Bar soap, one of beauty's most unsexy sells, is cool again
Soap is back. Put it down to a renewed interest in hand-washing, I guess, but now, one of the least sexy pillars of beauty has been repackaged and has re-emerged after a much-needed make-over.
Sure, there's always been brands who've had soap as part of their offering. It makes sense that those who create primarily in the art of scent would release soaps (Atelier Cologne, Le Labo, Byredo, Diptyque).
And of course, you come across the odd luxury soap bar (Chanel, Gucci, Hermès). But the new soaps, the soap bars launching not as an afterthought, but as entire beauty collections, are not your grandmother's soap bars.
Forget what you thought about soap actually being a bit unhygienic, gathering dust in a sad dish or leaving a drying film on your skin. These soaps are chic, created with good-for-skin ingredients, and enjoying a resurgence thanks to the plastic-free movement; they use less packaging and last much longer.
Take the new Glossier Body Hero Exfoliating Bar, €14.
This new shower staple fits in the palm of your hand and comes studded with bamboo powder exfoliating beads that slough off your dead skin while sunflower seed oil and aloe leaf look after moisture so your skin is left feeling hydrated. Like all Glossier products, it also comes perfectly presented to make your bath even more Instagrammable.
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L'Occitane has just launched a new soap collection, made with at least 78% vegetable oils, in mood-boosting colours and energizing scents like lemon and tangerine and rosemary and clary sage. The Bonne Mère collection comes without packaging and the Shea Butter collection, in eco-friendly packaging, will nourish hands ravaged by over-washing. There are also two 2-in-one Scrubbing Soaps, in almond and shea butter, that gently exfoliate while leaving the skin soft.
Closer to home is the Irish brand Codex's Bia Cold Press Soaps, from €15, made using the traditional cold process method that keeps hold of the benefits of plant-based butters, oils and essential oils. They smell incredible, feel silky on the skin, leave you feeling squeaky clean and don't disrupt your natural pH.
For more Irish beauty heroes leading the pack in helping soaps stage a comeback, check out Soap With Soul, Dalkey Handmade Soaps, Oxmantown Skincare, The Handmade Soap Company, Jo Browne, Voya, Green Angel, Burren Perfumery and Max Benjamin.
Soap, then. Cooler now than ever before. Time to fish out that old dish.
Photography by L'Occitane.
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