A proper bar of handmade soap will not dry your skin out, as it retains moisturising glycerine (try using it for a month with nothing else, and see most dry skin heal itself). Use a slatted soap dish to stop soaps going squidgy. Bars in shops are mostly made with sodium tallowate (beef fat) or sodium palmate (palm oil – its unsustainable use is destroying orangutan habitats).
Those translucent fruity bars are just glycerine, and won’t clean your skin. The following brands are all plant-based and free from palm oil (most use olive or coconut oil, always ensure the latter is free from monkey harvesting). They are also packed in paper/cardboard. Also see zero-waste hand soap and conscious soaps from London.
Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing, avoid rosemary oil for high blood pressure. Due to concern over harvesting harming koalas, avoid eucalyptus oil for now. Avoid rosewood oil, from an endangered tree. Do not use human shower gels on dogs (use organic dog shampoo instead).
Balade en Provence (France) offers beautiful soaps including scent-free, night-cream soaps, shaving soaps and soaps ‘pour l’homme’. Sold in compostable packaging, all items are handmade. Use voucher code PROVENCE10 for 10% off every order above 25€.
Babaru & Blake (Surrey) makes soaps with natural ingredients and essential oils (many are coloured by infusing plants in olive oil). Choose from oatmeal, rose geranium & pink clay, sweet orange & patchouli, tea tree & lime, palmarosa, nettle or lavender clary sage (wrapped in recycled paper).
Authentic House Clay Soap Bar (Wales) is in geranium & pink clay (with spinach!), orange patchouli, lime & green tea, lemongrass lime, charcoal & ginger and spiced orange.
Soaps to Help Endangered Species
Organik Orangutan Soaps donate a portion of profits to rainforest conservation. King of the Swingers with pink & yellow clay is also a shampoo.
These conscious soaps from London are an alternative to commercial soap. Just store on a slatted soap dish, to allow them to dry out. The refreshing scents are soothing and the ingredients ideal to heal irritated skin. Handmade soap does not dry out the skin. Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing, and avoid shea butter for latex allergies.
Conscious House (London) is a small female-founded brand that creates natural sustainable beauty products, handmade using ingredients and materials from trusted suppliers. Each product is designed with the planet and nature in mind. Due to natural ingredients, these soaps don’t lather as quickly, but do produce froth and bubbles later on. The range includes:
This humble bar of super soap is designed to keep things simple. No animal ingredients, no palm oil, no plastic. Nothing nasty. Store these soaps on a slatted soap dish, to help them dry out and last longer. Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing and avoid shea butter for latex allergies. Choose from:
- Hydrating Facial Bar is a simple blend of one-third each of olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter
- Exfoliating Facial Bar with lime & rosemary oils (avoid rosemary oil for high blood pressure)
- Natural Clay Shaving Bar with coconut and castor oil
- Peppermint uses poppy seeds, for gentle exfoliation
- Citrus Body Bar is a good cleansing bar with coconut and olive oils and shea butter, plus orange and grapefruit to promote collagen production
- Geranium Shampoo Bar uses castor oil, which is good for breakage, hair loss, dandruff and itchy scalp.
About the Maker
Department of Hygiene is a brand founded by brothers in London, designed to reimagine the simple bar of soap. You won’t find fancy expensive packaging, so good soap that works. They were inspired by their home country’s Aleppo Soap (so presumably they are Syrian, home to some of the world’s best soaps).
This rose geranium gardener’s soap is made from plant-based biodegradable ingredients, free from palm oil and packed in paper. It’s made in Rutland, England’s smallest county. Scented with real rose geranium oil (avoid for pregnancy/nursing), this is the perfect bar for any female hard-working gardener, and contains madder root and shea butter (not for latex allergies).
These eco-friendly soaps from Wales are free from palm oil, and made with natural plant-based biodegradable ingredients. Real handmade soap does not dry your skin out, as it retains moisturising glycerine (instead of selling it to industry, during the soap-making process).
