Facial bars take over skincare

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Solid skincare has gotten quite a shine, with gorgeous bar soaps that are exciting to use and shaving cream bars and sticks so you can shave without standing in a pile of slippery lather. Right now face bars are having their heyday with gentle cleansing bars and moisturizing face stones.

“Skincare bars use a lot less water to manufacture than liquids and creams,” says Jenn Stryker, hair and body care expert at Good Time, who launched a facial cleansing bar ($17) in February. “Less water also means the formula is more concentrated; the ingredients are not diluted in a water base more than 90%. Plus, you get many more uses for a bar than a liquid formula – one of our facial cleansing bars is equivalent to approximately three 8oz bottles of liquid facial cleanser.

Additionally, facial bars are often plastic-free, either in cardboard jars or reusable glass jars.

“Bars are less wasteful,” says Giselle Go, co-founder of DamDam, which launched its face wash bar ($47) in February. “They don’t need primary packaging components, and the formulation can be kept to its simplest, most minimal level.”

Cleansing bars

Traditional bar soaps are made with drying and stripping ingredients, but this new generation is designed for skin health and is much gentler. “Cleansing bars require a specific pH balance,” says Stryker. Because these bars are designed to work with your skin’s pH, they won’t have the same damaging effects on skin tone as their predecessors.

On the innovation front, these formulas are far better than the bar soaps of yore. For example, the Good Time Facial Cleansing Bar is made with moisturizing ingredients that can still do their job even when rinsed off.

“It was important to me to incorporate beneficial ingredients that specifically enhanced the performance of a wash-off formula because most of them wash out,” Stryker says. “That’s why we’ve added squalane and glycerin to help hydrate skin, oat kernel extract to calm skin, and willow bark extract to help balance skin. These ingredients can be effective even if they only interact with the skin for a short time.

Moisturizing bars

Facial moisturizer bars are still fairly new to the game. Kate McLeod, the brand that really put solid moisturizers on the map with its Body Stone, launched a facial version ($68) in February. It remains one of the few moisturizing bars for the face.

What makes lotion bars so wonderful for some makes them a nightmare for others: they leave behind a thick, heavy shine. As someone with dry skin who wants to look like a baby seal before bed, I love these bars as the last step in my nighttime routine. But if you prefer lighter humidity, this might not be for you.

Although skincare comes in many different forms – serum, cream, gel, and lotion, to name a few – facial bars are uncharted territory for many. Whether you’re looking to reduce waste, build your arsenal of TSA-friendly beauty products, or just want to try something new, face bars are the perfect addition to your routine.

Kate McLeod, face stone – $68.00

Each face stone has a base of Kokum Butter, which contains essential fatty acids and vitamin E to smooth and soften skin while locking in moisture. It comes in three options: Shine (focused on anti-aging and contains bakuchiol, rosehip oil and hibiscus oil), appease (simple and unscented, contains squalane, evening primrose oil and peony oil), and Balance (rich in antioxidants and made with brightening blue tansy and tamanu oil).

Payot, organic nourishing massage bar — $23.00

The star of this face and body massage bar is organic rosemary essential oil, grown in Corsica, France. It’s backed up with eight other natural ingredients like Cocoa Seed Butter, Oat Kernel Oil, Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Oil to nourish skin, leaving it feeling silky smooth.

Ethique, Le Perfecteur, Moisturizing Solid Face Cream — $9.00

Designed for dry skin, this creamy bar uses kokum butter, jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid to soften the skin and protect it from transepidermal water loss. Use it morning or night, just be sure to let it soak in for a few minutes before makeup or SPF application.

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