With the COVID-19 outbreak drawing attention to the importance of hand washing, we’ve rounded up soaps designed to upgrade the cleansing experience. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the best ways to prevent exposure to the virus is twenty seconds of scrubbing with soap and water. If you’re following health official guidelines (and you should be), we’re guessing you’re going through a lot of soap. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites below to help spruce up your regular routine.
Chemical-free, cold-process soap designed for your skin
Soap dates back to 2800 BC, and while it may have changed plenty over the years in terms of ingredients, shape, and fragrance, it’s still as slippery as it was from the get-go.
While it’s hard to change the texture and still maintain soap’s properties, TETRA SOAP is reducing slipperiness by innovating form. This cold-process soap is made in a tetrapod-shaped mold, giving it that signature, three-point profile. It is easy to hold, quick drying (thanks to its unique shape), and comes with a felt coaster for display.
According to the company, TETRA SOAP draws its design inspiration from the huge, 10-ton concrete structures known as Tetrapods. Originally created in France in the 1940s, but most frequently found today on the coastlines of Japan, the four-footed structures are used as “breakwater barriers” to prevent erosion and water damage from dissipating waves.
Made with all-natural ingredients, TETRA SOAPS are lightly scented with a unisex combination of myrrh and sandalwood. Other ingredients include moisturizing, high-quality Italian extra virgin olive oil, organic citrus bioflavonoids (a powerful antioxidant), tea tree oil, coconut oil, and distilled water. The mild combination of natural ingredients makes this soap suitable for all skin types.
Cleansing bar soap
Mineral-rich, vegan, all-natural, cruelty-free. Cambrian Blue Clay is a soothing, uplifting soap that works to revitalize the skin’s tone and texture. Made from a balancing blend of lavender and Litsea oils, it is ideal for those with oily, sensitive, or combination skin. And when we say all-natural, we mean it; this soap from Herbivore has no dyes, fragrances, or synthetic preservatives. Furthermore, these ultra-concentrated blends contain no fillers. The company has focused on achieving maximum results with a small number of ingredients.
Cambrian Blue Clay has a rich and generous lather that makes it the perfect soap to use when shaving. It penetrates pores and draws out impurities without leaving skin dry and papery.
Added bonus? This handcrafted soap can also be used as a body bar.
Exfoliating face wash and moisturizing bar cleanser
The Juju Bar and Pekee Bar from Drunk Elephant are in a league of their own. The Juju Bar is a multi-tasking, exfoliating bar made from thermal mud and bamboo powder, while the Pekee Bar is a gentle cleansing bar infused with blueberry extract, Marula oil, and honey. Both are completely devoid of the “suspicious six” — that is, essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes, and SLS. The company sees these ingredients as being the root of most skin issues. Drunk Elephant focuses instead on natural, active ingredients specifically chosen for their ability to promote skin health.
More importantly, the company is all about pH levels. Most soap has a pH level of 9 or higher, part of what makes it so drying; the Juju Bar and Pekee Bar, on the other hand, boast a pH level of 6.3. These gentle soaps leave the protective barrier of the skin intact while removing dead skin cells and removing pore-clogging impurities.
Moisturizing souffle soap
According to the company, the Japanese beauties depicted in ukiyo-e, the art of traditional block prints, were known for their youthful and flawless skin. The secret to their smooth and satin soft complexions, EDOBIO claims, lay in the ancient natural ingredients used in a simple beauty ritual the originated in the Edo period (1603-1868).
Combining ancient practices with cutting-edge biotechnology, EDOBIO has created a line of skincare products that harken back to the Edo period. These fine soaps contain high-quality ingredients like plant-based BiProGE®︎Lactic Acid Bacteria and plant-based essential oils, which work together to create products that moisturize, encourage cellular rejuvenation, balance pH levels, gently revitalize, and leave the skin with a radiant glow that’ll have others asking what your secret is.
We’re at a turning point in history when it comes to mass consumption. Many companies are veering away from disposable plastic packaging and seeking out innovative alternatives that will not have the same harmful impact on the environment.
Mi Zhou, a London-based post-graduate student, has proposed a concept prototype for a line of toiletry bottles that double as soap. That’s right; once the contents have been used, the containers become useful tools for hand-washing.
How it works: each Soapback bottle is made from a vegetable-based soap dyed with mineral, plant, and flower pigments. Soaps are then shaped in a playful mold. According to Zhou, they have a very short lifespan of just 1-2 months, a healthy alternative to the hundreds and hundreds of product bottles we regularly discard (which take thousands of years to break down in landfills). This environmentally conscious prototype is an exciting way to cut down on our collective waste. Sadly, they aren’t available on the retail market yet, but we’re crossing our fingers.
