Bar soap is back, but not as you know it.

Stop it right now. I know what you're doing. You're picturing a sad, thin slice of wax that's jagged on the sides, probably has a suspiciously thick strand of hair sticking to it, is a questionable shade of yellow and just won't stay in your hands. 

Look, I'm picturing it too. It's gross, it's embarrassing and what's worse is that it's the only thing that really made us feel squeaky clean. 

Watch: Flight skincare routine. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

But I'm here to tell you that the humble bar soap is back in a big way. Just not as you might remember it. 

Don't get me wrong, liquid soap was a game changer. You mean I don't have to rub my hands across the same soapy block as a million other people who've just used to loo? Pump that liquid cleanliness straight into my organs (not really). 

Then we have foam soap... it had its moment. There was something so childlike, freeing and fun about foam soap. The issue was, it would clean approximately one fingernail before it completely disappeared. 

We've now come full circle back to the bar soap. Bar soap was something that was traditionally always gifted and never bought. They're usually found in a big gift basket at a Mother's Day stall or the 4th prize at pub trivia.


This is probably why I have a cupboard full of bar soap. 

On a day that I ran out of my bathroom's liquid hand soap and was too hungover to go grocery shopping, I unwrapped a little bar soap from The Body Shop as what I initially thought would be a temporary replacement. 

But I haven't looked back. 

Using that bar soap has made me feel more clean than any other liquid hand soap or body wash. 

I've now replaced my shower soap and kitchen soap with bars as well. 

After using a few different brands, I've noticed most bar soaps have a few things in common that are big wins in my book. 

They last longer, the smell is amazing and they're now much more aesthetically pleasing. They're also great for the environment as they cut down on plastic waste. 

Here are some of the brands I've been using and love:

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Milk Soap with Shea, $15.

Image: L'Occitane.


This one is my go-to. It makes me feel so lush and fresh. I can't afford many L'Occitane products so this is my way of allowing myself a little treat that I love from a luxury brand. 

The Body Shop Strawberry Cleansing Face & Body Bar, $7.

Image: The Body Shop.


My OG bestie. The Body Shop soaps smell elite. The strawberry scent was the first one I used that got me into bar soaps initially. I usually take this with me when I'm travelling because it smells so nice and is cheap enough that if it accidentally gets left behind, I'm not devastated. 

Aesop Refresh Bar Soap, $29.

Image: Aesop.

Okay, I need to be honest. I was originally gifted this soap. Paying over $15 for a bar of soap makes little sense in my head but the minute I used this I knew I was going to buy it again and again and again. 


Lush Outback Mate soap, $11.

Image: Lush.

This is my summer soap of choice. It's so fresh with mint and eucalyptus and makes your skin feel tingly afterwards (if you're into that). 

My main reason for buying this was because I walked passed the Lush shop on my way to the train station and the scent invited me in. I'm drawn to loud colours so got a bit of this cut from a big slab and it was one of the best choices I made. 

Dove Beauty Cream Bar Shea Butter, $12.50.

Image: Dove.


I had to put the OG in here. Every person and their dog has used the classic Dove bar soap at one point in their life. I'm here to tell you that the shea butter version has more of a vibe. It's so creamy and my skin feels so soft and moisturised after. 

If you want more lifestyle opinions and recommendations from Emily Vernem you can follow her on Instagram @emilyvernem.

At Mamamia, we independently curate and write about products we rave about in our group chats and think you should know about too. If you purchase a product we have recommended, we may earn a small commission.

Feature image: Canva. 

Are you someone who loves beauty, health, or self-care? Take our short survey to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!