If you're anything like [checks notes] pretty much every dude I've ever met in my life, there's a good chance that there was some point in your formative years when you decided that you had crossed the rubicon into adulthood and were now a Body Wash Guy. In all likelihood, it happened in your teens, because we're all a little gross and very terrified and deeply susceptible to the kind of marketing that says shit like, "Bar soap is fine for babies and kids and whatever, but body wash is sexy." Sure.
Quick point of order: Body wash is still great. Enjoy it liberally! But it ain't the only game in town. And if you've internalized the idea that bar soap is going to dry out your skin, or leave behind residue, or generally wreck your life in some unforeseen manner, know this: You've been sold a bill of goods. The best modern bar soap does all the things you want it to do—whether that's hydrating or exfoliating or just smelling really great—but it happens to come in a bar instead of a bottle. It also tends to last longer, which is good news for anyone who's economically minded, looking to cut down on single-use plastic, or simply motivated by convenience.
Sold on the prospect yet? I should hope so. But if not, just give any one of the options on this list a try and you'll be a bar soap convert in short order. So fresh, so clean, et cetera. Happy scrubbing.
'Stone' Bar Soap
Harry's has a few different iterations of its in-house bar soap, but the fresh mineral scent of the "Stone" fragrance might just be the best.
'Deep Clean' Bar Soap (6-Pack)
If you're looking for a lot of bang for your buck, you really can't do better than Dove's moisturizer-packed face and body bars.
Blue Charcoal Oars Bar Soap
Oars + Alpsoarsandalps.com$9.95
Oars + Alps is a relative newcomer to the grooming space, but the brand's product is so well-executed you'd be forgiven for assuming it's been around for a minute.
Grooming Solutions Exfoliating Bar Soap
And speaking of having been around for a minute: Kiehl's has been perfecting its approach to keeping your skin clean and happy since 1851. It shows.
Exfoliating + Cleansing Bar Soap
An exfoliating body wash is fine, but an exfoliating bar soap is even better. Don't trust me? Try this one.
Vitamin Cleansing Bar
Baxter of Californiabaxterofcalifornia.com$18.00
Does the stripe of green down the center actually make this soap smell better? I have no idea. But it really does smell fantastic.
Aesop Body Cleansing Slab
It's a slab. To cleanse your body. It also keeps your skin moisturized and happens to have a very pleasing fragrance, but honestly: I just love that Aesop calls it a "slab."
Lime Basil and Mandarin Soap
Jo Malone Londonmrporter.com$24.00
Caffeine is good, but waking up to the pleasingly bracing scents of basil and citrus might be even better.
Classic Scent Soap on a Rope
Soap on a rope might sound like a silly gimmick, but Claus Porto's OG version (the brand's been around since 1887) is no joke. It's nourishing, and the Portuguese countryside-inspired scent is a bonafide classic.
The brand that makes your favorite fancy candle also makes an exceptional bar soap. Go figure.
Eau de Campagne Soap
Fancy Parisian soap? Pour moi? Mais oui.
'Bergamote 22' Bar Soap
If you know, you know. The once-underground-but-now-universally-beloved perfume house that makes all your hippest friends smell so good also does soap. Please make a note of it.
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