One of the first changes we made to cut back on our plastic consumption was switching to bar soap throughout the house. Even for my face, I simply use a small loofah (that ends up in the compost bin) and the same soap I use for my body. When I started delving into the world of bar soaps, I was shocked to see the ratings many of them received on the Skindeep Database by The Envirornmental Working Group. Some that seemed so natural and harmless had high scores for toxicity. Others with lower scores would be $4-5 per bar and/or not very effective. Either they wouldn't lather well, they would dry out my skin or they would virtually dissolve in a soap dish in no time.
I am happy to report that I've finally found a soap that fulfills all of my requirements! Kirk's Fragrance Free Coco Castile Bar Soap is available in all sorts of stores so it is easy to find, it costs just under $2 per bar (drugstore.com has 3 packs for $1.66 a bar and it's easy to find additional discounts there), it's made in the USA by a family owned and operated business that began in 1839, and it has a ZERO rating for toxicity on the Skindeep Database. It is also free of animal by-products, not tested on animals, contains no palm oil, is biodegradable and hypoallergenic.
The simple list of ingredients is: coconut soap (saponified coconut oil), water, vegetable glycerin, coconut oil
**Note this review and skindeep toxicity rating are for the FRAGRANCE FREE version of the soap.**
So how did it work? It is perhaps one of the best soaps we've ever used! The lather is luscious, plentiful and creamy, and the coconut oil in the bar means it doesn't dry my skin out. Given how well it lathered I thought for sure it would fail my soap dish test, but it hardens back up quite nicely and is slow to dissolve. I should mention we do not have a traditional soap dish, but this one instead (our bathroom sink is very wide) which helps it dry out quickly. However, we've had plenty of soaps that performed extremely poorly in this department on the same soap dish.
I could not be happier and more excited about this find! On my quest to seek out affordable, non-toxic, easy to find personal care products, this one is certainly a winner!