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10 Best Vegan Bar Soap Brands to Leave You Feeling Compassionately Clean

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After years of body washes and scrubs getting all the attention, bar soap is back in style—and for good reason!

Though typically produced using ancient methods, natural bar soap is a perfect fit for our modern times. It’s made from minimal, clean ingredients, and it’s easy to use in the shower, bath, or sink (for hand washing).

As an added benefit, bar soap is the best option for the environment, because it does not require the same plastic packaging as its liquid counterparts.

These are all good reasons to use bar soap if you aren’t already, and we’ve put together a list of some great vegan options for you to try!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Quick List of Top Picks

Soap History

The first evidence of humans using soap comes from more than 4,000 years ago in Babylonia, a kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia.

Babylonians, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all made soap, but they did not use it for bathing and personal hygiene. Soap in those times was used for cleaning or medicinal purposes.

As years went by, societies around the world began using soap for bathing, and it became an important part of many cultures. By the late 18th Century, soapmaking was an industrialized process, and perfumed soap was promoted as a necessity for cleanliness and health.

When liquid soap was popularized in the early 20th Century, bar soaps started to take a backseat. For years, it seemed like the only soap bars you could easily access were heavily fragranced or contained other artificial ingredients. Thankfully, it’s not the case anymore!

The Truth About Lye

Sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, has an unfortunate reputation as a harmful ingredient due to its caustic nature. Soap making itself can be dangerous because of lye, but the final product is not dangerous at all!

The main ingredient in most soaps is fat—coconut or olive oil, for example. When lye is added to this fat, it causes a chemical reaction called saponification, which creates soap and glycerin, a byproduct which is sometimes removed.

Many soaps on this list include sodium hydroxide as an ingredient, but some will mention just the saponified oil. That’s because no lye remains after the oil is saponified and cured.

As with any product, your skin is unique and could experience irritation from lye soaps. But in general, properly made lye soap is perfectly safe, and you don’t need to worry when you see this ingredient in soaps on our list!

Is My Soap Vegan?

Like many bath and beauty products, soap sometimes contains ingredients which are not vegan. In fact, animal fat used to be the preferred choice used in soapmaking, and it can still be found in many soaps today.

Less obvious ingredients to watch out for include milk, honey, beeswax, and lanolin, an emollient derived from sheep wool.

All the soaps on our list are made using plant-based fats and completely vegan, cruelty-free ingredients.

How to Choose the Best Bar Soap for You

Soap Base

All of the soaps on this list are completely plant-based, so you don’t need to worry about any non-vegan ingredients.

Each soap has a vegetable oil base, whether it’s one oil or a blend of oils.

If you have any sensitivities or allergies to these oils, be sure to stick to soaps which do not contain the offending ingredient. For example, if you are allergic to coconut, try one of the pure olive oil soaps on this list.

Another possible soap base to keep in mind is palm oil. Though this is a plant-based ingredient, palm oil is something many vegans avoid because of its role in deforestation. If you don’t like to use palm oil, there are a number of palm-free options available.

Fragrance

Many of the soaps on this list are completely fragrance-free, which is perfect for people with sensitive skin and noses!

If you have known sensitivities or allergies, or if you have young children who will also be using this soap, check out the pure, unscented options on this list.

On the other hand, if you like a little fragrance to invigorate your shower experience, take a look at the soaps containing essential oils for a natural, subtle scent.

Price/Quantity

If you are looking for a luxurious soap for yourself, check out some of the individual bars on this list.

But if you are buying soap for a whole family and want to stick to a budget, there are several more affordable multi-packs which may be better suited to your needs.

10 Top Picks for Bar Soaps

Now that you know more about the simple joys of bar soap, let’s find the one for you!

Splendor Santa Barbara Lavender Rosemary Leaf Pure Coconut Oil Soap

Lavender Rosemary Leaf (10.5 oz) - Pure Coconut Oil Soap for Calm Focus. Handmade, Moisturizing, Natural, Vegan With Essential Oils, Organic Spirulina, Alkanet Root and Garden Rosemary Leaf

First on our list is a calming coconut oil soap with lavender, rosemary, and spirulina.

