Q: Are soap bars really bad for your skin?

Q: In the past, soap bars were surrounded by controversy. Washing your face with a bar of soap seems paradoxical, as they’re formulated with harsh detergents that can be overly drying and irritating to the skin. However, not all soap bars are the same. Most have come a long way since the sulfate-heavy and overly fragrant ones our parents grew up with, and today they’re formulated with natural, healthy ingredients similar to those in your favourite go-to cleansers.

The reason for their comeback is simple. The beauty industry has gone back to the ‘less is more’ mantra, and bars of soap are the perfect example. They are environmentally friendly (since they require no plastic packaging), and they contain only necessary ingredients that are efficient enough to have visible benefits for the skin.

Here are five of our best bars that won’t dry out your skin:

1. A cult favourite, Dove Beauty Bar Gentle Exfoliating Soap is made with exfoliating beads that gently remove dull and dead skin, while also leaving your skin feeling moisturised.

Dove Gentle ExfoliatingBeauty Cream Bar R12.95

2. Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions™ Cleansing Bar for Face and Body is a mild soap formulated with salicylic acid, which targets acne break-outs by unclogging pores and removing dirt and excess oils.

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions™ Cleansing Bar for Face and Body R330

3. With a pomegranate flower and glycerine formulation, JOHNSON’S Vita-Rich Brightening Soap works as a gentle cleanser that restores the skins lost moisture while brightening it to look healthy and renewed.

JOHNSON’S Vita-Rich Brightening Soap R11.95

4. African Extracts Rooibos Purifying Facial Cleansing Bar is made with natural ingredients baobab fruit extract and green rooibos, both known for their soothing and calming benefits. The soap targets concerns like oily skin, blemishes and spots. It works well for all skin types, including combination skin.

African Extracts Rooibos Purifying Facial Cleansing Bar R19.99

5. Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Bar For Acne Prone Skin is an alkali-free soap specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. It prevents new pimples from forming by stabilising the skin’s natural protective acid mantle, which protects against acne bacteria. This soap also prevents shine, delivering a smooth, matte finish.

Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Bar R63.95