Natural Soap Bars

What is natural soap?

Soap or at least “true soap” is by definition made using a process called saponification, whereby natural fats and oils are combined with a caustic substance such as sodium or potassium hydroxide (AKA lye).

Although highly dangerous in its raw form, lye can be made naturally by leaching highly alkaline wood ash in water, and the process of saponification makes it harmless to all but the most sensitive of skins.

In that sense, natural soap is any soap that is made using only natural ingredients and that doesn’t contain harmful chemical additives such as parabens, SLS, 1,4 Dioxane, synthetic fragrances, etc. We also include any other natural substance that performs the same function as true soap, such as Castile soap & soapberries, within this definition.

Below, you’ll find our picks for the best natural, eco-friendly and organic soaps & body washes that are good for your health and that of the environment.

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Tree To Tub Natural Soap For sensitive skin-

1

Tree to Tub Soapberry Body Wash – Relaxing Lavender

Overview

Tree to Tub uses Mother Nature’s soap alternative, the incredible little soapberry, as the base for their body washes and most of their other products.

One of the most amazing things about soapberries is that their pH of 5.5 is exactly the same as human skin!

This deep hydrating yet extremely gentle body wash is great for all skin types and an especially good choice for those with sensitive skin or people who simply want to avoid true soap entirely.

Aside from soapberry extract, it’s also loaded with other nourishing botanical ingredients such as shea butter, aloe vera, cucumber and chamomile, making it basically your skin’s wildest dream. If lavender isn’t your thing, it also comes in Sunkissed Citrus, Revitalizing Peppermint and Unscented varieties.

Aside from the plastic bottle it comes in (which is at least made of recycled PET), this is a truly biodegradable body wash. If you’re in search of a soap that is not only safe for your skin but good for it, your search is officially over!

PROS

  • Soapberry base matches the skin’s natural pH of 5.5
  • Jam-packed with healthy, soothing botanicals
  • Not only cleans effectively but also nourishes the skin
  • Biodegradable, cruelty-free, vegan, fair-trade & non-GMO formula
  • Gorgeous scent from natural essential oil
  • 20% discount if you subscribe or order 4 units & 10% discount on an order of 2 units
  • Free shipping within the USA for all orders over $49 + free full-size shea body butter with orders over $69 and free full-size facial cleanser with orders over $99
  • Comes with a complimentary soapberry so that you experience the magic of this wonderful little fruit yourself

CONS

  • Comes in a plastic bottle. On the plus side, it is made from recycled PET and comes in sustainable cardboard packaging, while the company has officially committed to going 100% plastic-free by 2025

Best for: Those who want a natural soap that is both environmentally friendly and that not only cleans effectively but also nourishes and soothes skin.

The Mad Optimist Custom Natural Soap Bar

2

The Mad Optimist Custom Natural Bar Soap

Overview

The Mad Optimist offers customizable soap bars and other personal care products that are vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO and gluten-free.

While soap normally takes around 30 days to cure, the folks at The Mad Optimist have a proprietary method that allows soap to cure in just 24 hours.

This cool innovation makes them the only company that can ship you a custom-designed soap bar within two weeks of you placing your order.

The process is simple: Select a product and a base that best suits your skin type, choose to include up to four natural fragrances and up to three additional natural ingredients, and finally name your custom natural soap bar and even the price you want to pay!

It’s a truly unique model that is considerate of both the needs of people and the planet, and we absolutely love it!

PROS

  • Customizable products that keep things interesting and make the perfect gift for an eco & health-conscious family member or friend
  • Great variety of all-natural ingredients to choose from
  • You even get to select the price you are able to pay ($6 minimum) and can pay a little extra ($16 max) if you feel that you are in a position to do so and want to help subsidize the orders of those less fortunate than you who are making an effort to buy eco-friendly and healthy products
  • Building your natural soap bar is a ton of fun, and seeing the look on someone’s face when they receive their custom gift is priceless!
  • Innovation, innovation and more innovation!

