15 Best Bar Soaps For Sensitive Skin | Gentle Soap Bars For Dry Skin

Having an effective soap is usually what makes or breaks your time in the shower or bathtub, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably struggling to find a soap that not only manages to thoroughly clean your skin but also one that does it without damaging it too much. Some types of skin are just too sensitive for regular soap bars and body washes!

natural bath soap
Bars of soap with natural ingredients.

Some mass-produced commercial soaps have a high concentration of artificial components that are used to together to maximize the production and cost savings. These can include cleansing and lathering agents as well as moisturizes and fragrances. 

While many people with average skin types can tolerate the level of additives used regular skin in most cases if you have sensitive skin these can cause irritation and skin problem.

If you are here, we’re guessing that you’re looking to find the best bath soap for sensitive skin… usually called hypoallergenic soaps. We’d like you to stick around for our whole review, but we know that time is precious if you’re looking for a recommendation take a quick look at the Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin by Dove.  

And that’s exactly why we’re here today, we’ve taken a look at some of the top-selling soaps on the shelves and also some smaller lesser-known companies to come up with a few top picks to help you find a good match for your skin. 

Best Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin: Our Top Picks

Sensitive Skin Bar by Basis:

Basis Sensitive Skin Bar 4 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Basis Sensitive Skin Bar (Image: Amazon)

This manufacturer offers a fair quantity of soap bars with each purchase, while also keeping the price at a very affordable tag.

This bar soap by Basis can be used to wash your body or face even if your skin is very sensitive.

The fragrance itself is very neutral, making it an ideal buy for those who are looking for mildly-scented soap.

It leaves you feeling clean and sells at an affordable price. 

  • Has a neutral smell without annoying fragrances.
  • Leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed. 

Cons:

  • Some buyers report dry skin after using 

Gentle Cleansing Bar by Cetaphil:

Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar, 4.5 Ounce (3 Count)
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar. (Image: Amazon)

These soap bars by Cetaphil also come in a very affordable price, similar to Basis’ product. They are ideally made for sensitive or dry skin, although the fragrance doesn’t go as unnoticed as it happens with the last product we talked to you about. It has a special scent to it that might not please every owner – so keep that in mind.

If you’re prone to acne, this could be the soap you’re looking for. It generally does a good job cleaning acne-prone skins while also managing to moisturize it as good as other regular soap bars in the market.

It’s definitely a good option if you want to use one type of soap for the entire household, considering it does a great job cleansing most types of skin. In any case, we’d like to remind you that its soapy fragrance is very strong.

Pros:

  • Should work wonders when applied on most types of skin.
  • Leaves a feeling of cleanness after being used, which shouldn’t go away too soon after bathing.
  • Doesn’t cause irritation.
  • It’s ideal for dry skin and potential buyers that suffer from other conditions.

Cons:

  • Traditional “soap” smell that some don’t find appealing.

Budget Pick: Dial Basics Bar Soap Hypoallergenic

Dial Basics Bar Soap, Hypoallergenic, 3.2-Ounce Bars, 3 Count
Dial Basics Bar Soap, Hypoallergenic. (Image: Amazon)

Another popular brand in the skincare and bath soap category, Dial offers a great alternative at a more affordable price tag. Dial offers several bath soap types as well. The hypoallergenic soap does have a faint scent to it but not too overpowering.

Dial Basics Bar Soap features non-irritating ingredients designed for use with sensitive skin and contains glycerin for added moisturizing properties. Interested customers should do a thorough check with its ingredients though. Dial Basics Bar Soap is quite affordable and is also a personal favorite of mine. However, those with considerably sensitive skin might want to test it out once to determine whether it causes any sort of skin irritation.

Pros:

  • Affordable price and sold in family size format with multiple bars (8 or 16 bars)
  • Great moisturizing bar soap.

Cons:

  • Does have a mild scented fragrance, if you are looking for totally scent-free this may not be the one.

L’Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap Enriched with Shea Butter - Verbena, Net Wt. 8.8 oz.
L’Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap. (Image: Amazon)

Honestly, my favorite soap of all time is this natural soap by L’Occitane with Shea Butter.

I didn’t rank it at the top of the list below simply based on the price. This is the cream of the crop and definitely one of the top luxury soaps but since most of our readers are probably not going to be willing to spend that on a bar of soap we didn’t make it the top recommendation.

This soap is made with 100% percent vegetable oil base and nourishing shea butter that has a wide variety of benefits for nourishing your skin.

L’Occitane products are luxurious and a great way to pamper yourself.