Splendor Santa Barbara creates natural, cold-processed, coconut oil soaps which are vegan and free of gluten, palm oil, and phthalates.

Their handmade “Calm Focus” soap utilizes natural ingredients to create a moisturizing and soothing effect.

Featuring lavender and rosemary, this soap has a deeply calming scent to help you relax in the shower or bath.

Rosemary also calms the skin. This soap features both rosemary oil and rosemary leaf, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Many know about the dietary benefits of spirulina, but this superfood algae is also great for your skin.

Spirulina is rich in amino and fatty acids, nutrients, and vitamins. It decreases inflammation and gently tones and detoxifies the skin.

This is a set of three 3.5-ounce soap bars packaged in a glossy recyclable box. The soap can be used on the face, hands, or for full-body washing. Be sure to test a small area of skin for any allergic reactions before use.

What We Like

  • Calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients
  • No palm oil
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • Melts easily due to high coconut oil content
  • Can be irritating for sensitive skin
  • Bars don’t last long if used daily

Anatolia Daphne Olive Oil Bar Soap

Olive Oil Soap Bar - Handmade 100% Pure Natural & Vegan (5 Bars)

Olive oil soap has been a staple in Mediterranean countries for decades, and this soap bar stays true to tradition.

Anatolia Daphne is a soap maker based in Turkey, using natural ingredients and ancient techniques to manufacture chemical-free olive oil soaps. Their soaps are always plant-based and cruelty-free and never contain alcohol, additives, or dyes.

Their signature soap contains only olive oil, soap base (sodium hydroxide), vegetable oil, and water.

Because it contains no fragrances or additives, this soap is good for sensitive skin. The cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is ultra-moisturizing.

This is a set of five 5.7-ounce bars, individually boxed in recyclable packaging. Anatolia Daphne offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if there are any problems with your purchase.

What We Like

  • Simple, clean ingredients
  • Great price for five bars
  • Money-back guarantee

What We Don’t Like

  • Some people may find olive oil smell off-putting

Savon d’ Alep Aleppia Olive and Laurel Oil Soap

Le Savon d' Alep Aleppia 80% Olive Oil and 20% Laurel Oil Alep Soap

The next soap on our list is an Aleppo soap, another traditional type of soap from the Mediterranean.

Alepia is a natural cosmetics company based in France making soap in the traditional style of Aleppo, Syria, with olive and laurel oils. “Savon d’Alep” is French for Aleppo Soap.

These soaps are heat processed, then dried for nine months in the open air to harden into “green gold” bars. The only other ingredients are sodium hydroxide and water.

Olive oil is a common natural soap ingredient with great moisturizing properties. Laurel oil is an antifungal, antibacterial agent with many benefits for the skin. It also has a pleasant scent.

Because of the combination of these ingredients, Aleppo Soap has been recommended for people with acne, eczema, rosacea, and other problematic skin conditions.

Each soap bar is 200 grams, or 7.05 ounces.

What We Like

  • Simple, clean ingredients
  • Reduces production of sebum without drying skin
  • Helps with many skin conditions

What We Don’t Like

  • Packaging says it is made in Turkey, not Syria or France
  • Some people may not react well to Laurel oil

A Wild Soap Bar Real Castile Bar Soap

Real Castile Bar Soap, made with 100% Organic Olive Oil, All Natural, Vegan, for Super Sensitive Skin, Handmade by A Wild Soap Bar (1 pack)

This Real Castile Bar Soap contains only two ingredients: saponified certified organic extra virgin olive oil and distilled water.

A Wild Soap Bar is a family-owned business based in Austin, Texas. The company is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA and also focuses on eco-friendly, sustainable ingredients and packaging.

The soap is great for people with sensitive skin and allergies to other common soap ingredients, including essential oils. The company even stores these bars in a separate fragrance-free facility to keep them as pure as possible!

Because it is hypoallergenic and free of irritants, this soap is rated as a Top Allergen Free product by SkinSAFE.

Thanks to nourishing olive oil, this soap is also ultra-moisturizing.

This 3.5-ounce soap bar is biodegradable, vegan, and gluten free.

