that your bacteria down there can then get into your facial pores. This study actually found 96% of bar soaps being “culture positive,” ew. I loved how the scent was pretty masculine, but more so, how it helps in fighting against dry skin. If you’re like me and have fall and winter skin trouble, this will be one bar of soap you want to take everywhere. It helps to clean that skin without drying you out.
If you want to slay all day, try Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap 3.2 Oz($15). Firstly, the citrus, which helps wake up skin and refresh pores, is an invigorating fragrance that’s refreshing and but overpowering. You come out of the shower feeling energized and dare we say, alive, ready to win. The ingredients bran and oatmeal in the soap are there to remove dead skin, which we can totally get behind seeing that we tend to get ashy in winter. Despite its ability to exfoliate skin, we found that it does not contain harsh ingredients that will over dry skin.
Finally, TIMBERRRRR! (I hope someone got that reference). Old Spice Timber Bar Soap (6 Pack)($4) is a bigger size than most bars, clocking at 5 ounces. Talk about being a heavyweight. The smell of natural timber and leafy mint does a good job of leaving the body wood meadow fresh, which makes it easier to wear a more neutral deodorant. With the soap not drying out your skin it leaves it feeling fresh all day. I felt like I could leap from day to night without feeling itchy.