This makes them more creamy, so store on a slatted soap dish, to help them dry out and last longer. They are packaged in recycled Kraft paper. These soaps are sold in a variety of scents (avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing, avoid shea butter for latex allergies):
- Cucumber, Aloe & Lime – with oils of cedarwood and lavender, good for inflamed, irritated or burned skin
- Green Clay, Geranium & Lavender – helps to draw out impurities, without drying skin out
- Chamomile Flowers & Laender – with infusions of steamed flowers, this can help reduce inflamed skin
- Oatmilk, Almond & Lemongrass contains real oats, good for inflamed and itchy skin, acne or eczema
- Hemp & Comfrey is good for inflamed or sensitive skin
- Charcoal is good to remove dirt and grim, so good for congested or acne-prone skin
- Rosehip, Orange & Patchouli is a powerful formula rich in fatty acids, so good for dry itchy skin, dark spots, fine lines and reducing scars.
About the Maker
Acala (Wales) is an indie zero waste beauty essentials brand, with the mission of helping to reduce the use of single-use plastic. All packaging is plastic-free.
It’s good to know how to stop soap going squidgy. Good handmade soaps are plant-based and free from palm oil. They are gentler on your skin, but because the yare creamier, this means that they can quickly go soft if left near water (same with shampoo bars). These dishes can drain soap, to make it last longer. Or use soap-on-a-rope, to let gravity do the work.
Balade en Provence Aluminium Soap Travel Dish (above) enables you to take your bar soaps to the gym, on holiday or on holiday. Made from rustproof metal, the 2-in-1 design allows storage in the shower, and protection on the move. The drip tray detaches for use in the shower, the design allows water to flow away from the bars, for air to circulate. Use voucher code PROVENCE10 for 10% off every order above 25€.
For something unique, Bottega Reclaimed Wooden Soap Dish is made from the wood of an Edwardian porch built around 1910, which stood in Wimbledon and needed to recently be replaced.
For handmade soap, avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing, avoid rosemary oil for high blood pressure. Due to concern over harvesting harming koalas, avoid eucalyptus oil for now. Avoid rosewood oil, from an endangered tree. Avoid shea butter for latex allergies. Do not use human soap on dogs (use organic dog shampoo).
Helen Round Soap Saver Bag is handmade in a Cornish studio. In a beautiful linen material, which is good to absorb moisture.
Maple Soap Dish is handcrafted with precision-cut slats to help water drain from your soap bars. Use the same discount as above. Use voucher code PROVENCE10 for 10% off every order above 25€.
Natural face soap bar with french clay which is is rich in minerals and is excellent at pulling dirt, toxins and impurities to the surface of the skin.
These eco-friendly facial soap bar also contain jojoba beads for exfoliation and clearing away surface debris gently. Although these bar soaps have been especially formulated to be used on the face, they can also be used on the body too.
It is unscented and suitable for all skin types, although particularly beneficial for more oily skins due to the clay’s ability to absorb excess oil.
This organic shave bar is a replacement for shaving gel, packed with moisturising plant butters and essential oils especially chosen to care for the skin and promote healing post shave.
Solid shaving bars are a great way of reducing waste as well as being a natural alternative to shaving foam. This shaving soap bar includes blended almond, bergamot, sandalwood and frankincense essential oils create a rich, woody scent with a hint of citrus.
Shea butter – Harvested from the Karite tree, shea butter contains essential fatty acids to moisturise the skin and boost its natural collagen production.
Cocoa butter – A byproduct of chocolate, cocoa butter is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants to keep your skin moisturised and youthful.
Green clay – Full of minerals, iron oxides and plant material such as kelp and seaweed, green clay draws out impurities from the skin, while toning and boosting circulation.
Baburu & Blake make beautiful sustainable soaps from Surrey.
These natural and cold pressed handmade soap bars comes in a range of scents free of plastic packaging. This cruelty-free soap is handcrafted with ingredients found in nature and scented exclusively with essential oils.