What We Like

  • Clean, simple ingredients
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin
  • Made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be drying for certain skin types
  • Pricey for an individual bar

Carolina Castile Soap Pure Castile Soap Bars

Pure Castile Soap Bars - 6 Pack - 5 oz Each - Unscented Organic Soap Bars - All Vegan Olive Oil & Cocoa Butter Soap - Great Baby Castile Soap & For Those With Sensitive/Dry Skin & Acne

Next on our list is an unscented soap bar which incorporates cocoa butter for added hydration.

Carolina Castile Soap never uses synthetic colors, dyes, fragrances, or foaming agents. All their soaps are biodegradable and made from organic, plant-based ingredients.

This soap is made from palm oil, coconut oil, water, olive oil, and cocoa butter. The glycerine created in saponification remains in the final product.

With three moisturizing oils and the power of cocoa butter, this soap is a treat for dry skin. It has a creamy lather great for cleaning skin, shaving, and even washing hair.

This is a set of six individually packaged five-ounce soap bars.

What We Like

  • Gentle and moisturizing for all skin types
  • Good price for six bars
  • Made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • Large bars can be difficult to handle
  • Contains palm oil

Dr. Woods Unscented Baby Mild Bar Soap

Dr. Woods Unscented Baby Mild Bar Soap with Organic Shea Butter, 5.25 oz (Pack of 3)

If you need a bar the whole family can use, this unscented baby mild Castile soap with shea butter is gentle enough for even young, sensitive skin.

Dr. Woods is a family business focused on creating products with “All Things Good.” Their soaps are free from phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and petroleum derivatives.

This soap is made from vegan ingredients and Leaping Bunny certified as cruelty-free.

The ingredients include sustainable palm oil, coconut oil, water, olive oil, Fair Trade shea butter, jojoba oil, hemp seed oil, and rosemary extract.

This formula is fragrance-free and full of Vitamins A and E to protect and moisturize even the most delicate skin.

Three individually boxed 5.25-ounce soap bars are included in a set.

What We Like

  • Shea butter and hydrating oils provide added moisture
  • Gentle enough for all members of the family
  • Made in the USA by a small business

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains palm oil

The Yellow Bird Shea Butter Soap Bar

Fragrance Free Soap for Sensitive Skin. Hypoallergenic Soap Bar. Natural, Unscented, Organic Ingredients. Moisturizing Shea Butter Soap. Vegan, Artisan, Handmade Soap.

Another great option for sensitive skin is this organic soap made from plant oils and shea butter.

The Yellow Bird is a family-owned natural skincare company. Their products are made from pure and simple ingredients, with no synthetic chemicals or other additives.

This fragrance-free soap bar is made from sustainable organic palm oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, and sodium hydroxide.

It contains no parabens, sulfates, or GMO ingredients and is vegan and cruelty-free.

The soap bar is 4.5-ounces.

What We Like

  • Fully organic ingredients
  • Made in the USA by a family-owned business

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains palm oil
  • Pricey for an individual bar
  • Though unscented, it gives off a smell which can bother some people

Nextrino Peppermint & Tea Tree Bar Soap

Tea Tree Soap with Peppermint! Made in the USA: All Natural, Vegan Bar Soap with Organic Oils for Face & Body. Wash Away Odor & Germs (Single 4 Ounce Soap Bar)

If you like a tingling clean after a long day or tough workout, this peppermint and tea tree soap might be the one for you.

Nextrino is a fitness company, so it only makes sense their soap would be geared toward an active crowd.

This “Active Soap” is handmade in small batches in North Carolina and never tested on animals.

The vegan, all-natural ingredients include a blend of organic sustainable palm, coconut, sunflower, and olive oils; water; sodium hydroxide; a blend of peppermint and tea tree essential oils; parsley powder; and peppermint leaves.

This soap is made specifically with a post-workout shower in mind, and it leaves you feeling clean and refreshed.

Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral ingredient, which is perfect for cleaning up after getting sweaty. Peppermint oil is also naturally cleansing and invigorating for the skin.

These essential oils give the soap a pleasant, energizing scent.

Each bar is eight ounces, and the soap is available in single or double packs.