CONS

  • Even with a proprietary method for fast-curing soap, it can still take up to two weeks to ship your order
  • No free shipping on bulk orders ($10 flat shipping rate on all orders, so we suggest buying multiple bars at a time)

Best for: Those who want to customize their natural soap bar and try new combinations regularly or give a personalized gift to someone who loves natural products.

3

Eco Roots Organic Body Soap

Overview

Eco Roots is a company that creates organic body soap and other natural & sustainable personal care products. All their products are also vegan, handmade in small batches and extremely low waste.

As the name suggests, their organic body soap is made using *mostly* certified organic ingredients. Just as great, their soap bars come packaging free and a portion of the company’s annual sales go to organizations such as Ocean Conservancy that are doing the most important work of all by trying to ensure that we all have a healthy planet to call home. Available fragrances: Lavanda, Patchouli, Peppermint, Tangerine Lavender, Lemongrass, Grapefruit Calendula and Spearmint Sage.

PROS

  • Certified organic and all-natural ingredients
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
  • Small batch, handmade & low-waste products
  • Woman-owned company
  • Supports environmental causes
  • Discount of 20% on bundles and interest-free payment plans available (4 installments) on all orders of $50 or more
  • Free shipping within the USA for all orders over $45

CONS

  • Not all ingredients are certified organic – this isn’t a problem for us, but for those searching for 100% certified organic this might be a sticking point

Best for: Those looking for a beautiful organic soap that is not only safe for their body and the environment but also made by a small to medium size woman-owned business.

4

Moon Valley Organics Foaming Hand Soap

Overview

More than just a natural product brand, Moon Valley Organics is a company on a mission.

Their goal – “Expand pollinator habitat and work towards a pesticide-free future”. 

Tucked away beneath the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, they grow their own herbs and raise bees on a 10-acre organic farm where they produce a wide range of products using certified organic ingredients.

Their organic foaming hand soap is arguably one of their best. They combine natural soap with an infusion of organic calendula and comfrey with a variety of organic carrier and essential oils to create an effective, naturally foamy hand soap that is safe for you and the environment. Fragrance options include Mint Lavender, Lemon Rosemary, Grapefruit Thyme, Orange Spice and Unscented.

PROS

  • 100% Certified organic ingredients
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
  • On a mission to protect pollinators
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Discount of 10% with subscriptions

CONS

  • Comes in plastic packaging, although it is recycled and recyclable.
  • Minimum order for free shipping is $70

Best for: Those who not only want an effective organic hand soap but would also like to support an important environmental mission.

5

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash

Overview

No list of the best natural soaps would be complete without at least one option for those looking for the safest soap for their little one. This USDA-certified Bio-based baby soap by California baby is 100% plant-based, fragrance-free and made using purified water.

It’s so safe that it is even trusted by many hospitals and pediatric intensive care units. While none of the soaps on this list are likely to be a problem for babies and those with sensitive skin, when it comes to the most precious people in the world it’s nice to know that the product has been through the rigors of scientific testing and is trusted by professionals.

PROS

  • Specialized product designed for babies
  • USDA-certified and trusted by health care professionals and hospitals
  • 100% plant-based 
  • Fragrance & allergen-free
  • Comes in different sizes. Progressive pricing that helps you save money (and plastic) the more you buy, with a 20% discount when you buy a gallon.
  • Save between 10-20% when you subscribe

CONS

  • Comes in plastic
  • Minimum order for free shipping $69

Best for: Those looking for the safest natural baby soap and who want to know that any product they put near their little one is trusted by professionals.

Overview

Castile soap is another popular form of natural soap that can come in both bar and liquid form. Today, you’ll find many soaps marketed under this name, and although most of them are perfectly natural and gentle as advertised, not all are true Castile soaps. 

That’s because Castile soap is traditionally made using 100% pure olive oil and lye, whereas many brands today use soy or other vegetable oils as bases. That’s certainly not the case with Apple Valley Natural Soap, whose Castile soap is made with 100% organic olive oil to create a product worthy of it’s name. Fragrance options include Calendula, Lavender and Juniper.

