Staying clean should be more enjoyable than just slathering on some cheap soap that dries out your skin, leaves a residue and causes your skin to break out. Nonetheless, the tendency of most bar soap is to do just that. So why is it inevitable that, despite its flaws, we always return to the basic bar of soap? Perhaps it's because we run out of shower gel or maybe we just like the clean feeling you get from using plain old soap. Whatever the reason, why not enjoy your bathing experience to its fullest?
Choosing Bar Soap
There are a lot of really good quality soaps on the market that will gently clean, moisturize and keep your skin's PH in check. These tips should help you find the right soap for your skin type and budget.
# '''About Budget''': Do you have money to spend on fancy soap? Spend it if you can find something to suit you. If you don't have lots of money to spend on frilly soaps, don't bother. The cheap varieties can be just as good as the high-priced ones.
# '''Soap Type''': There are many types of soaps available: from creamy milk soaps to glycerin soaps. If you have dry, sensitive, acne-prone or oily skin, these might not be appropriate, but those with "normal", balanced skin can typically enjoy and experiment with anything they'd like.
Before buying bar soap, identify your skin type: dry, oily, sensitive or acne-prone. Again, balanced skin has few qualms with soaps, but if you have any skin "issues" you should be very careful about what you put on your skin. Those with skin allergies or sensitivities would be very well suited to organic products, of which there is a great abundance from which to choose.
* '''Dry & Sensitive Skin'''
** The mildest soaps, including organics, are good for those with sensitive or dry skin.
** Ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, shea or cocoa butter and almond or olive oil are excellent emollients and help moisturize dry skin.
** It is best to select soaps that are fragrance-free and that don't contain harsh chemicals such as sodium laureth sulfate.
* '''Acne-Prone Skin'''
** For those with acne flare-ups, it is recommended to get a medicated or antibacterial soap to help combat breakouts.
** Triclosan is anti-bacterial and salicylic acid is an acne treatment - both can help treat body acne.
** If you have combination skin that is also sensitive, to help reduce irritation, go for an antibacterial soap for sensitive skin over one that is medicated.
* '''Oily Skin'''
** Oily skin fares well with glycerin soaps and "clean" or purifying formulas.
** You should choose soaps that are non-comodegenic to prevent clogged pores.
Below are the major types of soap. Handmade and commercial soaps usually fall under one of the first three categories listed. When shopping for products, keep in mind that it's important to look at the ingredient list to see what a soap really offers and whether or not it includes any ingredients that you want to avoid (irritants such as sodium laureth sulfate or sodium cocoate).