My hubby knows I love it, so I usually only get it as a gift … although I have been known to occasionally $plurg on myself 🙂

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap

Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Bar Soap - Baby Unscented, 5oz. (Pack of 6)
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap – Baby Unscented. (Image: Amazon)

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap is a one of a kind bathing soap that you can also use an additive if you want to make homemade laundry detergents. Just grate a little off the bar and voila! Due to its gentle, vegetable-based formula and olive oil ingredient, this bar soap is also a good choice for washing baby’s skin.

However, this isn’t entirely made for babies, so make sure you keep the product out of their eyes. You can also expect a soft and smooth lather every time you use Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap because of its organic hemp oil.

Honey Oatmeal Goat Milk Soap Bar 

Honey Oatmeal Goat Milk Soap - 5 Oz Bar - Great For Sensitive Skin
Honey Oatmeal Goat Milk Soap.

As we have stated earlier, one of the best types of bath soap for those with sensitive skin is oatmeal soap. This Honey Oatmeal Goat Milk Soap contains no synthetic chemicals.

It is paraben-free and uses all-natural oatmeal and honey.

Each Honey Oatmeal Goat Milk bar weighs 5 ounces and contains the following ingredients: saponified oils, coconut, lye, hemp, and shea.

You can also choose between scented and unscented soaps. This is a key feature for people looking with sensitive skin.  Unfortunately, even with so many different varieties on the market, it’s harder to find totally unscented soaps. 

Legend’s Creek Farm sells a wide variety of bar soaps suitable for sensitive skin if you prefer something other than the honey-oatmeal they sell many other handmade soap bars

Pros:

  • Comes in scented and unscented variations.
  • Made from 100% natural oatmeal and honey.
  • Mild and great for people with sensitive skin.

Cons:

  • Soap bar dissolves rather quickly. 

Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap with Aloe Vera

Tom's of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap with Aloe Vera, Fragrance Free, 5 oz
Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap with Aloe Vera. (Image: Amazon)

Every bar of Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap with Aloe Vera is free from fragrance and is also certified hypoallergenic. This makes it safe even if you have dry, sensitive skin that easily reacts to harsh ingredients present in usual bath soaps. The product also has organic Aloe Vera and pure raw shea butter that help the skin retain its moisture.

This natural beauty bar is free from the ingredients that make soap products harmful to the skin. So if your skin reacts to ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde and propylparaben that can cause skin irritation, then this beauty bar might just be for you.

Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Bar Soap

Kirk's Original Coco Castile Bar Soap Fragrance Free 4 Ounces (3 Pack)
Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Bar Soap. (Image: Amazon)

Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Bar Soap has a promising combination of hypoallergenic ingredients that make their product safe for most cases of sensitive skin. It has no synthetic ingredients or any animal by-products. Unlike some other bath soap brands, Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Bar Soaps are also biodegradable.

It’s available in three variants – Original Fresh Scent, Soothing Aloe Vera and Fragrance-Free. The Original Fresh Scent variant has a great refreshing scent that goes well even with your DIY detergent recipes. The Soothing Aloe Vera variant comes with a light garden scent and a moisturizing effect while the Fragrance-Free variant only has five ingredients that make it safe even for the most sensitive skin.

Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap

Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin - Fragrance and Soap Free Body Wash Bars - 3.5 oz. (Pack of 3)
Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin. (Image: Amazon)

One of the mildest bathing bar brands in the market is Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap. It cares for your skin by preserving its natural pH levels using its vital “Citrate Buffer” that prevents your skin from drying out.

Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body Bar Soap isn’t only good for sensitive skin, it’s highly recommended for quick-drying skin too! This bar doesn’t contain any fragrances, dyes or residue. That’s why it’s one of the most highly recommended brands by most dermatologists!

The Yellow Bird’s All Natural Soap

Fragrance Free Soap for Sensitive Skin. Hypoallergenic Soap Bar. Natural, Unscented, Organic Ingredients. Moisturizing Shea Butter Soap. Vegan, Artisan, Handmade Soap.
Fragrance-Free Soap for Sensitive Skin. (Image: Amazon)

If you’re looking for a bar soap that’s not only safe for your sensitive skin but can also give it a healthy glow, this is the bath soap for you.

The Yellow Bird’s All Natural Soap is an amazing mixture of all-natural ingredients that are also made to be non-comedogenic. This means that every hand-crafted bar soap is safe for the skin on the facial area and won’t clog pores or cause pimple breakouts.

The brand makes their soap in small batches and focuses on the quality of every bar of soap they produce.  It also has Shea Butter moisturizers that leave your skin with a plump, healthy feeling.

