Cleansers are one of the fundamentals in a healthy skincare regime, whether your preference is a heavy-duty oil, gentle-on-the-skin cream or a blemish-busting clay number. While the latter forms have dominated our bathroom shelf for some time, a nostalgic product is about to take centre stage: the soap bar.
Sure, you may cast your mind back to your youth, when soap bars were made up of drying alcohol, sulphates and overpowering smells but 2018's cleansing bars are teeming with natural and skin-saving ingredients.
"I think solid soap cleansers are back for a few reasons," says Annie Tevelin, founder of cult brand SkinOwl. "I’ve seen a huge upswing in minimalism skincare, and the ‘less is more’ mantra has never felt more present in skincare. Solid soap bars are easy to use and efficient in that way. And most importantly, people are finally seeing how well they work on the skin."
According to Tevelin, the benefits they hold over their liquid counterparts include lasting far longer, containing only the necessary ingredients (rather than the preservatives used in balms and gels) and the fact that they require no plastic packaging, which is always a plus for the environment.
The way to avoid the scummy soap mess on the side of your bath or shower lies in how you store your product. Sisley's facial trainer Elsa van Twist explains that this mess comes from water, rather than the soap. "In fact, it’s the minerals (calcium and magnesium) in hard water forming these when combined with soaps. Using filters or spring water would be the only option to avoid this phenomenon." So make sure to invest in a cute soap dish to keep your bathroom surfaces clean.
Disclaimer: as van Twist warns, cleansing bars don't actually remove makeup, but are perfect for your acne-tackling or hydrating second cleanse. Think of soap as a cool addition, rather than replacement, to your skincare arsenal.