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Best Facial Cleansing Bars

Updated January 2022
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Best of the Best
Anthony Men's Exfoliating Soap Bar
Men's Exfoliating Soap Bar
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Bottom Line

This bar gently exfoliates and moisturizes skin and features an invigorating grapefruit scent.


Removes dead skin and prevents clogged pores. Great for dry skin and acne-prone skin, and does not leave skin dry. Features shea butter, coconut oil, squalane, jojoba oil, and cucumber extract to nourish skin. Free of parabens, GMOs, and is great for sensitive or allergy-prone skin. Subtle and pleasant scent.


Some found this bar does not produce a heavy lather.

Best Bang for the Buck
Neutrogena Original Fragrance-Free Facial Cleansing Bar
Original Fragrance-Free Facial Cleansing Bar
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Trusted Brand
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Neutrogena's classic cleansing bar is suitable for all skin types and won't break the bank.


A 3.5-ounce bar lasts a long time, even with twice-daily use. Generous lather removes excess oil and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. Does not contain harsh detergents or dyes that may irritate sensitive skin. Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.


Although this bar is fragrance-free, some did not find the smell to be pleasant.

Erno Laszlo Exfoliate & Detox Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar Soap For Unisex
Erno Laszlo
Exfoliate & Detox Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar Soap For Unisex
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Natural Choice
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Increases circulation using unique, natural ingredients.


Cleans skin and provides therapeutic elements using mud from the Deep Sea. Increases circulation, exfoliation, and detoxification. Contains 3.4 ounces and is a good choice for men and women.


Pricey. The Deep Sea mud can be too harsh for some sensitive skin.

Biore Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar
Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

Thanks to a top name in skin care, it’s easy and inexpensive to try the power of charcoal to clean and exfoliate face and body.


Bar tends to last a long time if kept dry after use. Great at clearing up blackheads. Peppermint leaves a nice tingly feeling afterward. Evens out skin discoloration. Adults with ongoing acne issues have found relief when more expensive products have been ineffective.


Dries out skin, so better for users with an oil problem. Some consumers report breakouts after initial use, which eventually clear up.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
Hydrating Cleanser Bar
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Best for Dry Skin
Bottom Line

This cleansing bar from CeraVe won't dry out skin and is gentle enough for all skin types.


Keeps skin hydrated thanks to 5% moisturizing cream. Made with ceramides which protect the skin barrier and keep skin looking and feeling healthy. Suitable for users with eczema and can be used anywhere on the body. Fragrance-free and won't clog pores.


Some users complained this bar is rather small and does not last a long time.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best facial cleansing bars

Water and soap – combine the two, and you have the simplest way to wash your face. But today’s facial cleansing bars aren’t the same as the traditional bars of soap that your parents or grandparents used. These days there are numerous formulas available with ingredients that target specific skin types and concerns. From dry skin to acne, if you prefer to wash your face with a cleansing bar, there is one on the market to fit your needs.

Maybe you are already sold on using facial cleansing bars and are looking for a new one to try, or perhaps you have always used other types of facial cleansers and don’t know which bar to choose. Regardless, we can help you pick the best facial cleansing bar for your skin.

At BestReviews, we make shopping simple with our top picks and handy guides. If you’re looking for more information on facial cleansing bars before you buy, just keep reading for the pros and cons, tips, and tricks of this basic yet popular way to keep your face clean and fresh.

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Most facial cleansing bars last a long time, making them an affordable addition to your daily skin care routine. They will last even longer when allowed to dry thoroughly in between uses.

Pros and cons of using facial cleansing bars

Just like any other facial cleanser, facial cleansing bars offer benefits and drawbacks depending on your skin type and concerns. Understanding the pros and cons will help you decide if using a cleansing bar is right for you.


  • Facial cleansing bars are affordable, and even pricier premium brands aren’t extremely expensive.

  • Most facial cleansing bars are long-lasting, especially if used solely for cleansing your face.

  • Whether you have oily, dry, or problematic skin, you can find a facial cleansing bar that’s made for your specific skin concerns.

  • Many facial cleansing bars have hydrating ingredients that moisturize and condition.


  • Facial cleansing bars can be drying, but choosing a bar intended for your skin type will help avoid this issue.

  • Just like a traditional bar of soap, facial cleansing bars can become gooey or even melt if not allowed to dry completely between uses.

  • Those with sensitive skin should choose a facial cleansing bar carefully, as some formulas can irritate delicate skin.

  • Facial cleansing bars are more prone to leaving residue behind than other types of facial cleansers.

  • Some facial cleansing bars have strong or perfumed scents. However, many brands offer fragrance-free options for sensitive skin.

