The humble soap bar is a regular companion for many of us in the shower, bath or sink. But how often do we take the time to find the right soap for our skin type? More and more of us are taking extra care to make sure we wash our hands properly, but this can strip the skin of its moisture and leave it feeling irritated. Furthermore, some experts believe that some chemical antibacterial soaps may be harmful to pregnant women and children.

But not all soaps are created equal. It’s time to introduce yourself to skin-friendly bars & liquids that cleanse, moisturise and in some cases even help protect the planet!  Here, we list the best soaps for sensitive skin that won’t dry you out, but instead leave you feeling soft and smooth.

Soap Bars

Soap bar sales have sky-rocketed in the past few years with more people choosing them over liquids and gels. So, what’s the reason for the change? Simply, people are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, so are choosing more sustainable options such as bars, which often come packaging free.

The Eco-Friendly Hero

Coconut oil is well known for its soothing, calming, moisturising and even anti-bacterial properties, making it an incredible ingredient for sensitive skin. Bare coconuts vegan soap bar from Primal Suds is hand made in the UK and uses 100% natural ingredients including coconut oil and shea butter, which is perfect for nourishing and smoothing the skin. It is also scent free, so helpful for those avoiding essential oils which can irritate extra sensitive skin types. Bare coconuts soap is so gentle you can use it on your face and body, leaving your skin feeling soft and hydrated.

The Sweet-as-Honey Bar

Honey has been used for thousands of years for its natural antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant and antifungal properties. It is also what’s known as a humectant, which means it attracts and then retains moisture in the skin, making it a gentle yet effective moisturiser which smells incredible! Arran Apothecary Honey & Oatmeal Soap uses both honey and almond oil to create a gentle lather that doesn’t dry the skin out. What’s more, the finely milled oatmeal produces a natural exfoliant, great to use in the shower to help your skin buffed and cleansed.

The Bath Buddy

Soaps aren’t just for the shower, if you suffer from dry and sensitive skin then using an oat based bath soap can be a dream. Oats are a well-known traditional remedy used to cool and calm the skin. These breakfast grains also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help to relieve itching and calm allergic reactions too. Ceridwen’s Cauldron by Lush works wonders on unsettled skin and actually turns your bath water creamy and silky. Once it has melted into your bath, you can use the muslin wrap across your skin as a washcloth, taking in the scents of frankincense, rose and sandalwood.

The Goat Soap

Here’s something a little different; Goat milk and kefir can be an incredibly effective ingredient for sensitive skin. Naturally, anti-inflammatory goat milk contains both vitamins and minerals that can actually penetrate the barrier of human skin, allowing the benefits to go deeper and be longer lasting. Kefir also contains probiotics so it can help to balance the naturally occurring bacteria on the surface of your skin. Natural Clean Soap by Chuckling Goat is a fresh smelling chemical-free bar using bergamot, grapefruit and lemon essential oils.

Liquid Soaps

Liquid soaps are best known for being less drying than bars, with a richer lather due to added moisturisers. If you are concerned with keeping it eco-friendly there are many that use reusable or recyclable bottles with vegan ingredients. Check out our favourite liquid soaps for sensitive skin.

The Eco-Liquid

Opting for a liquid soap doesn’t mean you need to abandon your green ethics! If that’s your main concern, then The Everyday Handwash by Green People is the one for you. This soap is scent free and keeps your sensitive skin away from potential irritants from fragrances or essential oils and is ultra-gentle so suitable for all ages. Green People has also ensured their soap is vegan and the bottle it comes in is completely recyclable. The plant compounds from Aloe Vera and Coconut are well-known skin-friends, however, this product also uses Glycerine which helps to bind moisture into the skin and protects the important moisture barrier that keeps skin soft and healthy.

The All-in-One

DermaChange Face and Body Wash saves your skin by eliminating harsh, irritating ingredients. This all-in-one body and face wash also soothes and protects delicate skin with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil and Manuka honey. All of these components in the soap are highly prized due to their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Furthermore, the wash keeps a PH of 5.5 – just like your skin.

The Shower Oil

If you want more on an indulgent shower then Bioderma’s Atoderm Shower Oil really hits the spot. The luxuriously thick oil foams just a little and you really only need a tiny amount to go far. Being an oil, it is of course highly moisturising and so soothes dry, cracked and sensitive skin quickly. What’s more the oil base will leave you feeling moisturised; no need to apply your usual lotions after you’ve used it. It’s not all about the luxury though – Bioderma claim that their patented ingredients not only prevent the skin irritating bacteria Staphylococcus aureus from binding and creating aggravation, but also actually increases your skin’s threshold.