Rose Geranium – Cananga – Litsea Cubeba – Pink Clay Soap with Rose Geranium, Cananga and Litsea Cubeba has a combination of deep floral tones with sweet citrus ones, which will offer a very relaxing and romantic bathing experience. It includes Australian Pink Clay for its absorbent and purifying properties that draw out impurities and toxins.Please note this soap is not recommended to use on extremely dry skin due to the clay’s ability to absorb excess oil.
Sweet Orange – Cedarwood – Patchouli – This bar of soap obtains its colours by infusing annatto seeds in olive oil for several weeks. The soap contains sweet orange essential oil for its antiseptic and uplifting properties, as well as cedarwood and patchouli essential oils. Therefore, the scent is very earthy and musky with some sweet citrus tones. A small amount of coffee grounds are added to this soap for a very light and gentle scrub but does not smell of coffee.
Tea Tree – Lime – Activated Charcoal with Tea Tree and Lime makes the perfect cleanser and detoxifier that will help to make your pores less visible and leave your skin fresh and smooth. Tea tree is best known for its powerful antiseptic properties. Lime is stimulating and refreshing and its fresh aroma calms and clears the mind.
Palmarosa – Grapefruit – Sweet Orange – The olive oil present in this soap has been infused with calendula petals for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Palmarosa oil hydrates, rejuvenates tired or mature skin and helps control sebum secretions in oily skin. Grapefruit and Sweet Orange oils have energising and uplifting effects making this soap perfect for your morning shower.
Oatmeal – Chamomile flowers and oatmeal have soothing and calming properties; that is why this soap is perfect for particularly sensitive skins, although it can be used for every skin type. The oatmeal contained in this bar of soap offers exfoliation that will get rid of impurities and leave your skin nourished. These bars of soap do not contain essential oils but the chamomile extract gives this soap a very gentle scent.
Lavender & Clary Sage – Like a garden in a bar of soap! The purple colour in this soap is obtained by infusing alkanet root in olive oil and its scent comes from a blend of lavender and clary sage essential oils.
Nettle with Rosemary & Lavender – Nettle leaves are rich in vitamins and contain astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oils of rosemary and lavender give this soap a fresh minty smell with some floral tones. Rosemary essential oil stimulates the nervous system and helps to improve memory and concentration. Lavender oil has softening and conditioning effects on the skin.
Directions of use – Keep dry between uses for longer lasting bars. For external use only. Do not use around eyes or on broken skin. If irritation occurs, discontinue use. If pregnant of nursing, consult your doctor before use as this soap contains essential oils.
Each of these generously sized clay soap bars blends a combination of natural clays, essential oils and botanicals to help care for your skin. All are handmade with love in the UK and come in plastic-free packaging.
Choose from the following gorgeous scents:
Geranium & Pink Clay – Cleanses and tones your skin, while helping you relax with its sweet, lemony scent of geranium flowers and may chang. This is a beautiful bar, swirled through with pink clay and spinach, is full of minerals and vitamins for your skin.
Orange Patchouli – Great for improving your mood and helping you feel relaxed and positive on stressful days, with a deep citrus scent. Swirled through with spinach and activated charcoal, this beautiful bar is also a source of vitamins and deep cleansing to balance out your skin.
Lime & Green Tea – Full of antioxidants to care for your skin over time and reduce the signs of ageing. Pair this with your daily cup to look after your body inside and out.
Lemongrass & Lime – A zesty shot of orange, rich in antioxidants and bursting with citrus scents to help you feel lighter in mood.
Charcoal, Lime & Ginger – A deep cleansing treat for your skin with a powerful combination of activated charcoal, pink clay and green clay. This bar is great at balancing out the oils in your skin and helping to prevent acne. Lime, patchouli and ginger essential oils are blended to give a deep, peppery scent.
Spiced Orange – A blend of orange and cinnamon for a comforting, woody, citrus scent with the rich colour of annatto.
Winter Spice – Evoking the cosiness of cold evenings by the fire, this bar is scented with sweet orange, cloves and cinnamon.
This soap bar is hand-cut and sizes may vary, but the minimum weight of your bar is 120g.