What We Like

  • Naturally cleans and refreshes
  • Invigorating scent
  • Made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains palm oil
  • May irritate sensitive skin

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap (Rose & Lavender Bundle)

Dr. Bronner’s - Pure-Castile Bar Soap (2-Pack Bundle, Rose & Lavender) - Made with Organic Oils, For Face, Body and Hair, Gentle and Moisturizing, Biodegradable, Vegan, Cruelty-free, Non-GMO

If you want a scented soap, but can’t decide which scent to try, this soap bundle could be a great place to start.

Dr. Bronner’s has been selling vegan, cruelty-free, and environmentally conscious soaps since 1948.

These Pure-Castile Bar Soaps are made with organic oils and no chelating agents, dyes, whiteners, or synthetic fragrances.

Like Dr. Bronner’s famous liquid soap, each soap bar is an “all-in-one” product which can be used on the body, face, or hair.

The main ingredients in these soap bars are organic coconut oil, organic palm oil, sodium hydroxide, water, organic olive oil, organic hemp oil, and organic jojoba oil.

This bundle includes one lavender bar scented with lavender essential oil and one rose bar with natural rose fragrance.

Each biodegradable five-ounce soap bar is packed in 100% post-consumer recycled wrapper.

What We Like

  • Organic, Fair Trade ingredients
  • Trustworthy, well-known brand
  • Can be used for multiple purposes
  • Opportunity to try multiple scents

What We Don’t Like

  • Contain palm oil
  • Source of rose fragrance not specified
  • Not great for sensitive skin

O Naturals 6 Piece Moisturizing Body Wash Bar Soap Collection

O Naturals 6 Piece Moisturizing Body Wash Bar Soap Collection. Hand Soap, Acne Soap 100% Natural Organic Ingredients & Therapeutic Essential Oils. Vegan Gift Set Triple Milled Women & Men 4oz Each

Finally, we have this bar soap collection featuring a variety of all-natural, triple-milled vegan soap bars.

O Naturals is a natural and organic skincare company using only high-quality, plant-based ingredients. These soaps are certified by PETA as vegan and cruelty-free.

This collection includes four-ounce soap bars in six different scents: Agave Nectar & Soy Milk (Sensitive), Argan & Lavender (Soothing), Coconut & Shea Butter (Moisturizing), Jojoba & Tea Tree (Cleansing), Oatmeal & Coffee (Exfoliating), and Rosemary & Peppermint (Energizing).

The soaps are made from a base of cold-pressed vegetable oils, and each variety has different natural essential oils for both scent and skincare benefits.

To maximize use of these bars, O Naturals suggests using them with a soap bag, loofah, or washcloth and storing the soap you are using in a dry soap dish.

What We Like

  • Fun variety of scents
  • Natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • Contain palm oil
  • Different scents may not be distinguishable for some people
  • May be irritating for sensitive skin

Top Choice for the Best Bar Soap

Real Castile Bar Soap, made with 100% Organic Olive Oil, All Natural, Vegan, for Super Sensitive Skin, Handmade by A Wild Soap Bar (1 pack)

Switching to bar soap can be a great choice for your skin and the environment, and we hope you found the perfect soap for you on this list!

For its pure, simple ingredients and the company’s dedication to compassionate, eco-friendly manufacturing, our top choice is A Wild Soap Bar Real Castile Bar Soap.

With a final product containing only saponified certified organic extra virgin olive oil and distilled water, this soap is clean, gentle, and wonderfully nourishing.

Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, it’s reassuring to use a product with no allergens or unnecessary additives.

This bar is a little bit more expensive than some options out there, but it’s worth the price knowing this family-owned small business is certified cruelty-free and cares about the environment as much as you do.

Whether you go with this option or another one of the excellent vegan bar soaps on our list, we think you’ll be glad you made the switch. Happy washing!

Best Vegan Bar Soap Brands to Leave You Feeling Compassionately Clean

Meet

Joy Lindsay

Writing, cooking, and compassionate living have always been some of my favorite things, and have become even more important to me since I went vegan. I'm excited about this opportunity to bring these passions together and share them with the VegByte community!

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