Looking for soap suitable for very frequent washing
February 19, 2015 9:44 AM   Subscribe

My partner needs to wash pretty frequently for work, and it dries her skin out. I'm looking for a type of soap (ideally block rather than plastic bottle) which will reduce her need to moisturise. Anyone got any tips?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My son has very dry skin in winter, and we swear by Cetaphil (also comes in anti-bacterial, should she need that - not sure if it is more drying).
posted by Mchelly at 9:56 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dove soap is one that many people with dry and/or sensitive skin like. Cetaphil is another.

You and/or partner might want to check out the reviews on MakeupAlley - they review soap on there - it's not just for face makeup reviews.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:56 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I keep two soaps in the shower. Ivory for my oily face and neck and Dove for the very dry rest of me (especially this time of year).
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:02 AM on February 19, 2015

Nthing Dove for sensitive skin
posted by slipthought at 10:20 AM on February 19, 2015

Seconding Cetaphil. Especially if you can eschew the bar and go for the liquid gentle cleanser in a bottle (agents added to solidify most soaps make them a bit harsher, as a general rule of thumb, but that's a very, very general statement). You can use the liquid without water--scrub, wipe off--so it's a bit like its own lotion. It doesn't froth and foam, it has a consistency more like hair conditioner.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:54 AM on February 19, 2015

I have the worst, worst dry skin (lots of dermatological conditions, actually) and the only soap that's worked for me in a while is a bar soap (!) - but it's a vegetable-based soap that does not dry my skin out at all. It also smells wonderful.

Trader Joe's Oatmeal & Honey Pure Vegetable Soap.
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:56 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Agree with the Dove and/or Cetaphil suggestions.

I'm guessing your partner works in healthcare or food prep, two types of jobs where people need to wash frequently and where staying properly hydrated can be hard, either because of rules about drinking in work spaces or simply because of the level of activity during the workday. General hydration can affect how dry skin gets in addition to the soap. Make sure she has a strategy for how to stay hydrated. (In my experience this can involve covertly defying ill-conceived hospital rules about waterbottles on the wards; not ideal but necessary.)
posted by Wretch729 at 11:05 AM on February 19, 2015

Coming to nth Dove and Cetaphil. They're the only soaps I use.

Whenever I'm forced to use something else, like if I'm staying at someone else's place, I get that horrible tight rippy skin feeling that's just awful.
posted by phunniemee at 11:09 AM on February 19, 2015

Just a couple additional choices:

There's a brand called Nubian Heritage that makes my favorite moisturizing soap. It comes in a yellowish box and I'm guessing, based on this list of soaps, it's the Olive Oil and Green Tea version. Now I feel like a big old doof not even knowing what my favorite soap is. I had no idea they made so many yellowish boxes, but the one I like is the only one they have in the "Ethnic" section of the grocery store by my house. (I know. Don't tell me. I didn't name that section.)

Basis is also pretty good.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:09 PM on February 19, 2015

Oh, no! I lied! I just checked the Store Locator on the Nubian Heritage page, and it looks like I actually get that soap at a local organic grocery, and they also carry it at Whole Foods.

I do get some other moisturizing soaps in that section at Walgreens (I am old and dessicated and try just about any moisturizing products I can find), and they do have some good stuff there, but that apparently isn't one of them.

I am sorry for being an unreliable narrator.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:26 PM on February 19, 2015

Nthing Cetaphil. Its the only way I get through winter.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:47 PM on February 19, 2015

She could try Kiss My Face Olive Oil soap. One disadvantage, if it's kept in a hot humid climate, it will melt into a puddle.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:02 PM on February 19, 2015

Possibly consider that the hot water contributes to her dry skin. If she can stand it, she could see if cold/lukewarm water helps.
posted by mchorn at 4:04 PM on February 19, 2015

Any farmers' markets nearby? Look for soapmakers. I find the handmade stuff is awesomely better than anything mass-produced. Look for cold-processed bars -- they'll likely look hand-cut and perhaps a bit rustic.

As far as mass-produced goes, yep, Cetaphil may work. It's very gentle.

I actually find Dove strangely drying. I picked up some of their special winter bars, which a friend recommended, and discovered the formula gives me that dry crawly-itchy feeling.
posted by QuickedWeen at 5:26 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Grace Harbor Farms goat milk soap. From sincere goats in Washington State. I've been using it for years. Simple soap, never drying. No mystery ingredients.

The lavender scent is very nice. Or the fragrance-free.
posted by valannc at 8:48 PM on February 19, 2015

You want hand-made soap. Most soap sold in stores isn't even actually soap; it's detergent.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:56 PM on February 19, 2015

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