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Best Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin of 2024

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

Soap is an important part of helping us stay clean. Soap bars are an environmentally-friendly option as they don’t produce any plastic waste.

Despite their advantages, a bar of soap might not be suitable for everyone, especially if the user has sensitive skin. Some soaps will be too harsh for even mildly sensitive skin, which is why many soaps are now formulated to be as gentle as possible.

To help you find the best bar soap for sensitive skin, we have reviewed some of the most popular products that are currently available. We chose these soaps based on how kind they are to sensitive skin and whether or not they have a strong smell.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Kiss My Face Moisturizing Bar Soap
Best Facial Soap Bar
Kiss My Face Moisturizing Bar Soap
  • 100% natural
  • No animal testing
  • Rejuvenates skin
Product Image of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar Soap
Best Moisturizing Bar Soap
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar Soap
  • Moisturizing
  • Fragrance-free
  • Recommended by dermatologists
Product Image of the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
Best for Dry Skin
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
  • Developed by medical professionals
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Soap-free
Product Image of the Wonderfully Natural African Black Soap
Best for Acne
Wonderfully Natural African Black Soap
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Repairs damaged skin
  • Ancient recipe
Product Image of the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy
Best for Pregnancy
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy
  • Contains Vitamin E
  • Reduces skin blemishes
  • Moisturizes
Product Image of the Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Soap
Best for Eczema
Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Soap
  • Maintains natural skin pH
  • Leaves no residue
  • Soap-free
Product Image of the Dove Moisturizing Bar Soap White
Best Body Bar Soap
Dove Moisturizing Bar Soap White
  • Fragrant
  • Creamy lather
  • Recommended by dermatologists
Product Image of the L’Occitane Vegetable-Based Soap
Best for Oily Skin
L’Occitane Vegetable-Based Soap
  • Contains shea butter
  • Made using traditional methods
  • Plant-based
Product Image of the Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
Best Antibacterial Bar Soap
Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
  • Gentle formula
  • Fights bacteria
  • Deodorizes
Product Image of the O’Naturals Moisturizing Body Wash
Best Organic Bar Soap
O’Naturals Moisturizing Body Wash
  • PETA-certified
  • Vegan
  • Natural ingredients


The Best Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin of 2024

Kiss My Face Moisturizing Bar Soap

Best Facial Soap Bar

For over three decades, Kiss My Face has been making natural, cruelty-free products such as this bar of facial soap. This soap contains 86% pure olive oil. The only other ingredients it contains are water and sea salt, so you won’t have to read a long list to ensure it doesn’t contain anything harmful.

It contains no SLS, phthalates, or artificial colors. As it is gluten-free and 100% biodegradable, this is one of the better bars out there for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • No animal testing
  • Rejuvenates skin

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell

Our Ratings

Ingredients
5 / 5
Moisturizing
4 / 5
Lather
3 / 5
Fragrance-free
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

User Experience

I started using this soap due to its simplicity - just olive oil, salt and water - and it's been wonderful for my sensitive skin. While the color is a bit off-putting, a greenish-brown, and it has a peculiar smell, the benefits far outweigh these minor issues. This soap leaves my skin feeling incredibly moisturized, soft, and clean without any oily residue. I've noticed a slight sting in my eyes due to the sea salt, but this is a minor inconvenience compared to the overall quality of the product. Although everything in the bathroom adopts a green hue over time, it's worth it for the gentle, moisturizing clean this soap provides.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar Soap

Best Moisturizing Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

CeraVe claims this hydrating cleanser bar will lock in moisture for three times longer than a standard bar, and hydrates without clogging pores. It is non-irritating, making it suitable for sensitive skin, and won’t encourage blackheads due to preventing clogging.

This soap has been developed by dermatologists and is fragrance-free. It is also recommended by the National Eczema Association, a major mark of confidence in its kindness to sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Moisturizing
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologically recommended

Cons

  • Unpleasant scent

Our Ratings

Ingredients
4 / 5
Moisturizing
5 / 5
Lather
4 / 5
Fragrance-free
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Personal Perspective

Love how this bar soap has revolutionized my skincare routine. As someone with extremely sensitive skin, I've found that it does not cause any irritation or discomfort, which is a rarity for me. I've been using this soap twice daily and it's been a breath of fresh air for my rosacea-affected skin. This soap is also fantastic for the rest of my body, leaving it feeling soft and moisturized, a stark contrast from the dryness I typically endure. While it may be a bit pricey, the product's longevity and effectiveness make it a valuable addition to my daily regimen.

Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

Best Bar Soap For Dry Skin

Cetaphil is known as one of the best soaps for dry skin. It is non-comedogenic and cleanses skin without drying it out. It even lathers well enough for you to use it while shaving.

This cleansing bar is also great for users with acne, eczema, or psoriasis, and is suitable for all ages. Cetaphil is soap-free and detergent-free and was developed with the assistance of doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Pros

  • Developed by medical professionals
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Soap-free

Cons

  • Strong scent

Our Ratings

Ingredients
4.5 / 5
Moisturizing
4.5 / 5
Lather
4 / 5
Fragrance-free
3 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

This soap has been a staple in my skincare routine for years, proving effective for both my sensitive skin and my daughter's. It offers a gentle yet thorough cleanse, even maintaining its integrity when left in the shower. The scent is pleasant without being overpowering, and it leaves the skin feeling moisturized but not oily. Despite being from a well-known, cost-effective company, this soap consistently delivers high quality results, making it an unexpected favorite.

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 such as acne. It also treats eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis, and heals skin blemishes. It is made using an ancient recipe that has been used in Africa for many generations.

It utilizes palm kernel oil for its antibacterial qualities and organic coconut oil to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and hydrate dry skin.

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Repairs damaged skin
  • Ancient African recipe

Cons

  • Contains palm oil
  • Issues with mold forming in the soap

Our Ratings

Ingredients
4 / 5
Moisturizing
4 / 5
Lather
4 / 5
Fragrance-free
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

First-Hand Impression

In my pursuit of a solution for several skin issues, I found this soap to be a surprising remedy. After frequent use during a month-long trip, I noticed a considerable improvement in dryness, hyperpigmentation, and even acne scars. Despite its unusual appearance and smell, this soap surpassed my expectations by not only hydrating my skin but also enhancing its overall tone. However, do take note that it may cause dryness, so don’t forget to moisturize after each use.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Cream Soap

Best Bar Soap For Pregnancy

Described as a daily skin treatment for your body, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter contains vitamin E, which will rejuvenate your skin, encouraging the healing of blemishes, scars, and stretch marks.

This soap produces a rich lather that invigorates the skin, cleansing it without leaving it dry or tight. Palmer’s takes all their cocoa ingredients from ethical sources and supports the communities that produce them.

Pros

  • Contains Vitamin E
  • Reduces skin blemishes
  • Moisturizes

Cons

  • Can dry out some skin types
  • Strong scent

Our Ratings

Ingredients
4 / 5
Moisturizing
4.5 / 5
Lather
4.5 / 5
Fragrance-free
3 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

User Experience

In my experience, this soap has been exceptional in its moisturizing properties, leaving my skin feeling as soft as a cloud and carrying a delicious scent reminiscent of cocoa powder. Remarkably, it is suitable for a wide range of skin types, from oily to dry and sensitive, and it has worked well for my entire family, even when our children were newborns. I've found that this soap, while deliciously scented and highly moisturizing, does require follow-up moisturizing post-shower, so don't expect to skip that step. I've noticed significant improvement in my skin's clarity and smoothness, even reducing the appearance of stretch marks and discoloration. Lastly, it's worth mentioning that this soap is gentle enough to be used on the face and has been effective in clearing up acne in both my son and daughter.

Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap

Best Bar Soap For Eczema

Eucerin is formulated to help maintain the skin’s natural pH of 5. This means it will be gentle on sensitive skin as it is neither too acidic nor alkaline, making it an excellent option if you suffer from eczema. It is fragrance-free, soap-free, and will maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier.

This soap is recommended by dermatologists and is easily rinsed off without leaving a residue.