PROS

  • True Castile soap in the original Spanish tradition
  • Family-owned
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • Minimum order of $80 for free shipping
  • Soap bars mostly look the same and can be hard to tell apart

Best for: Those in search of a true Castile soap that is both gentle and environmentally friendly.

7

Plaine Body Wash

Overview

If you’re after the best zero waste soap, Plaine is just about as good an option as you’re likely to find. The main ingredients in this refillable body wash are organic aloe vera and natural soap made with pure vegetable oils, but it also contains a fairly long list of other all-natural ingredients and extracts that each play their part in making it the nourishing and unique soap that it is.

On the zero waste front, Plaine uses refillable and reusable aluminum bottles, meaning they can be recycled an infinite amount of times without compromising the quality of the material.

When your bottle is running low, you simply order a new one and send your old one back to be refilled for someone else. If you subscribe you save 10% on your orders and can choose in advance how often you want a new bottle sent.

PROS

  • Just about as close to zero waste as it gets
  • Unique formula with plenty of nourishing and healthy ingredients
  • Carbon neutral shipping

CONS

  • Minimum order of $100 for free shipping
  • Only two fragrances and one unscented option to choose from


Best for: Those in search of the best zero waste soap but who also like the sound of a rich foamy lather filled with healthy natural ingredients.

Overview

Ok, technically we already included Tree to Tub’s Soapberry body wash at the top of this list so maybe this shouldn’t count as another item, but we just had to give a special mention to the unscented version of this product. We’ve tried a lot of natural soap and have made it ourselves using traditional saponification and soapberry extraction, and we can’t speak highly enough of this brand. 

We’re parents to a beautiful 18-month-old toddler with sensitive skin that sometimes struggles in the warm climate where we live. We’ve never put any actual soap on her body, but we have no problem lathering her up with this soapberry body wash or our own homemade version. That’s why it’s our pick for the best soap for sensitive skin. 

Although nobody in our family has any skin conditions, we’ve read reviews from plenty of Tree to Tub customers who do have them and many swear that this unscented soapberry body wash is the first product they’ve ever truly trusted not to inflame their condition.

PROS

  • The best natural soap for sensitive skin that we’ve ever come across
  • Soapberry base matches the skin’s natural pH of 5.5
  • Lathers surprisingly well for a product with no true soap whatsoever.
  • Jam-packed with healthy, soothing botanicals
  • Not only cleans effectively but also nourishes the skin
  • Biodegradable, cruelty-free, vegan, fair-trade & non-GMO formula
  • 20% discount if you subscribe or order 4 units & 10% discount on an order of 2 units
  • Free shipping within the USA for all orders over $49 + free full-size shea body butter with orders over $69 and free full-size facial cleanser with orders over $99
  • Comes with a complimentary soapberry so that you experience the magic of this wonderful little fruit yourself

CONS

  • Comes in a plastic bottle. On the plus side, it is made from recycled PET and comes in sustainable cardboard packaging, while the company has officially committed to going 100% plastic-free by 2025

Best for: Those with sensitive skin or skin conditions and are fed up with feeling unsure or even scared every time they want to jump in the bath or shower.

What is the best natural soap? (Conclusion)

It’s the case with most products that the ‘best’ option of often a case of subjective opinion, but this is especially true of natural soap and body wash, as well as natural and sustainable products in general. 

It all comes down to what you’re looking for and how you weigh up the pros and cons. Is a company that is helping to grow bee populations and growing all its own ingredients organically better than one that is as close to zero waste as it gets? What’s a more natural soap, one made from soapberry extract and other botanicals (if that even counts as soap in your opinion), or a pure organic Castile soap?

We’ve tried our best to present you with a comprehensive list of the different types of natural, organic and eco-friendly body soaps available today. We hope it helped.

If you would like to know more about Sustainablast or our personal journey towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle you can visit the about page and if you have any questions for us please get in touch in the comments section of this article or through our contact form.

Summary
Article Name
8 Best Natural Soap & Body Wash Brands: Safe + Sustainable
Description
Discover the best eco-friendly, organic and natural soap brands and products on the market today. Pros & Cons, prices & more.
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Sustainablast

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