Best Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin of 2021

Updated
Treat your skin right with one of these bar soaps.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 60 to 70 percent of women and 50 to 60 percent of men in the U.S. have reported some degree of sensitive skin (1).

So, sensitive skin may be more common than you think. But what can we do about it?

The first thing you should do is choose soap bars that won’t aggravate your condition. And why bar soap? Because it has no plastic waste.

So, what is the best bar soap for sensitive skin?

Our Top Picks

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Model
Compare the Best
Features
Product Image of the Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Naked Bar Soap, 4 oz (Pack of 3)
Best Facial Soap Bar
Kiss My Face Moisturizing Bar Soap
  • 100 percent natural
  • No animal testing
  • Rejuvenates skin
Product Image of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar | Soap-Free Body and Facial Cleanser with 5% Cerave Moisturizing Cream | Fragrance-Free | 3-Pack, 4.5 Ounce Each
Best Moisturizing Bar Soap
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar Soap
  • Moisturizing
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologically recommended
Product Image of the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar 4.5 Oz (Pack of 6)
Best for Dry Skin
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
  • Developed by medical professionals
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Soap-free
Product Image of the #1 Organic African Black Soap | Acne Treatment & Dark Spot Remover | 60 day Satisfaction Guarantee | For Face & Body 1lb bar
Best for Acne
Wonderfully Natural African Black Soap
  • Works on all skin types
  • Repairs damaged skin
  • Ancient recipe
Product Image of the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Daily Skin Therapy Formula Cream Soap, 3.5 Ounces (Pack of 12)
Best for Pregnancy
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy
  • Contains Vitamin E
  • Reduces skin blemishes
  • Moisturizes
Product Image of the Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin - Fragrance and Soap Free Body Wash Bars - 3.5 oz, Pack of 3
Best for Eczema
Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Soap
  • Balances skin pH
  • Leaves no residue
  • Soap-free
Product Image of the Dove Beauty Bar, White, 3.17 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Best Body Bar Soap
Dove Moisturizing Bar Soap White
  • Fragrant
  • Creamy lather
  • Dermatologically recommended
Product Image of the L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap, Verbena, 8.8 oz
Best for Oily Skin
L’Occitane Vegetable-Based Soap
  • Contains shea butter
  • Made by traditional methods
  • Plant-based
Product Image of the Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap, White, 4 Ounce (Pack of 8) Bars
Best Antibacterial Bar Soap
Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
  • Gentle formula
  • Fights bacteria
  • Deodorizes
Product Image of the O Naturals 6 Piece Moisturizing Body Wash Bar Soap Collection. Hand Soap, Acne Soap 100% Natural Organic Ingredients & Therapeutic Essential Oils. Vegan Gift Set Triple Milled Women & Men 4oz Each
Best Organic Bar Soap
O’Naturals Moisturizing Body Wash
  • Ethically produced
  • Vegan
  • Natural ingredients

Why Do Some Soaps Irritate Sensitive Skin?

It often comes down to the PH. Your skin has a natural PH balance or 5.5, and the higher the PH, the more alkaline the soap. The lower, the more acid.

The PH level of the soap you use can adversely affect your skin.

Keep in Mind

The National Eczema Association lists hand and face soaps as one of the leading causes of dry and itchy skin (2).

And it’s no wonder when you realize they contain surfactants that are designed to break down dirt and make it easier to wash away.

These surfactants leave our pores exfoliated, making them open to attack from bacteria and allergens. They also irritate some people with sensitive skin.

Also, if you want to avoid irritated skin, our top tip is to steer clear of soaps with fragrance. Look for “fragrance-free” or “free from fragrance” on the label.

And don’t be fooled by natural ingredients like lemon or citrus fruit extracts. While they’re an excellent way of cleansing, citrus is an acid and destabilizes your skin’s natural PH balance.

How To Choose the Best Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin

Use Your Nose

The first thing to do is to use your nose. If the soap bar has a strong fragrance, it will probably irritate your skin. Check the packet for the warnings.

Remember to look for “fragrance-free” or “no added fragrance.”

Check the Ingredients (When Possible)

Read the ingredients on the packaging. Under the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) rules, soap bars need not list their ingredients other than to state it is soap (3).

But consumerism has some power because if the manufacturers want their products to sell, they have to tell us what’s in them. Bar soap is no different.

Also, why wouldn’t they push their natural and irritant-free ingredients? They need customers, right?

Trust Your Retailer

Buy from trusted retailers. They will know their products better and be able to advise you on which is better soap for dry, sensitive skin. They need the repeat custom.


The Best Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin of 2021

1. Kiss My Face Moisturizing Bar Soap

Best Facial Soap Bar

For 35 years, Kiss My Face has been making vegan, natural, cruelty-free products like this facial bar of soap. This ethically produced soap contains 86% pure olive oil. The only other ingredients it contains are water and sea salt.

It has no SLS, phthalates, or artificial colors. And it’s gluten-free and 100 percent biodegradable, so it is a great sensitive skin bar.

