Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about lots of bath-time necessities before — including expert-recommended bodywash, status hand soap, and bath towels — here, we’ve rounded up the best bar soaps as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated bar soap
More than 1,600 reviewers give this pack of bar soap five stars, and nearly 15 percent of reviewers love how moisturizing it is. “I’m rarely brand loyal, but I refuse to use any soap but Dove,” one writes. “The others all dry out my skin, and I just love the way Dove feels.” Another who says “it moisturizes your body and leaves it feeling so soft and smooth” even thinks “lotion is not even needed when using this soap.” Nearly a third note the scent as a selling point too. “The soap has a nice cucumber smell to it that’s relaxing and soothing,” one user writes. “I actually store the soap in our sock drawer because the smell is so nice that before we use it as soap it gets another purpose as a little sock-drawer freshener too.” And despite it having a fragrance, more than a dozen reviewers say it’s gentle enough for their sensitive skin. As one user concludes, “I highly recommended this soap for washing face, body, private parts, and also for scenting closed spaces like closets and cupboards.”
Best-rated (less expensive) bar soap
“Now I stink o’ the Emerald Isle,” writes one customer, one of over 100 reviewers who love the smell of this bar soap. “Irish Spring makes great lather for washing, rinses clean away, and leaves me smelling fresh,” another writes. “It’s distinct in as much as I have girls tell me that they love Irish Spring without me telling them that I use it.” Another customer calls it an “excellent deodorant soap,” because of that strong smell. And while the primary use for this soap is bathing, one reviewer points out there are “many uses for Irish Spring soap,” especially given the low price point. One reviewer uses it to clean their makeup brushes, and they report, “it cleanses my brushes much better than the soap bar from Beauty Blender.” Another “put these in my closets, my shoe racks, the laundry closet” to keep their dry clothes smelling fresh. There’s at least six reviewers who also say that the smell of a bar of this soap “keeps the mice out of the garage.”
Best bar soap for acne
About one-fifth of five-star reviewers of this Shea Moisture bar soap say it’s a must-have for those with acne. “Any breakouts, acne, bumps on back of arms, winter skin. Seriously I’m telling you this clears it up and this is coming from someone with horrible skin,” one reports. Another user says, “I was looking for the acne help bar because I get little breakouts on my back and sometimes even shoulders, chest, this has really been working beautifully.” One reviewer says it helped clear up acne on their face, too: “I was suffering from mild-moderate acne on my back, as well as moderate-severe acne on my face and this cleared it all right up within a few weeks of use.” But thanks to the shea butter, it’s still described by many as a moisturizing soap. “It feels tight after I wash it but not to the point of dryness,” says one reviewer.
Best bar soap for sensitive skin
“You know that crappy feeling you get when you put soap on? Yeah, not with this,” writes one reviewer. And bathers with sensitive skin are impressed by how not “crappy feeling” this soap is. “Great soap for someone who is allergic to the world,” one writes. Another says, “I have mild eczema and this soap is perfect for the shower, it is gentle enough that it doesn’t irritate my skin yet strong enough for me to feel a deep clean.” The soap is unscented, which is another selling point for reviewers with sensitive skin. One user even says, “This is one of the best, gentlest, least irritating, and most unscented soaps I’ve found.” And even though this soap is free from lots of things, it’s still moisturizing. As one reviewer puts it, it “moisturizes my skin a little without lubing me up too bad.”
Best bar soap for dry skin
Yes, this soap is the most expensive, per bar, on the list, but reviewers swear it’s worth it. One reviewer who bought it before the price went down says, “At $14 a bar, this is soap for the one percent class,” but agrees, “This soap as good as the reviews say it is.” Dozens love it because it leaves their skin moisturized. “It cleans great without drying or irritating my skin,” one writes. Another says, “This is the first winter in memory that I have not had dry, cracked hands,” calling it, “a luxury that is worth the price.” And while another user says they had sticker shock, it has lasted them a while: “A bar of this high-quality soap lasts more than six months.” And lots of other reviewers find various ways to justify this purchase, whether it’s the fact that it’s long-lasting, hydrating, or simply just cheaper than an international flight. “When showering with this soap, I pretend I’m in a really expensive hotel on the French Riviera.”
Best (less expensive) bar soap for dry skin
About a quarter of five-star reviewers love this CeraVe bar soap for their dry skin. “This soap is the only soap I’ve ever used that actually helped to keep my eczema-like skin condition under control without the sting of castilian or tea-tree oil,” one writes. Another with Sjogren’s syndrome, which makes their skin very dry, says this soap is “like bathing with moisturizer.” One user even says, “It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and clean without that squeaky yucky feeling that comes with soaps stripping your natural oils and leaving soap residue.” Reviewers also say you can use it on your face and body, but the best part, according to one, is they “have not experienced new breakouts on my body for the first time in years.”