Facial cleansing bar formulas

Is your skin oily? Prone to breakouts? Extremely dry? Or is it sensitive to various products? Facial cleansing bars come in a wide variety of formulas that are made to suit different skin types and concerns.


Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, leaving skin looking fresh and bright. Exfoliating facial cleansing bars contain ingredients that buff away dead skin, such as oatmeal, crushed nut shells, and other granulated particles. These facial cleansing bars often include ingredients like essential oils, bamboo, and honey as well to keep the skin’s top layer renewed.


Bar cleansers of the past were quite drying to the skin. However, many facial cleansing bars are available today that work well for those who are prone to dry skin. With ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, these cleansing bars won’t overstrip skin or cause dry, scaly patches, and they are also suitable for those with conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.


Do you want to go all natural? Organic facial cleansing bars are typically plant-based and don’t contain any artificial ingredients like dyes, preservatives, or parabens. Many bars that fall into this category also contain essential oils, which smell great and moisturize and condition the skin.


Some consumers appreciate a scented facial cleanser, while others don’t. Not only are fragrance-free facial cleansing bars perfect for those who don’t want to wash their faces with heavily scented cleansers, but they are also much gentler on sensitive skin.

Acne control

If your skin is prone to acne, you know that ingredients like harsh detergents and oils can cause breakouts. Facial cleansing bars that target acne contain ingredients that clean skin without clogging pores. Glycerin is a popular cleansing bar base for these formulas, as it’s easy to rinse and gentle on pores.

Some facial cleansing bars made for acne-prone skin also contain ingredients that help fight breakouts. Natural ingredients like charcoal, Dead Sea mud, and lemongrass are known for their pore-cleaning and skin-soothing properties. Some bars are also medicated with additional antibacterial ingredients, and they are designed for more serious acne problems.

Deep cleaning

Oily skin can be challenging to cleanse. Facial bar cleansers for deep cleaning are made to tackle dirt and oil with clarifying ingredients and rich lather. Other terms frequently used for these types of cleansing bars are “purifying” and “detoxifying.”

Sensitive skin

Facial cleansing bars that fall into this category are formulated with sensitive skin in mind, and they don’t contain ingredients that could cause irritations or breakouts, such as sulfates, parabens, and artificial colors. Some cleansing bars made for individuals with sensitive skin are also unscented.

Prices for facial cleansing bars

Facial cleansing bars vary in price, but most are quite affordable. While you can find single bars ranging from $3 to $6 from well-known brands, some specialty facial cleansing bars are a bit pricier, from about $7 to $30.

However, the most convenient way to purchase facial cleansing bars is in multipacks, which typically contain three to 10 bars. These multipacks range in price from about $12 to $40.


  • Are you trying to decide on the best facial cleansing bar, but you’re not quite sure of your skin type? If your skin tends to feel oily around your nose, chin, and forehead, then you probably have oily skin. On the other hand, skin flaking is a good indication that your skin is prone to dryness.

  • If you have normal skin, it is neither too dry or too oily. Almost any type of facial cleansing bar will work for your skin type.

  • If you have a specific skin condition, such as psoriasis, eczema, or acne, choose a facial cleansing bar that is formulated for your skin concern.

  • When washing and rinsing your face after cleansing it, using water that is too hot or too cold can irritate skin and cause redness. Instead, use water that is lukewarm for the best results.

  • Use a gentle touch when washing your face by swirling the cleanser into your skin with a circular motion. If you use a washcloth, don’t rub or tug at your skin, especially the delicate area around your eyes.

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Some facial cleansing bars are recommended by dermatologists, which indicates they are suitable for those with sensitive skin.


Q. Washcloth or fingertips – does it matter how I wash my face with a facial cleansing bar?

A. Rubbing a facial cleansing bar in your bare hands or on a washcloth is a matter of personal preference. However, keep in mind that using your fingers is a gentler method, while scrubbing with a washcloth will have more of an exfoliating effect.

Q. Is it okay to switch from a liquid cleanser to a bar cleanser?

A. You certainly can change your routine by trading in your liquid cleanser for a facial cleansing bar. However, because your skin is used to the product you are currently using, it’s a good idea to transition to a bar cleanser by using one for sensitive skin until your skin has adjusted.

Q. Is it harmful to my skin if I don’t rinse my face thoroughly after using a bar cleanser, and how can I tell if I’ve rinsed long enough?

A. It is important to rinse off a facial cleansing bar completely, otherwise it can dry out the skin. The best way to be sure that residue is gone is to do your final rinse with your bare hands. Continue splashing water over your face until it doesn’t feel soapy or slippery, which could be indications that you still have cleanser on your face.