PROS:
  • 100 percent natural.
  • No animal testing.
  • Rejuvenates skin.
CONS:
  • Unpleasant smell.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar Soap

Best Moisturizing Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

This CeraVe hydrating bar claims to lock in moisture for three times longer, and it hydrates without clogging pores. It is non-irritating, which is great for sensitive skin, and doesn’t encourage blackheads.

It has been developed with dermatologists, is fragrance-free, and recommended by the National Eczema Association.

PROS:
  • Moisturizing.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Dermatologically recommended.
CONS:
  • Unpleasant scent.

3. Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

Best Bar Soap For Dry Skin

Cetaphil is known for being one of the best soaps for dry skin. It is non-comedogenic and cleanses skin without drying. It even lathers well enough for you to shave.

This cleansing bar is also great for acne, eczema, psoriasis, and is suitable for all ages.

Cetaphil is soap and detergent-free and was developed with the aid of doctors and healthcare professionals.

PROS:
  • Developed by medical professionals.
  • Suitable for all ages.
  • Soap-free.
CONS:
  • Strong scent.

4. Wonderfully Natural African Black Soap

Best Bar Soap For Acne

This African Black Soap is made from unrefined shea butter and is effective on skin conditions like acne. It also treats eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and heals skin blemishes. It is an ancient recipe, used across Africa for generations.

It utilizes palm kernel oil for its antibacterial qualities and organic coconut oil to reduce wrinkles and improve dry skin.

PROS:
  • Works on all skin types.
  • Repairs damaged skin.
  • Ancient recipe.
CONS:
  • Contains palm oil.
  • Issues with mold in the soap.

5. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Cream Soap

Best Bar Soap For Pregnancy

Billed as a vitamin E daily skin treatment for your body, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter contains vitamin E, which replenishes your skin, helping to heal blemishes, scars, and stretch marks.

This soap produces a rich lather that invigorates your skin, leaving you feeling cleansed without a dry or tight feeling.

Palmer’s ethically sources all their cocoa ingredients and supports communities that produce it.

PROS:
  • Contains Vitamin E.
  • Reduces skin blemishes.
  • Moisturizes.
CONS:
  • Can dry some skin types.
  • Strong scent.

6. Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap

Best Bar Soap For Eczema

Eucerin is balanced to help maintain the skin’s PH of 5. It means it caters to sensitive skin without being too acidic or alkaline and is excellent if you suffer from eczema. It is fragrance-free, soap- and dye-free, and preserves the skin’s protective barrier.

This dermatologically-recommended soap also rinses clean without leaving a residue.

PROS:
  • Balances skin PH.
  • Leaves no residue.
  • Soap-free.
CONS:
  • Doesn’t lather.

7. Dove Moisturizing Bar Soap White

Best Body Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

Dove is a top soap manufacturer and widely used across the planet. Dove white beauty bar is their classic formula that caters to all sensitive skin types. And according to Dove, it is the number one dermatologist recommended soap bar in the U.S.

What gives this Dove bar its creaminess is the one-fourth moisturizing cream.

Unlike some soap for dry skin, Dove isn’t chemical-free. But it lathers well, smells divine, and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and cleansed healthily.

PROS:
  • Fragrant.
  • Creamy lather.
  • Dermatologically recommended.
CONS:
  • Contains chemicals.

8. L’Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable-Based Soap

Best Bar Soap For Oily Skin

L’Occitane uses vegetable oil as the base for this soap. It also contains lavender for added scent. The company is inspired by traditional soap-making recipes, and produces a soap that is gentle on your skin, and predominantly plant-based in ingredients.

The moisturizing content comes courtesy of shea butter, famed in Sub-Saharan Africa for its healing and nourishing qualities.

PROS:
  • Contains shea butter.
  • Made by traditional methods.
  • Plant-based.
CONS:
  • Contains chemicals.
  • Products in China are tested on animals.
  • Expensive.

9. Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap

Best Antibacterial Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

Dial has developed an antibacterial soap that deodorizes your skin and yet is gentle. It rinses clean without drying your skin. Dial is by no means a natural product, and it contains as many chemical additives as Dove.

It also contains aloe extract for sensitive skin, lathers well, and gives you all-day odor protection.

PROS:
  • Fights bacteria.
  • Deodorizes.
CONS:
  • Leaves a residue.
  • Can dry skin.

10. O’Naturals Moisturizing Body Wash Bar Soap

Best Organic Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

Unsurprisingly, O’Naturals is made from 100 percent natural and organic ingredients. It nourishes skin, hydrates, reduces inflammation and acne, regenerates with natural antioxidants, and moisturizes.

It’s vegan, fragrance-free, triple milled, and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) certified.

PROS:
  • Ethically produced.
  • Vegan.
  • Natural ingredients.
CONS:
  • Unpleasant smell.
  • Contains palm oil.

Time to Come Clean

Many types of soap cater to almost every skin condition there is. So, it’s a minefield trying to decide which of the best bar soaps for sensitive skin work well for you.

We think it falls into two categories — natural ingredients and chemicals. Neither is better than the other and which you prefer is personal to you. Our advice is to try a couple, making sure you spot test before you do.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.
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