Eight of the best natural soap bars
We're all washing our hands a lot more these days. But did you know that good old-fashioned soap bars are just as effective at killing coronavirus as antibacterial handwashes?
And washing your hands with soap and water actually works better to prevent the spread of the virus than using hand sanitiser.
Using a bar of soap is better for the environment too, as they typically need a lot less packaging and last much longer than a bottle of liquid soap. There are lots of eco-friendly options available that contain only natural ingredients, and many are plastic-free.
Using natural ingredients, instead of harsh chemicals, can help prevent skin becoming dry – with all the frequent washing, dry and chapped hands have become a problem for many.
Alter/native By Suma Ayurvedic Soap Bar £2.95
Ayurvedic medicine is thousands of years old, and aims to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit. This vegan soap is made with essential oils to promote the sense of tranquillity – the scent of lime and sandalwood subtly lingers on the skin after using. It creates masses of foamy bubbles, and the coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter are deeply moisturising. Comes in cardboard packaging, with no plastic, and is free from palm oil, parabens, SLS and SLES.
And if you finding washing your hands so frequently a bit of a chore, using a good quality natural soap bar may help. Choosing a soap with a gorgeous scent can turn your 20-second handwash into a more pleasurable experience. By combining hand washing with a few moments of mindfulness, you could even reduce your stress levels.
Finally, many natural soap bars are made by small businesses. British businesses have taken a real battering in the last few months and supporting them is one way we can help to get the economy back on track.
Here are eight natural, eco-friendly soaps that we've tried and tested to help you make the switch from bottles to bars.
Cosy Cottage Soap Uplifting Geranium Soap £3.50
Even before we unwrapped this soap, the uplifting scent of geranium wafted around the office – the smell is gorgeous, and a real mood-booster. Cosy Cottage soaps are palm oil free, plastic free, and cruelty free. They're handmade in small batches in Yorkshire, using natural ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible. All packaging is compostable or recyclable – and the soaps are very attractively presented. A good choice for people with dry skin or eczema.
Seatree Sweet Orange Soap £5.00
Refreshing citrus scents are ideal for summer – and Seatree offers a selection, including this wonderful sweet orange soap. Sweet orange essential oil can combat insomnia – and it's also naturally antibacterial. There are eight lovely fragrances to choose from, including luxurious lemongrass and warming bergamot – all are free from palm oil, parabens and artificial additives. Seatree soaps contain glycerine, which leaves skin soft and nourished. Ideal for gifting as the packaging is exquisite, with a silver embossed tree motif on a colourful cardboard carton – all packaging is biodegradable.
The Aleppo Soap Company 25% Laurel Aleppo Soap £9.40
A large, long-lasting 200g bar that produces a creamy, silky lather with very little water. Made with olive and laurel, this bar is naturally antiseptic and gently cleansing, leaving skin soothed and nourished. It smells pleasant, but doesn't have a strong scent so is excellent for those with sensitive skins or sensory processing problems. Aleppo soap can also be used as shampoo or shaving cream – and it can even be used to wash pets and delicate fabrics.
The Kentish Soap Co Blissful Soap £4.80
Washing hands with this soap releases an aroma that is indeed blissful – a soothing combination of sweet orange and geranium. It lathers up well, creating lots of soft and silky bubbles, and leaves hands smelling lovely. The Kentish Soap Co is an award-winning family business based in Kent, UK. Soaps are handmade in small batches using a traditional 'cold process' method with natural oils, butters and fragrances – and no palm oil. Their wonderful range includes lovely lavender, as well as an unscented 'Naked' bar that's ideal for sensitive skin – and all soaps are vegan-friendly and come in plastic-free packaging.
Beauty Kitchen Organic Vegan Bar Soap £5
Cruelty-free and with absolutely no plastic, inside and out, Beauty Kitchen soap bars are a good ethical and sustainable choice. They're made with natural vegetable oils for a cleansing lather that won't dry out skin. Beauty kitchen soaps are available in three different fragrances, as well as a fragrance-free option. We love the Minty Fresh fragrance – with peppermint, spearmint and sweet orange, its revitalising scent is a real pick-me-up.
All Natural Soap Co Double Ginger-Lime Soap £6.25
This big, all-natural soap bar produces a rich lather, with a warming and invigorating fragrance. The addition of lime essential oil helps to lift mood, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and improve concentration. There are lots of lovely varieties to choose from in this range, from botanical scents to spicy citrus scents. All Natural Soap Co is a multi-award-winning UK soap producer, making bars in small batches using a unique energy-efficient variation of the traditional 'cold process' technique.
Products are totally biodegradable, and minimally packaged. They're also cruelty free and free from SLS, parabens and palm oil.
Faith in Nature Lavender Soap £2.29
A great-looking vegan bar of soap that holds its shape well without dissolving. This one has the lovely scent of lavender, which is relaxing and calming – or you can choose from many other fragrances including coconut, grapefruit or rosemary. Faith in Nature products are made using high-quality, naturally derived, cruelty-free ingredients, with 100 percent natural fragrance – and no parabens or SLS. The packaging is made of fully recycled and recyclable card.