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Who doesn’t love unwrapping a brand new bar of soap? There’s something a little nostalgic and luxurious about sudsing up with this bath time staple. Considering we’ve been filling our showers and sinks with liquid washes over the past few years, we’re excited to see this beauty classic making a big comeback—in a refreshingly natural and safe way.

Part of the reason bar soap is said to have gone temporarily off the radar is because many conventional soaps, both solid and liquid, are filled with undesirable ingredients like SLS and triclosan. Some dermatologists and experts actually started encouraging us not to seek that squeaky-clean feeling, which can be caused by soap’s traditionally high pH and not-so-squeaky-clean ingredients. These can strip your skin of its natural lipids and proteins, leaving you feeling dry, cracked, irritated, or inflamed.

Recently, solid soaps have undergone a modern-day makeover. With hydrating and plant-based formulas, bar soap can be a luxurious addition to daily cleansing routines. As you start making shelf space for bar soap in your bathroom, make sure the ones you choose include some of these key ingredients.

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Schmidt's Naturals Cedarwood + Juniper bar soap with charcoal and exfoliating volcanic sand.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal can help remove bacteria, oil, and dirt out of your skin. For example, using bar soaps with this ingredient is said by some to alleviate skin irritations like bug bites and rashes. On top of this, activated charcoal has been said to help fight and neutralize body odor by adsorbing toxins, collecting the bacteria on the surface and preventing them from entering your bloodstream.

Natural Exfoliating Ingredients

Using a bar soap with natural exfoliants helps with skin cell turnover, which allows other skincare products to penetrate more deeply into your renewed skin. Ingredients like volcanic sand, jojoba seed, apricot seed, orange peel, and vanilla bean gently exfoliate and help rid your skin of flakiness. The result is soft, moisturized skin that doesn’t feel tight.

Plant-based Oils

When oils such as calendula, lavender, sage, and bergamot are added to bar soap, everyday showers become aromatherapeutic experiences. Not only can they immediately transport your mind to the spa, but they also come from a natural source. Essential oils like these are derived from flowers, trees, and roots.

Go ahead—lather up in that old-school, indulgent nostalgia. You can feel confident and comfortable knowing that bar soap and its ingredients aren’t so old-fashioned anymore.