Throughout the last few years, I’ve thought a lot about how my everyday actions impact the planet, and tried to gradually shift my lifestyle to be more sustainable. There are so many ways to make a difference—from the food we eat to the clothes we wear—and step by step, I’ve made changes. Today I’m eating fewer animal products, shopping secondhand, and reducing my use of plastic.
Cutting down on plastic, in particular, can be overwhelming. It’s literally everywhere. It’s in every aisle at the grocery store, on our shower shelves, and it’s even in our clothing. And though I couldn’t tell you the last time I drank out of a single-use plastic water bottle, ridding my bathroom entirely of plastic toiletries has been trickier.
Bars Over Bottles
One of the easiest places to start when trying to cut down on bottled body products is to swap them for bars of soap, but with so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to begin. I’ve tried dozens of different bar soaps without committing to just one, but I do have my favorites, which boast simple, natural ingredients, no filmy residue or pungent scent, and completely plastic-free packaging.
My Go-To Bar Soaps
At this point, I have a pretty extensive rotation of soaps I love and seek out when my current bar gets to the point of being paper-thin, and three, in particular, I often pick up at The Vitamin Shoppe.
Dr. Bronner’s is a household name amongst the eco- and health-conscious because of its fair trade and organic ingredients and longstanding commitment to its suppliers, customers, and the planet. Packaged in post-consumer recycled paper, their bar soaps are perfectly uncomplicated and really get the job done. The peppermint scent feels like pure cleanliness without being overpowering (I typically don’t like the punch of peppermint-scented anything but Dr. Bronner’s gets the balance right.) This bar is great for travel because I don’t mind using it for body, face, and hair in a pinch.
A more recent discovery, I was drawn to Kiss My Face’s Olive Oil Soap because of the box’s proclamation that it’s 86 percent olive oil and “super moisturizing.” I’m not exactly the most consistent with moisturizing after I shower, so the more nourishing my soap, the better. And considering the deep olive color of this bar, I knew it would be luscious before I even sudsed it up. The ingredients in this one are super simple—and, let me tell you, the olive oil definitely shined. This soap felt incredibly creamy and left my skin soft. It’ll definitely be a regular in my rotation, especially in the colder, dryer months.
I’ve long been a fan of Nubian Heritage, so I’ve tried a few different bar soaps here and there. While I genuinely like all of those that I’ve used (including the Patchouli & Buriti and the Raw Shea Butter, which is a staple) my number one is the Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver. Also featuring soothing neem oil, this soap has a clean, refreshing scent and feels incredibly gentle as you lather it on. My skin is generally sensitive and always feels soft and supple after using this soap. I also appreciate that Nubian Heritage features ethically-sourced ingredients from around the world and, of course, packages their bar soap sans plastic.