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Updated 29/8/2023

Eight of the best natural soap bars

This article contains PR samples and *affiliate links

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*   £3.25

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.

Washing hands under a tap

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.

Alternative soap

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.

Cosy Cottage Soap

Friendly Orange & Grapefruit Soap*   £2.40

Refreshing citrus scents are uplifting – and ideal for summer. This Friendly Orange & Grapefruit Soap is packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants. Each all-natural bar is handmade with coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, orange and grapefruit essential oils, and water. The soap leaves skin soft and nourished. Friendly Soap produces a wide range of lovely fragrances, including lavender, cocoa butter, rose geranium, and cinnamon. There are also shampoo bars, shaving bars and an excellent all-purpose travel bar to choose from.

Dragon's Egg Soaps Spearmint Surf Soap   £5.50

An all-natural, luxurious bar with a high content of shea and cocoa butters to produce a creamy lather that leaves skin soft. The beautiful design is inspired by the famous Hokusai painting, The Great Wave off Kanagawa – and is complemented by gorgeous tissue-paper wrapping featuring the painting. Made with eucalyptus and spearmint essential oils for a clean, fresh scent. Dragon's Egg Soaps are handmade in Scotland and are vegan, ethical, and eco-friendly.

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.

The Kentish Soap Co soap

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.

Beauty Kitchen soap
All Natural Soap Co soap
Faith in Nature soap

Faith in Nature Lavender Soap*   £2.99

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.

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Dragons Egg Spearmint Surf soap

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