Pros

  • Balances skin pH
  • Leaves no residue
  • Soap-free

Cons

  • Doesn’t lather

Our Ratings

Ingredients
4.5 / 5
Moisturizing
4.5 / 5
Lather
2.5 / 5
Fragrance-free
5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Personal Perspective

In my years of grappling with my daughter's eczema, this cleanser has proven to be the only one that doesn't exacerbate her condition. It's a gentle product that suits my needs too, as I deal with psoriasis. This soap, now conveniently available in a bar form, is a gem that I wish hadn't been discontinued. Beyond its essentials, the aroma and texture of this soap are pleasing to the senses. Despite the challenges this soap has faced in its market availability, its performance remains unmatched in our family's experience.

Dove Moisturizing Bar Soap White

Best Body Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

Dove is one of the world’s most respected soap manufacturers and is dedicated to making products that are suitable for everyone. Dove’s white beauty bar uses its classic formula that caters to all skin types, including very sensitive skin. According to Dove, this is the number one dermatologist-recommended soap bar in the United States.

This bar’s gentle, soothing texture comes from being a quarter moisturizing cream. Unlike some soaps for dry skin, Dove isn’t chemical-free. However, it lathers well, has a great smell, and will leave your skin feeling cleansed and refreshed.

Pros

  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Creamy lather
  • Dermatologically-recommended

Cons

  • Contains chemicals

Our Ratings

Ingredients
3 / 5
Moisturizing
4 / 5
Lather
4.5 / 5
Fragrance-free
3 / 5
Total Rating
3.5 / 5

Community Feedback

My transition from a pump bottle to this Dove Original bar soap was driven by environmental concerns, and I've been pleased with the result. The soap creates a sudsy lather quickly and rinses off cleanly, leaving my skin feeling hydrated. However, I was disappointed to find that the ingredient list did not mention the inclusion of titanium dioxide, which was a specific concern for me.

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 to give it a pleasant scent. The company takes inspiration from traditional soap-making recipes to create predominantly plant-based soaps that are gentle on your skin.

The soap’s moisturizing power comes from shea butter, known in Sub-Saharan Africa for its healing and nourishing qualities.

Pros

  • Contains shea butter
  • Made using traditional methods
  • Plant-based

Cons

  • Contains chemicals
  • Expensive

Our Ratings

Ingredients
4 / 5
Moisturizing
4.5 / 5
Lather
4 / 5
Fragrance-free
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

First-Hand Impression

Excellent, this soap definitely lives up to the hype, providing a moisturizing wash without a scent, which I personally prefer. The verbena scent that I initially purchased wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it had a pleasant citrusy aroma, akin to lemongrass. I found the soap to be large and long-lasting, which justifies its price, and though it isn't the most hydrating, it doesn't dry out my skin like many other soaps do.

Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap

Best Antibacterial Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

Dial has developed an antibacterial soap that deodorizes your skin without damaging it. This means it shouldn’t dry out your skin during or after use. Dial is not a natural product, as it contains similar chemical additives to some other brands such as Dove.

This soap contains aloe extract to care for sensitive skin, lathers well, and provides all-day odor protection.

Pros

  • Fights bacteria
  • Deodorizes

Cons

  • Leaves a residue
  • Can dry out some skin types

Our Ratings

Ingredients
2.5 / 5
Moisturizing
3 / 5
Lather
4 / 5
Fragrance-free
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
3.25 / 5

User Experience

Great antibacterial soap that effectively keeps my skin clean, with a mild, refreshing scent that doesn't overpower. This soap lathers up well, and although it can melt down a bit quickly due to frequent use, it doesn't get as gooey as other bar soaps. While it offers a clean, fresh feeling, it may not be as moisturizing as some might need, particularly during colder seasons. Nonetheless, this soap serves my needs perfectly, providing a reliable antibacterial option without drying my skin excessively.

O’Naturals Moisturizing Body Wash Bar Soap

Best Organic Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

As the company’s name suggests, O’Naturals soap is made from 100% natural, organic ingredients. It nourishes and hydrates skin, reduces inflammation and acne, and regenerates with natural antioxidants.

It is vegan-friendly, 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

Our Ratings

Ingredients
5 / 5
Moisturizing
4 / 5
Lather
4 / 5
Fragrance-free
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Personal Perspective

Best in terms of quality and effectiveness, these O Naturals Black Soap Bars have played a significant role in improving my acne-prone skin. The blend of shea butter and charcoal not only leaves my skin feeling clean and nourished, but also compliments my preference for organic and natural skincare products. However, I have noticed that these soap bars dissolve faster than I'd prefer, requiring me to replace them more often than expected.

