Today’s Small Step: Walk Into a Bar

Bar soap

Staying clean can be a dirty business—especially if you’re doing it with liquid soap. According to a Swiss study, body washes require 5x more energy to produce and include a ton of extra plastic bottles. (And those always end up cluttering around the shower anyway.)

The good news: There are soaps, shampoos, and even conditioners in bar form that do exactly the same job and create way less waste. (Example: In just one year, Lush says their shampoo bars prevented 100 tons of plastic from hitting landfills.) 

By buying a bar of soap, shampoo, or conditioner instead of a plastic bottle, you’ll be saving plastic waste and still getting clean and fresh skin and hair—so hit the bar ASAP.

🥁 Here are our favorites, as tested and vetted by the Wild Elements Team 🥁

Best Exfoliating Soap Bar
Trader Joe’s Ginger Almond Oatmeal Soap ($4.25—$8.69)
Made with soothing oatmeal and zingy ginger, this soap is great for exfoliating flaky skin or post-workout sweat, and it also helps remove dead skin cells for smoother shower shaving. Get it for under $5 IRL at Trader Joe’s, or $9 online.

Best Healing Soap Bar
Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Bar ($4.79)
If your skin turns red at the mere mention of soap, follow our editorial director Faran’s lead and get a hemp-based cleanser with zero added scents or colors, and a moisture boost in the form of pure olive oil. Bonus: Its wrapper is from 100% post-consumer waste.

Best Soap Bar for Body Acne
Carter Mill Tea Tree and Spearmint Soap Bar ($6)
We love the natural astringent and antibacterial properties of this soap, which also uses rice bran for a clean finish on the skin. Plus, because of its minty scent, it’s a great wakeup call in the morning!

Best Clarifying Shampoo Bar
BOB Detox Shampoo Bar, $12.95
Activated charcoal, black clay, and eucalyptus oil help this pore-purifying shampoo cleanse the scalp of oil and buildup, while its floral seed extracts help keep hair’s natural moisture balance. It’s packaged in recycled paper, and its name is an anagram for BARS OVER BOTTLES. Cute!

Best Shampoo Bar for Naturally Textured Hair
Love and Beauty MuruMuru Shampoo Bar, $6.49
Sulfate free? Yes. Attitude free? No way. This shampoo bar is a veritable garden party, with sunflower oil and coconut, plus extract from Damascus roses—the same breed used in many French designer perfumes.

Best Hydrating Shampoo Bar
Fat and the Moon Shampoo Bar ($30)
“Low waste and high impact” is how this indie label describes its hair scrub, which includes coconut oil, cocoa butter, and sage—just in case you need to cleanse your vibes along with your scalp. 

Best Conditioner Bar for Straight Hair
Humankind Hair Conditioner Bar ($15)
Smooth, easy-to-lather, and totally unscented, this unassuming block of solid hair conditioner is ethically made and carbon neutral, but none of that matters unless the formula helps soften and shine your hair… and it totally does.

Best Conditioner Bar for Naturally Textured Hair
Eco-Roots Moroccan Oil Conditioner Bar ($11.95)
Vanilla, coconut oil, and jojoba round out the ingredients for this conditioner bar, which uses argan oil from Morocco along with quinoa protein and vegan vitamin E to nourish textured hair without leaving residue… or leaving any plastic behind.

Best Conditioner Bar for Dry Hair
BOB Ultra Moisturizing Conditioner Bar
If you’re dealing with breakage or frizz, this conditioner bar can help you out with its cuticle-sealing ingredients like shea butter, wheat protein, and resin extract for a tiny hint of natural shine.