Bottles to Bars


Take a moment to look inside your bathroom cabinets and shower shelves. How many plastic bottles do you see? When I first did this, I was mortified by how many plastic bottles were hidden away in my bathroom. I easily had over 20 bottled products. I had a bottle for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, body scrub, hand soap, lotion, facial toner, deodorant, makeup remover, and the list goes on with other hair and body products. I knew that I had to make a lifestyle change when it came to my personal care products, so that’s when I began to switch from bottles to bars.

Growing up, I was never a fan of using bar soaps. The soaps that I used always made my skin feel “chalky” afterwords and I always found the residue left in the soap dish to be an extra hassle to clean. In addition, I was always afraid that using bar soaps would increase the spread of germs. However, after spending time doing some research, my transition to bar products has been easier than I expected.


Here is a list of some bottled products that you can replace with bar products:

Hand Soap      Shampoo      Conditioner      Body Wash       Body Scrub

Shaving Cream        Moisturizer       Deodorant       Perfume

Makeup Remover        Facial Cleanser        Makeup Brush Cleaner

1. Take Your Time When Transitioning

Whether you’re eager to switch to bar products or still iffy about this idea, it is important that you take your time when transitioning. Even though you might want to toss all of your bottled products right away, finish using them first so that you don’t waste. Also, be kind to your body by introducing new products over time. This allows your hair and skin to adjust to these new products.

If you are new to bar soaps, I would recommend first replacing your hand soap, then your body wash.  After you get used to using bar soaps, I would then experiment with shampoos, conditioners, shaving bars and moisturizers.

2. Buy A Good Soap Dish

It is very important to use a proper soap dish. If you use a bowl or plate, puddles of water will collect in it, which will ruin your soap and create a messy residue. If you use a soap dish with good drainage, it will make your soap last a lot longer and you won’t have to worry about cleaning residue. I have dishes for both my hand soaps by the sink and my bar soaps in the shower.

I love my Soap Lift dishes that I got at Whole Foods, but there are also waterfall or suspended soap dishes that have good drainage.

3. Find Products That Are Right For You

Do you have sensitive skin? Oily hair? Acne? There are bar products to match every hair and skin type. I would suggest that you check out Ethique Beauty to give youself an idea of what kind of bar products exist. I highly recommend trying one of Ethique’s hair, face or body samplers. Each kit comes with five different products and they’re not crazy expensive. The samplers are a good way to experiment with a variety of bar products.

Common Questions

Do Bar Soaps Hold Onto Germs? 

I was hesitant to transitions to bar soaps when I knew that flu season was fast approaching, so I did a little extra research on bar soap cleanliness. I was happy to discover that you are very unlikely to get sick from using bar soap. Check out this article to learn more!

How Well Do Shampoo And Conditioner Bars Work?

When I had long hair, I was concerned that bar shampoos and conditioners would be difficult to use and not detangle my hair very well. For Christmas, I got an Ethique hair sampler kit that came with five small bar shampoos and conditioners. (I highly recommend using this kit if you are new to bar shampoos and conditioners!) All of the shampoos lathered up well and the conditioners left my hair feeling soft, shiny and tangle-free! Also, I didn’t experience any residue after using any of the Ethique products!

Do Bar Soaps Make Acne Worse?

I have yet to transition to bar facial products because I have prescription medicine for my skin. I would check out this article if you are interested in finding a bar soap that will help to treat acne.

Where Can I Find Good Bar Products?

If you’re looking for more natural products, I would check out Wholes Foods and Trader Joes. Target also carries a lot of natural, eco-friendly brands! I’m still working through my Ethique samples, but I love them so much already! I would highly suggest trying some of their products out. My former classmate told me that she enjoys using the bar shampoos from Lush. I enjoy using their massage bars, but plan to try their hair products next! Also, flea markets, such as one the that takes place on Treasure Island every month, are full of small, local vendors who handcraft bar soaps and moisturizers.


Final Tips

  • Use an olive oil bar soap to clean your makeup brushes.
  • I personally don’t enjoy using large bars of soap, so I usually cut them in half. This makes the soaps easier to use and I feel as if they last longer.
  • If you are using bar soaps in the shower, make sure to store them in the driest spot to make your soaps last longer.
  • If you are going to use a bar moisturizer or deodorant, it’s easiest to apply these products in the warm bathroom right after you shower.
  • In order to craft the perfect, rectangular bar soap, soap ends are typically cut off (and sometimes even thrown away). Etsy has a large collection high quality soap ends samplers.

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