PUBLISHED: 04/02/2018 | LAST UPDATED: 01/17/2020
If you’re in the market for a natural and organic body wash, then you have two options to choose from: an organic shower gel (or liquid soap) or an organic soap bar. Both products, when made correctly, can be fantastic options for any skin type.
Many soap bars and body washes have gotten a bad reputation over the years as being drying or harsh on the skin. The truth is, like any skin care product, the effectiveness of a soap really comes down to how the product is made. A poorly crafted body wash contains almost no moisturizing ingredients and may even contain harsh foaming agents and preservatives. An expertly crafted body wash, however, can be an incredibly hydrating and nourishing experience for your skin. So, what makes the difference?
All soaps are made by combining oil or fats with a chemical called lye (all soaps are made with lye). These ingredients cause a chemical reaction called saponification (which literally means “to make soap” in Latin). Once this process is complete, if the ratio of fat to lye was correct, just soap molecules and glycerin will remain (all lye is broken down as a part of the chemical reaction). Glycerin is a humectant which helps to draw moisture into the skin. This is where the good soaps get separated from the bad. A good handmade organic soap bar, for example, is then poured into a mold and allowed to “cure” for a few weeks to allow for the excess water to evaporate. Conventional soap makers, however, will remove the glycerin from the soap and add salt to the mix in order to speed up the hardening process. They then add preservatives, foaming agents (like sodium lauryl sulfate), and other unnecessary chemicals.
In summary, a great organic body wash + organic soap bar is 1) expertly crafted made with plant-derived oils + lye 2) made so that no lye remains at the end of the saponification process 3) contains naturally occurring glycerin 4) contains natural + organic ingredients 5) does not contain ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, irritating foaming agents, phthalates, formaldehydes, oxybenzone, ethoxylated ingredients, polysorbates, phenoxyethanol, petrochemicals, triclosan, TEA/DEA, synthetic fragrances and colors.
As always, we set out to find the absolute best organic body washes and organic bar soaps to make your search easier. After all of our research was completed, just 27 products met our standards for craftsmanship and ingredient quality. These natural and organic body washes are crafted by true skin care experts who clearly understand how to make a good soap. Enjoy!
P.S. Want our experts to help you find the best organic & natural body wash products for your skin type? Then, try our Ox Box! It’s a seasonal subscription box filled with the best organic skin care products hand-picked for your specific skin type and skin conditions.