My research for this article started with a contradictory article at Glamour.com. The article goes Please Help Me Understand Why You Still Use Bar Soap with a wee subtitle of, It should be extinct. This article is written by Deanna Pai in 2016 as a wee story about her visiting a friend. It goes like this. When she goes to take a shower at her pal’s house she is horrified, instead of an array of body washes, she instead discovers a bar of soap. Deanna is grossed out and does not join in on that type of washing and instead lathers up with some shampoo as the idea of a bar of soap is entirely repugnant.
Ewww Bar Soap
I don’t know what, if anything was said to the friend Deanna visited about her bar soap stocked bathroom. However, Deanna talks to another friend who also likes bar soap. She does appear to respect this friend enough to listen to the benefits she puts forward and why she buys bar soap. Her friend said that her soaps made her feel good and that she liked to be able to smell them before buying and that they were very pretty.
The result of their conversation appears to be Deanna doing a little research and resigning herself to the fact that people who choose to use bar soaps may not be completely gross and stupid but was firm that she was not, no way ever, going to participate.
Next, in the article, she goes on to recommend some quite expensive bar soap and tout a list some barely accurate information about soaps. I would have left a comment for Deanna but there was no ability to do so. I do need to thank her though as she did get me thinking and asking questions and that is a good thing.
Why are you still using a bar soap?
It’s now 2019 and I think this question has flipped 180 degrees. The question we should be asking ourselves now is “Why aren’t you using a bar soap?”
One of the best-researched articles I came upon comparing the virtues of the bar soap vs liquid soap is at care2.com in an article by JORDYN CORMIER in July 2018 it covers the subjects below in an article called, “Which Is Better: Liquid Soap or Bar Soap?”
COST OF LIQUID SOAP VS. BAR SOAP
The conclusion arrived at by Jordyn:
“So it seems like the humble bar of soap comes out on top! It’s just as cleansing, has a much smaller environmental footprint and is significantly more cost-effective. Let’s get back to basics and make bar soap a thing of the present!”
I have also written a full article on soap which includes an examination of the perceived problems with bar soap and the difference between syndet and soap. The article also discusses some scientific research that suggests that some issues with soap may indeed be simply perceived. In short, however, any cleanser is going to dislodge oils from your skin so perhaps investing in a lotion to rehydrate may be the way forward whatever you use.
Of course, for me at the moment, the main reason to start investigating and trialling a bar cleansing routine now would be because it is the easiest way to remove plastic packaging from the bathroom. I found it interesting that Deanna did not mention her friend that used bar soap as using the important fact of plastic pollution as a pro bar soap argument. She did allude to some wicker basket carrying in a rather derogatory way so I guess that ethos was somewhat implied.
I hope Deanna has her own wicker basket now, and if she has, she is not throwing in a range of single-use plastic bottles containing shower gels.
Mini Art Installations – Time for the WOW!
So I’m hoping you get over any Ewww you may have had for bar soaps and are willing to take a peek at some truly beautiful bars and share some Wow! Some of these are like mini art installations for your bathroom. To prove my point take a look at this Pinterest board I’ve put together. These are stunning and no doubt some of them smell as good as they look.
Chance to be creative
When it comes to investigating soap bars on the internet there is only one thing that appears to compete for attention in that arena. Wait for it — it’s how you can make your soap bars! We need to be getting in on that. Something to allocate to a teenager in the summer holidays I think. (I feel a plan emerging!) You may be further along with soap than myself. Is soap making something you have a had a go at and if so how did it go?
Conclusion and Call To Action – Try a bar soap.
I’ll be reviewing some bar soaps on site. I’d encourage you to try some too or hunt down some of your own to add into your plastic-free bathroom. I’ll also be giving some form of soap making a go either by proxy or with full involvement. I’ll let you know how that goes. If all goes well I may get some presents for family and friends organised as well as stocking my bathroom cupboard.