O Naturals Moisturizing Organic Coconut Oil, Shea Butter 3 Piece Bar Soaps

O Naturals Moisturizing Organic Coconut Oil, Shea Butter 3 Piece Bar Soaps. Softens & Nourishes Dry Skin. Face & Body Wash. Made in USA. Triple Milled, Vegan. 4 Ounce Each
O Naturals Moisturizing Organic Coconut Oil, Shea Butter (Image: Amazon)

If you have high standards when it comes to bath soaps, there’s O Naturals Moisturizing Organic Coconut Oil that comes in 3 soap bars in every purchase.  It delivers that light cleansing action as expected from mild soaps while moisturizing your skin with two luxurious ingredients.

A well-balanced mixture of coconut oil and shea butter is blended with other natural oils and essences to treat your skin to a spa-like experience right at home! This combination of ingredients is proven to boost skin elasticity, increase collagen production and relax your senses with the divine coconut scent. It is also cruelty-free and safe from harmful ingredients like sulfate and paraben.

Dr. Woods Unscented Baby Mild Bar Soap with Organic Shea Butter

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

Dr. Woods Unscented Baby Mild Bar Soap is made with the best ingredients that are scientifically proven safe for all skin types. Whether your skin is dry or oily, clear or prone to breakouts, young or old, Dr. Woods Unscented Baby Mild Bar Soap will surely take care of your skin.

The organic shea butter used in the bathing bar formula is also certified as a fair trade quality. The product has never been tested on animals and is also gluten-free. Each bar is made with a variety of ingredients like jojoba oil that’s proven to help heal and moisturize even the driest of all skin types.

Johnson’s Baby Soap Bar

Johnson's Baby Soap Bar Gentle for Baby Bath and Skin Care, Hypoallergenic, 3 oz (Pack of 6)
Johnson’s Baby Soap Bar Gentle for Baby Bath and Skin Care. (Image: Amazon)

Johnson’s Baby Soap Bar now has a new formula using fewer ingredients. The new version is more hypoallergenic and has also been proven to safely cleanse both baby and adult skin. It also has a light, delicate fragrance that stays after bathing.

The all-new dermatologically-tested formula is enriched with mild moisturizers that effectively protect the skin from dryness, so you can only expect soft and smooth skin after every wash. It’s made with only the finest and most delicate ingredients. This makes every Johnson’s Baby Bar Soap safe to use on both the face and body.

Nurture My Body All-Natural Baby Bar Soap

Nurture My Body All-Natural Baby Bar Soap, Fragrance Free, 3.5 oz. - Certified Organic Ingredients
Nurture My Body All-Natural Baby Bar Soap. (Image: Amazon)

Nurture My Body All-Natural Baby Bar Soap is a certified organic baby soap that’s made with 3 organic oils formulated to effectively cleanse the skin without drying it. Even though it’s unscented and fragrance-free, it can still leave you feeling fresh because of its all-natural ingredients.

Every bar of Nurture My Body All-Natural Baby Bar Soap promises to moisturize your skin with high-quality and organic ingredients like olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil. It’s also free from nuts, oats and has never been tested on animals – a certified Vegan soap bar! This comes in a minimalistic box that suggests that sometimes, a simple formula is where your skin will benefit best.

Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin by Dove

Dove has made a name for themselves by delivering top quality bathroom products over the years, and their soap is definitely up there with the best bath soaps available in the market. It has a hypoallergenic formula that does wonders with sensitive skin and properly cleanses the whole body in the process.

A bath soap from one of the most well-known skincare manufacturer is unsurprisingly one of the best choices as well. The Dove Beauty Bar is a hypoallergenic bar soap that is a great choice for people with sensitive skin. Dove has become a household name and is known for a wide variety of quality bath and beauty products including bar soap, liquid soaps, body wash, and moisturizing creams. 

This soap bar uses an unscented formula that forgoes any use of synthetic chemicals. It also utilizes ¼ moisturizing cream to help keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. It promises to leave your skin softer and smoother compared as well. Dove is a trusted and tested brand and is one of the safest choices for people with sensitive skin.

It should make skin feel way more hydrated after using it and it doesn’t have an annoying or super strong fragrance that could deter people from buying it.  

Just be sure to check out if you’re allergic to propylene glycol before purchasing these, as the ingredient is not listed in many online retailer websites. Some buyers with sensitive skin could be allergic to this substance!

While Dove has become a household standard and one of the best selling soaps, some people find the smell distinctively like “perfume”. This is a personal preference but there is a small percentage of people that are just turned off by Dove. If you’re not familiar with it, you may want to try a single bar before ordering bulk order or family size of multiple bars.

Pros:

  • Affordable 
  • Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin.
  • Unscented option
  • Great skin moisturizer as well.

Cons:

  • Perfume smell
  • Contains Propylene Glycol
Soaps for babies are best for sensitive skin
Soaps for babies are best for sensitive skin | Photo Credit: Pixabay

Soap Buyer’s Guide

The first thing you need to understand when looking for the right bar soap is to determine what skin type you have. Below are the different skin types and what type of soap being recommend for each.

