Foamy Soap
April 5, 2005 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for a liquid hand soap that foams up a lot but is gentle on the skin?
posted by agregoli to Health & Fitness (25 answers total)
Johnson's Kids Foam Blaster fits that bill. Remember though, foaming does not necessarily equate with cleansing.
posted by caddis at 11:13 AM on April 5, 2005

Thanks, just what an OCD person like myself needs to hear.

I am looking for the foaming action because it makes me FEEL clean, but a lot of liquid soaps are antibacterial or have weird ingredients that are bad for my sensitive skin.
posted by agregoli at 11:23 AM on April 5, 2005

Um, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but all soaps are antibacterial.

The name "soap" comes from the chemical process "soponification", which is a surfactant like action of breaking the surface tension between two objects.

Think of the old "Dawn" ads where grease was taken out of your way.

If you really have an OCD and want to be clean, I'd recommend Betadyne, which is what surgeons use to scrub down before surgery. Nasty stuff, though.

posted by kungfujoe at 11:34 AM on April 5, 2005

more bad news I'm afraid - foaming=drying. I have a face soap that actually feels like its oil based when it goes on - doesn't foam at all. So something like a cleansing cream or a cleansing milk might be what would work better for your skin. I just went looking for a link but it looks like my face soap isn't made anymore.
I make my own body soap and I know the soap "strength" by how foamy it gets. If you were super motivated - most soap books have a ton of recipes for super fatted soaps that leave more moisturizing oils behind than they take away.
posted by Wolfie at 11:36 AM on April 5, 2005

My girlfriend keeps a little bottle of Sudz Organic - Honey Pot Foaming Hand Soap in her bathroom, and from the description on the web page it might be what you're looking for. There's some kind of mesh, i believe, in the spout that makes it come out foamy. She's an accomplished makeup artist, so i trust her judgement
posted by fishfucker at 11:47 AM on April 5, 2005

you might also check the reviews at Makeup Alley looks like they have tons of products reviewed there (though i didn't bother registering to see what they said about soaps -- sorry).
posted by fishfucker at 11:51 AM on April 5, 2005

I'd recommend Dr. Bronner's All-One soaps. We use peppermint in my household.

I have pretty sensitive skin - being a Scandinavian-American, my complexion is as fair as they get - and not only does a little Dr. Bronner's go a long way, the minty feeling after I've used it makes me feel especially clean.
posted by rocketman at 11:58 AM on April 5, 2005

ps we use the liquid soap - I haven't tried the bar soap.
posted by rocketman at 12:00 PM on April 5, 2005

Um, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but all soaps are antibacterial.

Uh, what a condescending statement. I'm sure you know what I meant - the ones with added antibacterial agents added.
posted by agregoli at 12:03 PM on April 5, 2005

Added added added.
posted by agregoli at 12:08 PM on April 5, 2005

Use water that is as hot as you can stand if you want to get (and feel) cleaner than just using antibacterial soap alone.
posted by Hildago at 12:34 PM on April 5, 2005

Hot water is also out - it upsets my skin too. I'm just a big ole mess.
posted by agregoli at 12:35 PM on April 5, 2005

Personally, I use a little Dr. Bronner's mixed into a lot of Dial Antibacterial, but Dial Complete (unscented, of course) is fairly mild, and it's a regular foam city.

Or, for the germophobe who finds Betadyne too strong, Provon is a lot milder but still maintains that hospital seal of approval.
posted by box at 12:37 PM on April 5, 2005

You could put whatever soap you like in a foam dispenser. They're little plastic bottles with a push-style dispenser that foams the liquid on its way out. You can probably find them at walmart, bed bath and beyond, linens n things, target, &c.

Shouldn't be more than a few bucks, and it's versatile.. you can put whatever you want in it, just water it down a little if it's one of the thicker liquid soaps.
posted by odinsdream at 1:09 PM on April 5, 2005

For the soap dispenser in my sink at home I use Ivory Liqui-Gel which does not contain a specific antibacterial agent (unlike most other hand soaps). You could also try some of the more earthy crunchy brands. This variety is glycerine based, which is what my doctor recommended for me as a child when regular bar soaps made a mess out of my skin.
posted by plinth at 1:49 PM on April 5, 2005

There is a sensitive-skin type in my house. For her, we've chosen to use Johnson & Johnson's baby wash, or a generic thereof. This works in our case.
posted by kc0dxh at 1:55 PM on April 5, 2005

Foaming may be a factor of water hardness, not just the soap - I've read that soap (of any kind) foams/suds much better in softer water.
posted by advil at 3:38 PM on April 5, 2005

Bath and Body Works makes a foaming antibacterial hand soap, that comes in a lot of lovely scents.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:38 PM on April 5, 2005 [1 favorite]

Kiehl's unscented.
posted by nicwolff at 5:33 PM on April 5, 2005

Jergen's Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash

It's great for mechanics, too; gets all the black gunk out of your skin.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:34 PM on April 5, 2005

Oh, and you can find the Jergen's Hand Wash at supermarkets.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:36 PM on April 5, 2005

Your dilemma is profound: you want a strong soap with a good lather, but strong soaps irritate your skin. I may, however, have a way through this thicket for you.

About a year ago, I discovered this little liquid pump for soap: the foampump. You fill it with about 1 part soap and 5 parts water. It does exactly what you want, a beautiful foamy lather each time you pump, but with 1/6th the normal soap as with a regular pump, so your skin doesn't get as irritated. Seeing as how we way overuse soap as it is, this reduction doesn't materially affect the soap's effectiveness. Anyway the foam is far greater in volume than that gelatinous little spooge that comes out of a regular soap pump. It certainly feels like you're washing with a generous amount of soap. Plus, as an added bonus, the pump stays remarkably clean with use---it develops none of that scum found on elderly soap pump bottles.

Finally, they do come with a clever lock on the pump, and the one I linked to comes with a cap. They are reasonably portable. I don't know if you'ld want one in your purse, but I slip one in my shaving kit for traveling.

I have several: one in each bathroom, in the kitchen, and so on. I use plain old Ivory soap, but there's no reason you couldn't fill yours with a liquid anti-bacterial.
posted by bonehead at 6:30 PM on April 5, 2005

Aveeno makes a "body wash" soap that is very gentle on the skin (just about any other soap gives me a rash) and lathers like wild. Available in honest-to-goodness unscented. It's so moisturizing that I don't need to use body lotion, even though I'm an old hag who swims in a chlorinated pool. Works fine in hard water, too.
posted by pricklefoot at 7:46 PM on April 5, 2005

You might try Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, which is designed to be gentle enough for faces, but also FOAMS and gets oily skin clean, all without added antibacterial agents.

I use both Jergens and Ivory liquid hand soaps with no antibacterial agents added, and both work just fine.
posted by maudlin at 8:35 PM on April 5, 2005

Cussons Imperial Leather Foamburst is luxurious, with rich creamy foam... and very efficient!
posted by at 12:59 AM on April 6, 2005

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