Is The Once-Uncool Bar Soap Making A Comeback?

Posted by Jimmy Gould on


Has anyone noticed how all the IT brands are suddenly doing what no one thought would ever happen: making soap? A host of indie, Ayurvedic, organic, herbal, natural bath and body care brands are turning to the trusty old bar instead of making shower gels, which we came to consider fancier. 

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian are getting rubdowns with Korean soaps, and hipster brands like Lush and Patisserie De Bain are transforming their boring old image. Now, soaps don’t just include the Lifebuoys and Cinthols everyone from your dad to your little brother used. Not only is the formula better, but it’s eco-friendlier, leading to the bar soap’s comeback. 

Once dismissed for being harsh, they’re now full of moisturizing oils and butters

The biggest gripe most people had with bar soaps, which also led to their downfall in terms of popularity among the cool kids, was that they were too harsh and drying. This continues to be true for a lot of bar soaps that are mass-manufactured. These have high pH levels which leave the skin imbalanced and strip it off natural oils, in addition to damaging the skin barrier.

This is changing now, as organic, handmade, and artisanal soaps have entered the market, and are known for their nourishing action. Made in bases of shea butter, coconut oil, kokum butter, cocoa butter, and other solidified lipids of the sort, these soaps leave skin feeling soft and smooth, not parched. 

Less water is needed for manufacturing bar soap than for shower gels

It doesn’t take a genius to know that shower gels, which are liquids, contain heaps more water than bar soaps, which are solids. If you’re using the same amount of water to wash yourself with both these products, why opt for the one which requires more of an essential resource like water in production?

The packaging is more sustainable

You can package bar soaps in cardboard boxes or paper packages, as brands like Kama and Nykaa have been doing with their soaps. In fact, there are brands like Lush which sell soap without any outer packaging to make it even less wasteful. You simply cannot do this with shower gels, as they’d leak. Heaps of plastic bottles and caps are made to package these products, which leads to a lot of environmental damage. If that wasn’t bad enough, the cost of transporting these bulky gels surpasses that of doing the same with bar soaps, which don’t spill or weigh a ton either. 

Let’s face it, bar soaps are just easier to use

The simple truth is that soaps are perfect for the lazy person. You step in the shower, rub it all over, wash it off, and go about your day. Using a shower gel is more of a process. You pour, grab a loofah, massage it on, rinse it off, wash your loofah and then go about your day. It’s a whole task. If you think about which one you’d grab when you’re in a rush, you’ll realize that soaps are just more convenient. Is it any wonder that “cool” indie brands like Milk Makeup or Korean beauty companies like Neogen have shot to fame because of their stick cleansers? 

Bar soaps last longer, which means they’re cost effective 

Even if you don’t care about the environment, which, at this point is suicidal for any human being, the cost factor makes a case for bar soaps. You end up using lesser quantity, making it last longer, and thus requires you to spend less on it. Add to this the fact that a bar of soap is cheaper than a shower gel from the same brand, and you’ve saved yourself a lot of money.

Of course, keep in mind that when you use less, the demand decreases, thereby decreasing the production, leading to us saving a lot of the planet’s energy and resources