Skin Type

  • Oily Skin – Some people experience excess oil production due to having an overworked sebaceous gland. This type of skin is more susceptible to acne problems. As such, it is important to wash their skin frequently using milder soaps like ones that use oatmeal as their primary ingredient.
  • Dry Skin – On the other side of the coin are people with excessively dry skin. This is because their sebaceous glands are not producing enough sebum. The solution to this is to use bath soaps that contain high moisturizing properties like glycerin. Glycerin helps your skin absorb water that is present in the air, thus keeping your skin moisturized throughout the day. Soaps that contain coconut oil, vegetable oil, and aloe vera are also great choices for people with dry skin.
  • Combination Skin – To make matters more complicated, there are also individuals whose skins experience both oily and dry properties. People who have combination skin should avoid bar soaps designed specifically for either oily or dry skin. Instead, you should opt for soaps that contain glycerin as it manages to help maintain a middle ground in terms of its effects.
  • Sensitive Skin – Now we have the trickiest type when it comes to skin. Fortunately, there are dozens of bar soaps in the market designed for sensitive skin. Look for soaps that contain no colorants, perfume, and offer balanced pH levels. This should help avoid skin irritations that might arise.
Is your soap safe for sensitive skin
Is your soap safe for sensitive skin? | Photo Credit: Burst

What to Consider

Smoothness: Some soaps contain coffee, oats, ground almond shells or other natural fibers to help exfoliate your skin. If you have sensitive skin you may want to totally avoid these or opt for the ones that aren’t too rough. Smoothness is normally determined by touch and feel. 

Cleanness: Just like the soap bar’s cleaning capabilities are not to compromise its overall smoothness, the process shouldn’t happen the other way around either. Finding a soap bar with a smooth composition that is mild yet effective at cleaning. Some of the best soaps use natural essential oils that have a pleasant smell without irritating sensitive skin the way artificial or chemical cleaning additives often do.

Fragrance: Washing your hands with soap that has a strange smell is an unpleasant experience but if you are sensitive to artificial fragrances or strong perfumes this can compound the problems. The bar soaps we looked for had natural fragrances that were mild enough for more delicate skin. 

Ingredients: If you have sensitive skin, many artificial fragrances, colors or additives (of keeping soap solid) can irritate your skin or even cause rashes. One of the key factors in finding a good soap for sensitive skin types is that is is as natural and mild as possible while still doing a good job of cleaning dirt and oils.

Bar Soap Types:  Avoid These

Of course, it is also important to understand what soaps you need to avoid. 

  1. First, avoid soaps that contain considerably high acid content. This could damage your skin in the long run.
  2. You should also avoid using bath soaps that utilize chemicals. Soaps that promotes 100% whitening might contain a myriad of chemicals that could harm your skin.
  3. Soaps that are overly fragrant might also cause skin irritations for those with sensitive skin, so stay away from these as well.

Overly Fragrant Bar Soaps

Soaps that utilize excessive amounts of synthetic fragrance can lead to skin problems especially for those who have sensitive skin. These types of soap bars can cause contact dermatitis and can even cause the skin to develop rashes and other irritations.

If you have sensitive skin, using a fragrance-free bath soap should help eliminate the risk of contact dermatitis. Look for soap bars that have “unscented” or “fragrance-free” stated on the box. You can also check the ingredients of the bath soap to see if it includes fragrances or “parfums”. If it does, don’t buy it.

Chemical Preservatives

Chemical preservatives in skincare products are one of the leading cause of allergens for individuals with highly sensitive skin. While it is possible to find bar soaps that do not contain any preservatives, it is actually easier said than done. A primary ingredient when it comes to soap is water which is prone to developing bacteria. 

Adding a preservative is a way to prevent bacteria from forming in soaps, hence, why it is difficult to find a bath soap that does not contain preservatives. A workaround here is to find a soap that contains the least amount of preservatives in its content.

Synthetic Ingredients

A mandatory rule of thumb for those with sensitive skin is to avoid soaps that contain strong exfoliants, alcohol, detergents, artificial colors, and artificial fragrances. Check the ingredients of the bath soap carefully and do some research on the ingredients used. For example, glycolic acid and retinol, commonly found in anti-aging products, can cause serious skin irritations to sensitive skin.

Using natural ingredients is often the best option for sensitive skin types
Using natural ingredients is often the best option for sensitive skin types | Photo Credit: Madison Inouye

Final Verdict

Each product that we listed here has its own set of benefits, so it would be unfair to tell you that one of them is better than the other.  

If you’re looking for other types of soap or body wash to use while bathing, we encourage you to read our other reviews – we’ve gone through some very tempting options that you might like to consider!