A make-it-yourself hand wash
Form Us With Love is always searching for ways to integrate our daily lives with sustainable practices, and FORGO is its latest innovation.
This unique soap comes as a 12-gram powder sachet and will leave you feeling like a chemist; simply mix this powder with 250ml of regular hot tap water in the minimalist FORGO bottle, and you’ll have a luxurious foaming hand wash.
Another unique element of FORGO is its range of scents. The company works closely with a perfumer to source fragrances from superior (and sometimes unlikely) sources. The Woody fragrance, for instance, comes from Canadian timber scrap yards; the Citrus fragrance is distilled from leftover pulp and peels from organic juicing plants in the Caribbean.
Form Us With Love’s refill service makes it simple to integrate FORGO into your daily hygiene practices; once you run out, simply order a replacement and three new sachets will arrive in your mailbox.
3-in-1 Detoxifying Charcoal Body Bar
Made from kaolin, bentonite clay, glycerin, coconut oil, and the ever-popular activated charcoal, this 3-in-1 bar from Baxter of California is perfect for gents who like to streamline their daily routines. This sleek bar removes oils, dirt, and impurities from the face and body — and also, importantly, the beard. We especially love the masculine fragrance, a subtle blend of smoked wood and hemp grass. And despite its ability to treat the skin to a deep cleanse, it won’t leave you feeling dry after the fact. It’s ideal for all skin types and is especially helpful for those with acne-prone backs.
A luxury body wash
The creator of Byredo, Ben Gorham, has a mixed heritage and upbringing that no doubt gives him a unique lens on the world. A native Swede, he was born to an Indian mother and a Canadian father, and was raised in Toronto, New York, and Stockholm. He graduated from the Stockholm art school with a degree in fine arts, but a chance meeting with perfumer Pierre Wulff convinced him that he’d rather create fragrances than paintings. With no formal training in the field, Gorham, 31 years old at the time, sought out the services of world-renowned perfumers Olivia Giacobetti and Jerome Epinette, explaining his olfactory desires and letting them create the compositions. As an outsider in the beauty industry, Ben is somewhat of an anomaly and has been recognized for his personal style and connection to fashion and art in several international magazines such as French Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, V Magazine, and Fantastic Man, to name a few.
BAL D’AFRIQUE is Ben Gorham’s self-professed ‘love letter’ to Africa. Celebrating the continent’s myriad cultures and their pervading influence on dance, art, and music around the world, this body wash attempts to turn memory into scent. Top notes of Moroccan cedar wood and vetiver are underscored by cyclamen, violet, African marigold, bergamot, and Bucchu.
A simple low-lather bar
Oh so soap is oh so simple. Made primarily from olive oil, mango butter, and organic buttermilk powder, it boasts a low lather and high moisturizing properties. It’s ideal for those suffering from dry skin or more severe conditions like eczema or psoriasis, and it’s especially perfect for new moms and their precious infants!
Fun fact: Osmia means “sense of smell”. (It’s derived from the medical word “anosmia”, which is the inability to smell.) According to the company, every Osmia product is made with the utmost attention to scent and its aromatherapeutic benefits. In a broad sense, they argue, the word Osmia is also a reminder to notice your life — the colour of the sky, the taste of your coffee, the feeling of your child’s hand in yours.
Osmia wants to do more than help you return to your senses; they want to help the planet heal itself, too. So it’s their mandate that every time you place an order, they plant a tree!
As a former bakery owner and pastry chef, Kate McLeod didn’t know skincare — but she did know food. According to the company, her eponymous brand began in her pantry, after digging out and blending her favourite base oils: sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, and fractionated coconut. She worked with a local sculptor to create a stone shape that fit perfectly in the palm of the hand, and she developed a recipe that allowed these gentle cocoa butter stones to melt on contact with skin. It’s something you just have to feel to understand.
In the beginning, she started sharing her kitchen creations with friends as “skin food” and was told they looked edible. Well — they were! She spent almost two years developing Body Stones — natural, simple soaps created in her very own kitchen. She discovered that cocoa butter is an incredible natural preservative and that moisturizers don’t need added preservatives, synthetics, or other chemicals. Her soaps are completely plant based and packaged in sustainably farmed, re-usable bamboo canisters. And they are simply beautiful.
These Stones are available in many scents, and there is even one with a heady blend of full spectrum CBD and eucalyptus. The CBD relaxes body and mind, while the eucalyptus soothes tired muscles and encourages cleansing breaths. Use after your daily shower instead of lotion for a cooling, nourished glow.