Why Do Some Soaps Irritate Sensitive Skin?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), over 60% of women and 50% of men in the United States have reported some degree of sensitive skin (1). Sensitive skin is vulnerable to irritation from the ingredients in soaps, many of which can be quite harsh.

Sensitivity and how soap affects it are usually determined by pH. Human skin has a natural pH balance of 5.5, and the higher the pH, the more alkaline the soap. The lower the pH, the more acidic it is.

Keep In Mind

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

Soaps contain surfactants that are formulated to break down dirt and make it easier to wash away. These surfactants exfoliate our pores, leaving them vulnerable to attack by bacteria and allergens. This will also irritate some people with sensitive skin.

To avoid irritating your skin, we recommend steering clear of soaps with strong fragrances. Look for “fragrance-free” or “free from fragrance” on the label.

Don’t be fooled by natural ingredients such as lemon or citrus fruit extracts. While they will clean you effectively, citrus is acidic and will affect your skin’s pH balance.

How To Choose the Best Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin

Use Your Nose

If you aren’t sure whether or not a soap will irritate you, one of the most reliable ways to check is by simply using your nose. If a bar of soap has a strong fragrance, it will probably irritate your skin. If the soap is in packaging or you are buying online, read the product description and look for the terms “fragrance-free” or “no added fragrance”.

Check the Ingredients

Read the ingredients on the packaging or in the product description if buying online. Unfortunately, this won’t always be possible, as the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) does not require soap bars to list their specific ingredients, only to state that they are soaps (3).

Although it isn’t a legal requirement, most manufacturers are transparent about what is contained in their soaps. This is sensible from a business standpoint, as many shoppers are reluctant to buy products without knowing what they contain.

This is particularly important if a soap claims to have natural ingredients and not to cause irritation. The only way to prove this to customers is by being open with them about what a product contains.

Trust Your Retailer

Buy from trusted retailers. They should be familiar with the products they are selling and can advise you on which soaps are best for dry or sensitive skin. If you are buying from a physical store, take the time to discuss your individual requirements with a store employee.

FAQs

Why Do I Itch After Using a Bar Soap?

Some people find soap can be harsh on their skin, causing a red, itchy rash. Even more so for people who already have dry skin, as the harsh detergents in soap can strip away natural oils, leaving the skin vulnerable to irritation.

Also, some soaps contain irritants like fragrance or coloring agents that can aggravate the skin even more. So, choosing a mild soap for sensitive skin is very important. Also, consider using a moisturizing body wash to protect your skin from drying out.

Which Bar Soap Has the Least Chemicals?

When looking for the right bar soap for you, pay attention to the ingredients. Some bar soaps contain a high concentration of chemicals, which can be harsh on almost all skin types.

Several soaps are made with all-natural ingredients and are gentle on your skin. Dove is a great brand of soap that’s low in chemicals.

When choosing a bar soap, read the label carefully and pick an option that is right for your skin type.

Is Bar Soap or Body Wash Better for Sensitive Skin?

When it comes to cleansing sensitive skin, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people find that bar soap is gentler on their skin, while others prefer body wash. Ultimately, the best decision is the one that leaves your skin feeling clean and comfortable.

If you’ve got sensitive skin, you may want to avoid products that contain fragrances, dyes, or other harsh ingredients. You may also want to look for bar soaps or body washes labeled “hypoallergenic.”

It is also a good idea to avoid scrubbing your skin too vigorously when cleansing. Gently massage the soap into your skin using your fingertips before rinsing with cool water.

Taking these precautions can help ensure that your sensitive skin stays healthy and happy.

What Is the Mildest Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin?

Nothing can beat the Dove bar brand when it comes to mild soaps for sensitive skin. The original Dove recipe, the white beauty bar, is gentle enough for super delicate skin.

Dove also claims that its soap is the most recommended bar of soap by dermatologists in the United States.

The moisturizing cream makes up one-fourth of this Dove bar, giving it a rich, creamy texture. Dove isn’t chemical-free like some other soaps marketed for dry skin. However, it foams nicely, has a lovely scent, and effectively removes dirt and oil from the skin.


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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.