By Cate Walker
Facial cleansers are getting a makeover (and thus giving you a makeover too!). Sure, liquid, cream and gel facial cleansers have a sense of luxury to them: they come in pretty bottles, are often more expensive and somehow seem both more sophisticated and sensual than the bar soaps we see in the aisles of our grocery stores. But do any of these factors indicate a product’s effectiveness? Definitely not! And it is, after all, results we’re after, not pretty and pricey bathrooms (right?)!
So while the switch from a bar soap to a facial cleanser was, for many of us, a pivotal moment in our transition to adult skincare, what if we told you that your skin care regimen was closer to ideal back in the day?
For the last few seasons, more and more brands have been launching “beauty bars,” if you will. (“Bar soaps,” after all, don’t quite connote the lux lathers and remarkable results of these bars and seem, well, too industrial for our soon-to-be flawless faces.) And while these beauty bars have been slow to catch on, here at The Beauty Bean we’ve been avid fans since meeting the Arcona team at NY Fashion Week a few seasons back and predict that this fall beauty bars will be making quite a mark on the beauty industry and quite an impact on your complexions! And for good reason!
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Beauty bars not only take up less space in our already too cluttered bathrooms, but also give us considerably more bang for our buck. Without much water content, (unlike other cleansers that are often primarily comprised of H2O,) they are able to pack in many more un-diluted active ingredients and antioxidants. They also last much longer than your typical face wash—a 3 oz bar soap will out last your 12 oz liquid soap any day. And, although some of the prices of these bar soaps are higher than you are used to, these beauty bars will not only last longer, but also cut down on the need for other products (like additional exfoliating scrubs). Plus, it’s the greener choice—no more plastic bottles!
After some serious in-house testing (it’s tough being a beauty editor, we know!), here are our top picks to help you find the best beauty bar for your skin type and lifestyle:
For Normal Skin: Arcona’s Toner Tea Bar ($38) works to calm, heal and strengthen your skin by neutralizing free radicals and nourishing skin with antibacterial, enzyme-rich manuka honey and vitamin E, while also protecting your skin with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory green and black teas and maintaining your skin’s natural ph balance with soothing lecithin, yucca and aloe extracts. The Toner Tea Bar is all you need, no need for rinse and repeat. Click here to purchase.
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For Dry Skin: If you are looking for a nourishing cleanser, try Arcona’s Kiwi Cream Bar ($38). While we do love the scent, it’s the kiwi’s extracted epidermal growth factor that has us sold! Combined with coconut milk, the kiwi extract hydrates fabulously for a beautifully moisturized complexion. Another benefit: it makes for a great shaving cream replacement, ideal for the men in your life. Click here to purchase.
All-in-One: If you’re looking for to cut steps from your beautifying routine, try Cor’s silver-based foaming soap ($125, $14 for travel size). This cutting edge soap uses silver, one of the most effective antibacterial agents with cell repairing properties, to clean, even skin tone, moisturize and help protect against UV rays. It’s like having all of your favorite skincare products wrapped into one – and perfect for when you’re on the go! Click here to purchase.
For Problematic Skin: If you have problematic skin, really of any kind, try starting fresh with The Wonderbar ($40). As the ultimate multi-tasker—it cleanses, tones, exfoliates and moisturizes – the Wonderbar works by restoring your skin back to its natural pH level (5.65), helping to make dry skin less dry and oily skin less oily. Proven to improve the appearance of acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, large pores and hyperpigmentation, this little bar starts by detoxifying your skin (which might result in a few blemishes, similar to a facial at first) but only because it is reaching deep into your pores to pull out of the “ick” and toxins below the surface. After the “healing phase” you will start to see smoother, more even and beautiful skin. Make sure to stick with the program, we’re sure glad we did! Click here to purchase.
Eco Friendly: If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, try Wembé’s Clean Face Makeup Remover ($7.55). This eco-friendly, handmade soap is brought to you from Paraguay and available in sixteen different blends of scents and textures, so you can find one for you, no matter you skin concerns. Plus, they’re all-natural, organic, paraben-free and made without any artificial coloring. And they really work to remove everything from concealer to mascara. Click here to purchase.